An air compressor is an exciting device in the garage world. It makes work a little bit tolerable and much more manageable. These tools can function at high temperatures, including areas with restrictions of other forms of energy. With these tools, you can generate air on-site or instead control air usage and quality.
Basically, all gadgets require proper maintenance to remain in shape. Air compressors are no exemption. How you regularly maintain your air compressors determines its span life or, instead, how efficient it will serve you in the long run. Well, upon understanding this, the question is obvious. Yes, you can leave air in your air compressor, mainly if you frequently use it.
Air compressors are generally designed to withstand pressure. By leaving the air in your compressor, you’re more likely to get instant pressure the next time you use it. Conversely, if you don’t use your air compressor quite often, it would be more appropriate to drain it off. By doing so, you’ll have protected your tank from rust.
As you’ve noticed, we’ve highlighted a few benefits of having an air compressor. However, you may still be wondering how these devices work. Well, don’t freak out. We got your back. These units have become less bulky in recent years. They are more portable and robust than other regular tools.
How air compressors work
These units mainly force air into a container and, in reverse, pressurize it. The air is then forced through an opening in the tank where pressure builds up. The pressurized air is then used to power various tools such as sanders, nailers, paint sprayers, or impact wrenches.
Although different types exist in the market and each type has a specialty, what matters is how each compressor handles air displacement.
Basic essentials of an air compressor
Upon understanding how this unit works, let’s have a look at its three basic components.
A tank is generally considered as storage for compressed air. It’s where compressed air stays until there’s a need for it.
This can be considered as the heart and soul of an air compressor. When using power from a gasoline engine or electric motor, the pump draws air and compresses it.
A drive generates power that allows other components to operate. Air compressors draw their power from different sources. Others draw their power from the electric motor while others from gasoline engines. Regardless, the drive is an essential component in an air compressor.
Understanding air compressors
Air compressors play a vital role in every workshop or factory. Regular maintenance is essential in ensuring these units perform as expected. Although leaving the air in your air compressor is significant, it is also wise to drain it once in a while. Why so? This helps avoid letting water pool in the tank, possibly weakening or corroding it.
You can do so by releasing air and opening the drain valve for a while to let out any condensation. This is helpful in blowing out any moisture that could have possibly built up inside the tank.
How to store an air compressor
Since most of these units are less bulky and portable, how you store them also matters. Below are a few smart tips you can use before storing your air compressor.
Please turn off your air compressor
Before storing your air compressor, it’s quite essential that you turn it off and unplug it from the wall. This helps you to save on energy and other additional costs potentially.
Clear out a dry area for your air compressor
Just like any other critical resources, clearing out a dry area for your air compressor is crucial in preventing contaminants.
Remove tools attached to your air compressor.
Before storing your air compressor, it’s also advisable to remove the tools attached to your air compressor.
Set down a drainage pan under your compressors valve
Lastly, you can set a drainage pan under your compressor’s valve to catch water from accidental spills or machine leaks.
Common air compressors hazards
Some of the common hazards associated with air compressors include,
- Fumes: if your air compressor is diesel or gas-powered, it is safer to use them outside
- Noise: noisy air compressors may cause hearing loss
- High-pressures: when working with high pressures, it can possibly be injected in the body, which may result in ruptured eardrums and organs
Frequently asked questions
How can you get water out of compressed air?
Although separators and filters can remove liquid moisture droplets from a compressed air system, it’s quite challenging for them to remove vapor. Removing water vapor requires the use of a dryer.
How do air compressors get water in them?
Whenever you compress air, pressure increases. The high incoming air causes the water vapor to condense upon compression. In essence, this is what causes water to form as droplets. However, the good news is that compressors have a water drain that you can freely use to eliminate the water.
How can you keep your air compressor from freezing?
This can be done by placing a space heater closer to the compressor and transmissions lines before using it in freezing temperatures.
Is it okay to leave my air compressor on?
This will only depend on whether you’re planning to continue with production activities during those odd hours. However, if not, your air compressor might continue to feed leaks, which may not be safe for you. Similarly, operating costs are more likely to increase, which isn’t cost-efficient at the end of the day.
How can I release air from my air compressor?
Releasing air from your compressor basically involves pulling out the ring on the ASME safety valve. You can also avert the air by merely shielding the valve while pulling the ring. Keep in mind that it’s much safer to wear safety glasses while performing this action.
Is it possible to stop condensation in air compressors?
Sure, you’ll need a desiccant air dryer consisting of tiny beads to absorb water from incoming air. This is because they are specifically designed to function as water trap filters that absorb moisture from a compressed air system.
Can air hose length affect pressure?
Well, air hose length can never affect the pressure. Once pressurized and there are no leaks, it will still remain as you had set it before.
Do I need to change my air compressor oil often?
Changing your air compressor oil basically depends on the compressor model and its service hours. Conversely, it’s recommended that you change your compressors oil once a year.
Are oil-free air compressors any better?
This goes a long way with your taste and preference. However, oil-free air compressors require minimal maintenance and are highly affordable. Further, they have a product life of about 200 hours and are highly convenient. Regardless, making a decision entirely depends on your needs and budget.
Ideally, we all have different reasons for owning an air compressor, and they have proven to be very valuable equipment either in your workshop or garage. We’ve narrowed down a few smart tips you can use to ensure your air compressor remains in shape.
More importantly, we hope you’ve understood that your air compressor is vital and fragile equipment that requires proper care. Don’t go about leaving the air in your compressor if you’re not planning to use it the next day. Protect your investment at all costs!