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Saturday, May 23, 2009

About Oil Less Air Compressors

Portable air compressors vary by size and power level, and there are a few different models available from which to choose depending on the tools you will use. Be sure to check the power requirements of your tools to ensure that you purchase a model that has sufficient power to run your strongest tool. Regardless of the compressor you purchase, it is always very important to follow the safety precautions including safety goggles, protective clothing and proper footwear.

Portable rotary screw compressors are one of the more commonly used compressors. They range from 65 to 1,600 cubic feet per minute, with pressure ratings ranging from 100 to 350 PSI. As discussed above, the compressor you need depends on your tools and the required power level. Contractors often use 185 CFM because they are able to power two tools simultaneously. One benefit to this compressor is its suitability for both the lighter and heavy duty jobs.

The truck mounted compressor is an oil less air compressor and can be mounted in the bed or under the hood of a truck. These compressors are excellent space savers, a great advantage for those with limited space available. Their power source is from the engine of the truck which allows them to be a low-maintenance compressor. However, one disadvantage is that the truck must be running to provide the compressor the power it needs.

Finally, the deck mounted compressor is mounted in the bed of the truck but can be removed and left at the job site. This compressor does not rely on the truck for power since it has its own engine. However, it does require fuel to power the engine, unlike the truck mounted compressor which runs from the truck. The engine also requires regular maintenance.

As you see, the power source of compressors varies with some powered electronically and others requiring fuel. With either type, though, the air is stored in the holding tank and the tools are to be attached with a hose. A valve regulates the pressure which is measured by a gauge.

Quincy and Husky are two of the major brands of compressors. Quincy’s rotary screw compressors are very durable, reliable and quiet with its power level varying from 10 to 350 horsepower. Quincy’s available air compressors range in size from the smaller tank models to the larger, stationary styles.

Husky’s line of small air compressors are generally made for home and personal use. The 1.75 gallon tank compressor has 135 PSI power has an oil free pump for easy maintenance and is easy to transport with its telescope handle. This model of Husky compressors is good for running tools such as nailing guns, for example, and is also useful for insulation purposes. Husky’s four gallon model has 125 PSI power and is a good choice for running small tools, spraying and even inflating tires and other recreational items. The four gallon model is a compressor for homeowners.

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Compressed Air Leaking? Is It The Valve Or Is It The Cylinder?

Reducing air leaks in your plant can save thousands of dollars annually. Compressed air is one of the most costly forms of energy you can use in your plant, of course, it's one of the most versatile, fast and strong too.

When it's "quiet time" in the plant, wander around the machinery and listen. You will often hear the gentle (or perhaps not so gentle) hissing of air escaping from the exhaust port of your air valves.

The sound of compressed air "chewing up your dollars" as it wafts to atmosphere can be muted if your air valves have mufflers in the exhaust ports, but nevertheless, it can be heard.

Also, there are commercially available ultra-sonic compressed air leak detectors on the market. If your plant doesn't have a "quiet time", which would enable you to actually hear the leaks yourself, investing in an ultrasonic leak detector can bring substantial payback in energy savings.

Usually you'll have one air valve connected to one air cylinder. Usually that cylinder will be double acting - which means that it will have two air lines running to it, and as the air valve shifts back and forth, air will alternatively flow to the cylinder through one line or the other. When it's flowing into one line to the cylinder, the other line is allowing the air at the other end of the cylinder to flow through the valve to exhaust.

While an air valve and cylinder are doing work of course there will be air being exhausted continuously from the air valve exhaust ports.

It's when the machine is down, when it's doing no useful - and hopefully money generating work for you - that air should not be escaping through the valve exhaust ports. At this point that loss of compressed air is just that; loss - of profits - of money.

Inside, the two ends of the cylinder are separated by a piston. The piston is what drives the rod out and back as the cylinder cycles.

Around that piston will be an air seal that "crunches" between the side of the piston and the inside of the cylinder barrel, effectively stopping air from flowing by (bypassing) the piston.

In time that seal will wear, and air will start bypassing into the other side. This means that this air now has an open path from the supply side down the other air line to the valve, and thence to the exhaust port. And a gentle (or not so gentle) hiss occurs as your compressed air dollars exhaust to atmosphere.

