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Seven ways to slash compressed air costs

In today’s economy, discovering ways to reduce costs and save energy is always a plus to your bottom line. Here are seven suggestions that can help slash your compressed air costs.

Compressed Air is considered an "industrial utility" today ...and here are 7 great tips to help you get the most out of your compressor for the least cost...

If you are looking for ways to cut your compressed air energy usage and are seven very effective and relatively easy steps you can take to bring more profit to the bottom line.

1.  Find and fix your air leaks
A small leak - no larger than 1/16" can cost an extra $523 a year.* Add a few other small leaks here and there until you have leaks equal to a 1/4" opening...and now that "small leak" can cost you over $8,000 a year.* It is easy to see that what seems like a small leak comes with a very high price tag over time.

*Costs calculated using electricity rate of $0.05 per kilowatt-hour, assuming constant operation and an efficient compressor.

2. Lower your Air Pressure
A small 2 psig change in pressure equals 1% change in horsepower. 
Check to see what CFM your equipment actually needs to run efficiently and then adjust or lower your air pressure to save energy-- yet still provide the CFM required.

3. Use Synthetic Air Compressor Oil and you can reduce AMP draw an average of 8%.
Synthetic Air Compressors Oils have other benefits that can also save you money.  Synthetic lubricants last longer.   This translates into savings of time and money when you significantly reduce the number of oil changes in a year.

4. Turn off your air compressor when it is not in use.

This seems pretty obvious…but not often followed in many cases.  If you run only one or two shifts needing compressed air, then it makes sense to turn off your compressor when not in use.

When your air compressor is not running – you will be saving energy!

5. Eliminate any compressed air flow restriction
Make sure your air line filters are clean.
Make sure your piping is not too small.

Using a Zero Air Loss Drain prevents wasting compressed air.

7. Keep compressor inlet filter clean
If your Compressor cannot suck in air -- then it cannot blow out the air you need. Make sure your inlet filters stay clean.

How to figure the ELECTRICAL ENGERY COST of running your Air Compressor
Here's the formula:

Electrical cost = Total Compressor HP x .746 x hours x Kw cost / motor efficiency

Example: 50 hp air compressor that runs 8 hours a day 5 days a week for a year with a $.06 Kw electric rate and a 90% efficient electric motor.

50 hp x .746 x 2080 hours x $.06 / .90 = $5Psychology Articles,172.27 per year

Look at your electric power bill. Find the Amount due $____ and divide by the total KW shown on the bill. This is your cost per KW.

Note: Motor efficient can be found on the motor data tag.(it should be a %)
Note: Hours = the total time the equipment runs in a year.
Note: Total horse power = main motor + cooling fan motor

Source: Free Articles from


Tommy McGuire, McGuire Air Compressors, Inc.

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