Why are air compressor dryers important?

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Air compressor dryers make sure that any moisture present in your compressed air supply is removed, but you might wonder why air compressor dryers are important at all, when normal humidity levels in the air can be anywhere from 40% to 70% and often higher in industrial settings.

One of the main reasons why air compressor dryers are important is because the air is compressed, which takes a lot of that ambient humidity and forces it into a smaller space.

This can cause water vapour in the air to condense into liquid water – one of the types of air compressor condensate that you need to remove if you want completely clean and dry compressed air output, along with oil condensate in oil-lubricated air compressors.

So that, very briefly, is where liquid moisture and water vapour can come from in your compressed air – but why do you need to install air compressor dryers to remove it?

There are many reasons, depending on what you use your compressed air for. If you use it to spray fluids like paint, for instance, contamination by water can change the chemical composition of the paint, affecting drying time, longevity and quality of finish.

It can increase the risk of rusting or corrosion inside metal equipment, and gradually wash away internal lubricating fluids like oil, which can be hard to replace inside the inner workings of machinery.

Most directly for your compressed air pipeline itself, in extremely cold weather condensate water can freeze and expand inside the pipe, creating a blockage or even a leak that at best will affect your compressor’s efficiency, and at worst will interrupt your air supply completely.

Air compressor dryers solve the problem by removing moisture from the compressed air supply at source, but it’s important to choose one with the right specifications.

Check the operating temperature of your air compressor and the relative humidity in the surrounding air under different weather conditions (and even different seasons, if you have past readings available).

Make sure you choose an air compressor dryer that delivers a ‘dew point’ that will work for you in both summer and winter – this is the temperature at which vapour will condense into liquid water inside your air compressor, and by managing it with an air compressor dryer, you ensure clean, dry compressed air is there when you need it.