Or....inside your air valve there is, too, a series of seals that normally prevent air from getting from the air supply side into the exhaust side of the valve, and then out the exhaust port. And that air, as it gently (or not so....etc. ) is pouring your compressed air dollars from the plant air supply.

So, which is it that's leaking; the seal around the piston in the cylinder, or the seal inside the valve that stops the incoming air from getting across to the exhaust port without going up to the cylinder?

Have a look at the cylinder. If the rod is out, air will be entering the air port at the rear of the cylinder. If the cylinder is in - retracted, the air will be coming into the cylinder at the rod end.

Take the air line that is charged, that is, the air line that is supplying air to the cylinder, and crimp it. Many air lines are made of polyethylene or polypropylene, and it's quite easy to make a bit of a bend in the air line, effectively shutting off air to the cylinder.

Listen at the valve. If the air has stopped escaping the valve's exhaust port, then it's the seal in the cylinder that's at fault.

If, after ensuring that the air to the cylinder is completely stopped, air continues to exhaust from the exhaust port of the valve, then it's the seal inside the air valve that's at fault.

Regardless of which is the culprit, the air valve or the cylinder, get it! Compressed air costs a bundle. You don't want to waste it.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

How Air Duct Cleaning Improves Air Quality

Air duct cleaning is the term commonly applied to the work performed by professional HVAC cleaning contractors. It’s a service that is necessary in order to provide clean air throughout commercial buildings and homes.

In business environments air duct cleaning is an important way to insure the comfort of employees for better work performance. It is important to clean air ducts occasionally to insure the safety and security of employees in the work place. Especially in cases where there is a need to remove harmful fumes.

Many believe air duct cleaning is as important as having clean running water. Buildings that don't have proper working air ducts tend to be very muggy and seem very damp. Air duct cleaning is one task that when performed, can help keep the indoor air safe and clean for residents to breathe.

Home owners are beginning to realize air duct cleaning is an important part of home maintenance and is essential to keeping their indoor air healthy.

Home owners should be aware that the air duct cleaning industry is not a federally regulated industry so it is very easy for people to get into business using substandard equipment, and inexperienced laborers and/or subcontractors. Most state and local authorities place no requirements on licensing or certifications.

Air duct cleaning can prevent health issues that relate to air quality and is becoming one of the ways people with health issues work to improve their overall indoor air quality and quality of life. Many people simply feel a proper air duct cleaning is well worth it, and a part of normal household maintenance.

If ducts are clogged with excessive amounts of dust and debris these pollutants are actually released into the home and of course breathed by the occupants.

You should consider having the air ducts in your home cleaned if there is substantial visible mold growth inside hard surfaces. If you have insulated air ducts and the insulation gets wet or moldy it cannot be effectively cleaned and should be removed and replaced.

If you do decide to have your air ducts cleaned, take the same consumer precautions you normally would in assessing the service provider's competence and reliability.

Do you know what's in the air you breathe? Improve your health and increase the efficiency of your heating and cooling system by having a whole house air duct cleaning.

Friday, May 8, 2009

How to Buy a Refrigerated Compressed Air Dryer

Many customers are often confused as to which kind of dryer for compressed air would work well for them. While some people prefer high-end brands, others may want to opt for more cost-effective solutions. No matter what your prerogative maybe you should consider the following aspects before purchasing any air dryer system.

Reputation of the brand

First and foremost, no matter which kind of dryer mechanism you are looking for, make sure the manufacturer enjoys a good reputation in the market. You may end up purchasing a lower end model at a cheaper rate but the downside to this is that your maintenance and repair costs may go up in the long term. Always select a brand, which is well versed with the compressed gas treatment domain. Most manufacturers of compressed air dryer mechanisms should enjoy a good level of customer service not just before the sale but also post sales as that is when it counts the most.

Feature sets

Once you have zeroed in on a particular brand, you want to explore the feature sets available in their range of air dryer mechanisms. Always opt for the latest heat transfer technology enabled systems as they deliver the best performance in the long-term. Make sure the dew point is as low as is possible and that it keeps all of the pneumatic equipment in top class condition. Look for a model, which offers maximum air drying capability. Only such a feature will help you maximize savings in terms of energy expenditures. Even if the compressed air dryer were to dry around 1000 SCFM you can expect a savings of at least 1000 USD each year, which is no small amount! Compared to a non-cyclic dryer, such models offer good cost-effectiveness. The proper cleansing of the compressed air is also crucial especially if you or any member of the family suffers from dust allergies. Always ask the retailer or the manufacturer if there are any special provisions to remove air-borne ingredients such as pollen etc. as these can trigger an asthma or respiratory attack.


