Air Compressors

Air Compressors

Commercial Air Compressors

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Buying an air compressor for a business is different than buying one for home use, particularly if your business requires constant operation from the compressor. Commercial air compressors are often marketed differently by the manufacturers, and although they may have similar functionality and even cost, there are a few important differences to consider.

Performance distinctions

Since you need more open space and must generate more power with commercial air compressors, most of this equipment has greater pounds per square inch (PSI), cubic feet per minute (CFM), and horsepower (HP) than models intended for home use. For example, a standard compressor used around the house may have a maximum CFM of 6 at 90 PSI, while a commercial model may provide upwards of 250 to 600 PSI and horsepower output that commonly ranges from 800 to 1,100 in bigger models.

Additionally, they will have higher voltage and amperage to sustain commercial applications, and will often be noisy - though many units are now designed to minimize the noise as much as possible. The higher decibels are related to the complication of the machinery, and unless you require quiet or nearly silent operation, a decibel level of 90 or more might not be far-fetched.

Types of commercial air compressors

Dozens of different industries use commercial air compressors for daily activity - from construction, manufacturing, and oil drilling to health care facilities and law offices - with leading brands like Ingersoll Rand, Campbell Hausfeld, and Quincy producing highly competitive models. The type of compressor you choose depends on the power you need and the precise atmosphere in which the compressor is used

For example, some industries require a completely dry atmosphere where all moisture generated by the compressor must be dried immediately, and condensation is limited by the type of compressor chosen. Industry-specific options include:

In addition to the diversity found in the units themselves, operational features for commercial air compressors are becoming much more sophisticated. Large display monitors that observe every aspect of operation, for example, are standard on most high-quality commercial models.

You'll also find gauges, magnetic starters, and other handy upgrades that can improve the productivity and accuracy of your operation.

Size vs. cost

You probably wouldn't want to lug a 500-lb compressor around your garage at home, but 500 lbs isn't particularly heavy when compared to most commercial air compressors. Size is one of the most obvious factors when deciding between the commercial and home use. You'll need to carefully consider the space you're able to allocate for a compressor.

Some businesses have entire rooms in their warehouses or plants that are reserved for air compression, while others might not need such big equipment. Whatever the case, modern technology is slowly reducing the average size of compressors, but make sure this is factored into your decision.

The price you pay will be dictated by the size, output, and complexity of the machine. Basic models with an output of around 10 HP can be found for $700 to $2,400. Larger models geared toward high-end production start in the neighborhood of $4,100 and will exceed $20,000 for oil-free and centrifugal models.

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