Air Compressors

Air Compressors

As technology increases, business owners and managers are turning to equipment that requires less maintenance and increases productivity. One example of this is the rising demand for oil-less air compressors, which are available in a wide variety of models.

Oil-free air compressors use an impeller, which is a simple rotating disc, that forces gas through the machine, after which a diffuser creates gas pressure. No oil lubricants are required for operation, and these compressors are considered more reliable, which means that they can be used in industries in which continuous pressurized gas is required. They're also essential in applications where completely clean air is required.

Benefits of oilless air compressors

One of the main complaints that business owners have about air compressors to begin with is the high maintenance costs. The large number of moving parts means a high risk of the machine breaking down, resulting in lost productivity and potentially exorbitant repair bills. When using the oil-free models, however, you cut the moving parts nearly in half, resulting in less maintenance.

The oilless design also means that the gas that's released through the machine is not contaminated with microscopic oil particles that can contaminate valuable equipment. Paint and glue, for example, can be damaged and weakened by these particles. And air output from compressors used in food or medical industries must be 100% free of oil to ensure the safety of the final product.

In some cases, although these compressors are more costly than other types, they are generally more energy-efficient, equating to reduced costs over time. They also have a higher airflow velocity, increasing production for your business and subsequently increasing profit potential.


Of course, oil-free air compressors are not perfect for every type of business. They have a few drawbacks that should be continued before you switch over. For example, these compressors are designed for continuous use, and can surge if they are throttled below minimum velocity, resulting in necessary maintenance. This can be avoided if you require continuous effort from the machine, but it isn't recommended for businesses that use compressed air sporadically.

Additionally, these compressors are larger than other types, which means you'll need to reserve more space in your business for their storage. This isn't a problem if you operate a large facility where you can allocate a significant amount of space for all types of machinery, but might be a problem for smaller enterprises.

Comparing your options against total cost of ownership

When deciding whether or not to go with an oil-less air compressor, talk to other business owners in your industry. This is often the best way to gauge the effectiveness of machinery, and may save you thousands of dollars down the road. Alternatively, if you have multiple compressors in your operations, you might try using just one oil-free compressor so you can compare efficiency.

Within the ground-floor tier, expect to pay $200 to $400 for a 10 to 20-gallon model manufactured by leading brands - offering around 2 hp of output. Moving up the ladder, you'll find 60-gallon models with an output of 3 to 10 hp for $3,000 to $10,000. And as you near the peak, industrial-grade models featuring triple head, 30 hp output (and above) and either electric-powered or powered by a 30 gallon tank will run between $8,100 and $22,000+.

Total cost of ownership is a major factor when it comes to air compressors. Routine maintenance, that fixes leaks and lowers air pressure, power costs, and the machine itself are estimated to account for 85% of ownership, with the initial cost of the machine only representing about 15% of the total cost within a 7-year period. With that in mind, the total cost of compressed air is said to be about 2 cents per 100 CFM (cubic feet per minute).

The best compressor dealers should be able to talk you through this decision, helping you decide if oil-free is the right choice for your situation. BuyerZone can help you find qualified air compressor dealers in your area. Fill out a quote request and receive customized price quotes from multiple suppliers in your area.

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