Air Compressor Reviews

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There are three main air compressors in the marketplace, and they should be selected to match their intended purpose. Considerations may include portability versus stationary units, acquisition cost, operating expense, maintenance outlay, and features. This air compressor review provides information to help in the decision making process

Types of air compressors

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Reciprocating air compressors: Reciprocating compressors range from 1 horsepower to 600 horsepower (hp). Some can be moved by one or two people. The most common price range for new or used compressors that are widely used in various applications is around $2,100 to $3,200.

Rotary screw compressors: Rotary Screw compressors have a lower initial cost. The downside is the need for frequent maintenance. They generally fall into the 30 hp to 350 hp range. New and used units command $3,100 to $4,300 for a lower hp unit; medium sized compressors run $12,000 to $16,000, and high-end rotary compressors can cost $20,000 and up.

Centrifugal air compressors: The centrifugal air compressors reviewed are different from the reciprocating and rotary screw compressors. The first two essentially squeeze air to increase pressure, forcing a given amount of air into a smaller volume. Centrifugal compressors raise pressure by increasing air velocity instead. A 900 hp reconditioned centrifugal unit prices at about $22,000. A used 1750 hp unit runs about $40,000.

Centrifugal compressors do not require oil in the air path. Separation of lubricants provides the benefit of not having to separate oil later in the process. This is the preferred unit for any application that requires uncontaminated air, such as food processing or medical applications.

Centrifugal units outlast rotary and reciprocating compressors when it comes to operating continuously for lengthy periods without having to stop to perform maintenance. They have fewer moving parts and run quieter and smoother than the others. Foundations and pipe supports are also less expensive due to their low vibration threshold.

When reviewing industrial air compressors, you’ll find that centrifugal compressors offer many benefits and cost savings in the long run – but the technology involved only works well at large scales, so the initial investment can be substantial.

Buyer considerations

It’s important to evaluate your specific application to establish the compressor type you should use. The main considerations to compute are acquisition cost, project power consumption, installation charge, and pro forma maintenance outlay – and you should consider these costs over a 10 year period.

When you consider an oil inundated type, you have to estimate the filtration costs and the expense of the oil removal system. Reciprocating compressors generally cost less than rotary screw compressors, but rotary screw units are a better choice if you need continuous air pressure for your application.

To find the best air compressor for the job make sure that you make the distinction between a personal, commercial, or industrial air compressor.

Should you buy new or used? If, after considering this air compressor review, you decide that the equipment is vital to your business, you should not skip the warranty and service contract that a new purchase from a dealership or manufacturer will include.

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