Price is almost always a major driver when considering to purchase an air drying system. However, it is also important not to go by merely price alone. You should also weigh the overall cost savings in the long term in comparison with the initial costs while purchasing the system. Most often, the more reputed the manufacturer is, the higher will be the cost of the dryer but at the same time efficiency and drying ability is much more, accounting for a large amount of electricity cost savings.

Not sure which kind of compressed air dryer you need to buy? Select from our vast array of superior, state of the art dryers manufactured by some of the best brands in the market today. In addition, our sales personnel are subject matter experts in the realm of the air dryer segment and can assist you with any query or concern you may have. So come visit us at Van Air Systems today!

Compressed Air Filters

Compressed air filters are widely used in the industrial arena. They are used to remove water, oil, oil vapor, dirt and other contamination from a compressed air supply. Compressed air filters are used to control and cool various forms of industrial instruments. A pneumatically operated machine suffers serious effects caused by dirt particles, oil carryover and moisture. In most of the applications, contamination of the air supply could lead to serious performance degradation and most likely will increase the maintenance cost in terms of repairs. The result of this is that productive time is lost. The only way to cut down the costs and increase the performance is to properly maintain compressed air filters.

There are different types of compressed air filters. All of them are built in a way to remove the oil and other contamination from the air supply. Some have special features that make them more effective in specific applications. Coalescing oil removal filters are able to remove oil at the sub-micron level. General compressed air filters remove liquid and solid contaminations of various micron sizes. Adsorbent, oil vapor, removal filters are designed to maintain a very pure inflow. They use adsorbent materials such as charcoal as a filter media to reduce vapor less than 1ppm. These devices are used in conjunction with other instrumentation. Multi staged compressed air filters are also frequently used. A 10 m micron filter blocks any particle or droplet 10 microns and above in diameter. You'll find an extensive line of air filtration products on the Internet that will probably fit your needs. Just do a search for compressed air filters.

Air Filters provides detailed information on Air Filters, Home Air Filters, Car Air Filters, Electronic Air Filters and more. Air Filters is affiliated with Portable Air Compressors.

How to Tell When Your Compressor Needs an Air Dryer

Ask a Question:

Can water or moisture be damaging my compressed air system?


Absolutely! Water corrodes pipes, valves, machinery controls. None of this is good. When controls malfunction, production can stop or product can be impaired and all this costs you time and money.

Water in Aerosol or Vapor form is more difficult to remove and requires the use of a Compressed Air Dryer.

Ask a Question:

How does water or moisture get into my compressed air?


Through your Compressor inlet.

Water vapor (humidity-moisture) enters the air system through the air compressor inlet air filter. The air compressor sucks in approximately 7 cubic feet of atmospheric air at 0 psig, and that volume of air is compressed into 1 cubic feet of air at 100 psig. The water vapor (humidity-moisture) that was in the 7 cubic feet of atmospheric air is now compressed into 1 cubic feet of compressed air.

There are 3 forms of water in compressed air:

-Liquid water
-Aerosol (mist)
-Vapor (gas)

Any of these forms of moisture can create problems down the road in equipment or may create serious problems in your process or end product today.

Ask a Question:

How to tell if you need a Refrigerated Air Dryer?


If you are experiencing the following problems...then you may need a Refrigerated Compressed Air Dryer:

-Liquid water is in your air lines and hoses
-Water vapor sprays out of your tool exhaust
-Pipe lines corrode and rust
-Paint Sprayer has water spots in the paint
-Your Equipment Manufacturer specifies "DRY AIR"

Ask a Question:

What can help remove moisture from my Compressed Air System?


Refrigerated Air Dryers can be one of the best solutions to removing water and moisture from your Compressed Air System.

Ask a Question:

How does a Refrigerated Air Dryer Work?


• The refrigerated air dryer cools the incoming compressed air first in an air-to-air heat exchanger where the outgoing cool dry air pre-cools the hot incoming air and condenses some moisture out.

