How to Choose Air Compressor for Home Use

how-to-choose-air-compressor-for-home-useNormally, we all learned about air compressor reviews is only used for industrial needs. But, we don’t know much about air compressor used in our households. So, first of all we need to know where we are going to use it (if you know about it, just skip to).

Air compressors are used for the leisure and maintenance at home or in businesses to get work done efficiently and safely. We can use it to get the compressed air for maintenance and cleaning of home.

Why to buy a home air compressor?

A small air compressor can be one of the handiest tools in the workshop, but some care or guidance is necessary when buying one. The rated horsepower, amperage and CFM are all important, along with some other considerations. Air compressors can range from a tiny airbrush compressor to monsters that require a tractor trailer to contain them, and physical size is important to people with limited space.

The primary consideration (aside from cost factors) is the intended use of the compressor. Will it be used to paint with, operate an air nailer, or just fill a few tires or kids toys? Do you expect to run the compressor 20 hours a week or 20 hours per year? Air compressors are typically noisy tools – will it be used in a basement workshop, a garage or separate building? Will the compressor be expected to operate multiple tools at the same time? All valid considerations that should help guide you in buying an air compressor.

Airbrush compressors

Airbrush air compressors are the smallest of the group, designed almost exclusively for use by airbrush artists. Nevertheless there are still basic considerations to be made.

Possibly the first is noise. Nothing is worse than sitting quietly, working with your airbrush on a small detail, when suddenly the compressor blats into operation. As a disturbance to concentration not much could be worse. As a general buying guideline, buy the quietest compressor you can for airbrush work.

Any oil or water that gets into the air supply will ruin the paint job; fish eyes throughout the work are seldom desirable. Buy oil less compressor unless a very large compressor is needed. A water trap is very often necessary to catch the inevitable water produced by all compressors.

Make sure the compressor has at least a small pressure tank to “smooth out” pressure fluctuations. Most small compressors are the piston type, which produced surges of compressed air; a tank will reduce the surging effect of the air compressor considerably. In general, the larger tank is better.

Workshop air compressors

An air compressor for your workshop can range in size from a small “pancake” style that can be carried in one hand to a large, vertically mounted, unit that cannot be moved without considerable difficulty.  In the middle are those units that are fairly large, but are equipped with a handle and wheels for easy transport.  They can be moved around the house or garage without undue difficulty, yet provide enough compressed air for most jobs. The air compressor is listed as a 5 HP compressor, producing nearly 7 CFM at 90 PSI, and is mounted horizontally on a wheeled base with a handle.  It is pictured to the right, and is one of the more useful tools in workshops.

Oil less compressors, as noted above, are a virtual requirement if you wish to use it for any painting.  Oil filled compressors, on the other hand, are generally larger and intended for heavier duty use.  Oil separators are available for these compressors, but a good separator will add considerably to the cost.

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The primary factors, other than oil use, are listed below:

  • HP: This figure can be used only as a guideline, as the method of figuring horsepower has changed in the last decade or so to advertising “peak horsepower” or some other figure that has little to do with the actual usable power.
  • CFM or SCFM: This is the “standard cubic feet per minute” of air that the compressor will produce at the specified pressure.
  • PSI: Pounds per square inch, this is the maximum pressure the air compressor will produce.
  • Storage tank size: A good sized air storage tank is necessary to not only smooth out the pressure variations produced by any compressor, but also to prevent the compressor from constantly starting and stopping.

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