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What Size Air Compressor Do I Need for My Facility?

Whether you’re building a new facility or purchasing a new air compressor to replace an old system, selecting the right air compressor equipment for your needs is essential. If you’re wondering, “What size air compressor do I need?” we have the answer. 

What Size Air Compressor Do I Need?

If you invest in an air compressor that’s too small, it’s only a matter of time before it gets burned out. If you choose an air compressor that’s too large, you’ll be paying for the excess power you don’t need. Here are the factors to consider when choosing what size air compressor you need for your facility. 

Air Pressure 

PSI (pounds per square inch) indicates how much air pressure a compressor produces. Most systems can power small- to medium-sized tools, but models with a higher PSI offer more air pressure and volume production, allowing you to serve larger tools. 

As a rule of thumb, we suggest you invest in an air compressor with 20% more PSI than your tools need. This prevents frequent air pressure drops, giving you the best output. 

Air Delivery

CFM (cubic feet per minute) measures the amount of air that an air compressor delivers. Most systems offer CFM ratings between 10 and 110. To give you some context, you can inflate your car’s tires with 10 CFM and operate industrial tools, like a jackhammer, with 50 CFM. 

If you’re running multiple tools simultaneously with your air compressor, be sure that the total CFM doesn’t exceed your system’s delivery rating. 

Tank Size

The dimensions of your air compressor need to be considered because they affect overall air capacity and performance. Small compressed air tanks require frequent maintenance and refills and can’t be run for extended periods of time. Therefore, smaller, portable compressed air tanks are ideal for at-home use and hobbyists. 

On the other hand, construction companies will require a large, high-pressure air compressor system. Some large models have tanks that hold anywhere from 1 gallon to 80 gallons of air. If you’re running an expansive operation, it’s best to stay around 20 gallons. Finding space to store the compressor and maintain proper airflow will be much more challenging if you go bigger.  

Power Supply

There are three main types of compressors, each with its own power supply and preferred applications. 

  • Electric air compressors are small models that use an electric motor for power supply. They’re convenient to use and don’t make much noise so they can be used for an array of jobs. These systems have the lowest power supply, so they’re best used at home.
  • Gasoline-powered compressors are a good alternative if you’re working on a site that doesn’t have access to a power grid. They’re most commonly used for industrial applications and operating multiple power tools at the same time. It’s important to note that their exhaust requires proper ventilation and is much louder than electric systems.
  • Hydraulic air compressors derive power from hydraulics on a vehicle or other equipment. While this isn’t the most convenient option, teams using robust hydraulic systems with their equipment will benefit from these air compressors.

High-Quality Air Compressors From TMI

If you need a new air compressor system, TMI Air Compressors has got you covered. We supply, install, and service air compressors and equipment from the best brands on the market. Plus, we offer AIRMATICS™, which is a remote air compressor monitoring system, so you can always be sure you’re getting the most out of your investment. Contact us today to learn more!