When it comes to buying an air compressor, there are a few things you need to take into account, such as where the air compressor will be used, and how much power you need to get out of it.
In some applications – particularly healthcare, for instance – you might also want to make sure that you choose a compressor with very clean or dry output.
For more general purposes this might not be necessary, and you might prefer to focus on getting a very low maintenance compressor or one with very high and consistent power levels.
What air compressor should I buy?
Will your compressor need to move around, or will it be fixed in place? Static air compressors typically provide higher output, but mobile compressors obviously have the advantage of being able to move.
There are different methods of compressing air, too – rotary screw air compressors use an Archimedes principle, while piston compressors pump the air into the compression chamber like the pistons in a car engine.
You should narrow down your search according to these general characteristics – potentially depending on any equipment you already have in place, if your compressor is going to be part of a larger system.
What is the best air compressor to buy?
Once your list of potential compressors is narrowed down, it’s time to choose, and it might still not be obvious what is the best air compressor to buy.
Take into account if you will be placing it under constant demand – if so, you’ll want a very reliable compressor with steady output even over long work cycles.
If your demands vary a lot, a variable speed compressor is a good idea to at least consider, as reducing the output when demand drops avoids wasting compressed air and should save you money as a result.
Service & Maintenance
Your chosen air compressor needs to fit your maintenance schedule – how often is your air compressor equipment serviced? Do you have an in-house team for this, or outsource it to specialists?
Moving forwards, aim to have your line filter elements checked and serviced at least once per year at a minimum, and change components that are no longer up to standard.
Remember, at a typical 8-10 hours of usage five or more days a week, air compressor equipment is often under very high demand – much higher than, say, a company car or van that might be serviced annually as standard.
Take good care of your air compressor and, whatever unit you choose to buy, you can expect many years of good service out of it, with minimal maintenance and repair work.