• Then the incoming air enters an air-to-refrigerant heat exchanger where the air is cooled to 38ยบ F by the liquid refrigerant. This process causes the moisture to condense into liquid water and it is drained away. The out going air then enters the air-to-air heat exchanger and is warmed up to keep the outside of pipes from sweating.

• The refrigeration compressor pumps hot hi-pressure gas refrigerant (Freon) into the condenser which transfers the heat from the refrigerant gas to the ambient air as the gas condenses into a liquid.

• The liquid refrigerant (Freon) is then metered to a cold low pressure where it enters the air-to-refrigerant heat exchanger and the heat from the hot compressed air is adsorbed into the cold refrigerant (Freon). The refrigeration compressor then sucks low pressure hot gas refrigerant (Freon) into the refrigeration compressor and the cycle starts over again.

BOTTOM LINE: If you are experiencing unwanted moisture and water in your Compressed Air System, then seriously consider the addition of a Refrigerated Air Dryer. After all - what is the best way to spend your money --on constant maintenance, failed equipment and ruined end products or by investing in a properly sized compressed air dryer?

Experience proves it! Remove Water and Moisture to improve Compressed Air Quality & Efficiency!

  • Increase Production - less down time due to moisture related equipment problems
  • Reduce loss due to inferior products ruined by moisture in lines
  • Bring more profit to your bottom line

Learn More about Refrigerated Air Dryers

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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Compressed Air Dryers and Refrigerated Air Dryers

Compressed air dryers are being used in different industries. They are needed to ensure that the operations of machines are performing perfectly. However, there are so many of them in the market right now that coming up with the most ideal choice will always be very hard.

Nevertheless, there are the ones that stand out. When you want to buy compressed air dryers or refrigerated air dryers, you may want to choose any of the following:

Cycling Refrigerated Air Dryers. If you are looking for a device that will allow you to save as much as a thousand dollars for every piece of equipment that you buy per year, then the best option will be the cycling refrigerated air dryer. This one is able to maintain its dew point, even if it is performing below its design capacity. Since the total cost of energy will be dependent on the amount of air that is dried, you know that you are able to maximize on the performance and thus are able to save with these compressed air dryers.

High Inlet Temperature Dryer. There are also refrigerated air dryers that can perform a lot of functions. This way, you do not need to buy any more equipment. As its name suggests, the high inlet temperature dryer is able to not only function even when the temperature is already high, but it can also clean compressed air. You can also depend on it if you like dry compressed air. Simply put, everything you are searching for an air treatment system can be found in here.

Non-cycling Refrigerated Dryer. Do you have pneumatic machines with you? Then you may want to take your chances with non-cycling refrigerated air dryer. This one allows effective heat transfer so that the machine will function at its best. It can also maintain a constant dew point, between 35 and 38 degrees Fahrenheit. Like other kinds of compressed air dryers, this allows minimum operation costs.

Desiccant Dryers. Other kinds of air dryers are the desiccant dryers, which can reduce the dew point of your compressed air. They are able to accomplish this through water absorption. There are different types of desiccant air dryers that you can choose from. You have single-tower, twin towers, and regenerative desiccant dryers. Usually, people go for the twin towers since the first tower can dry the inlet air while the other regenerates the desiccant.

How to Buy Compressed Air Dryers

There are a number of things that you need to think of when you are thinking of buying compressed air dryers. For one, you have to determine how much air supply you need. You have to ensure the air dryer will not allow moisture to seep in to the air lines of your machine, leaving it as dry as possible. You also have to know the temperature of the area where you are going to use it. You may have to conduct a survey to be able to get an idea of the pressure dew point.

Van Air Systems has been the leading manufacturer and distributor of compressed air dryers and refrigerated air dryers. They are known not only for their efficient performance but also for their durability and easy installation. What's more, they permit maximum use of energy to make sure that you can reduce the energy costs.

Tips to Reduce Compressed Air System Pressure Drops

Ask a Question:

What causes pressure drops in my compressed air system and how can I reduce them?


Pressure drop can become a compressed air system problem that steals production time and money.

What causes pressure drops? Any type of obstruction, restriction, or roughness in the system will cause resistance to air flow and cause pressure drop.

In the distribution system, the highest pressure drops usually are found at the points-of-use, including undersized or leaking hoses, tubes, disconnects, filters, regulators and lubricators (FRLs).

On the supply side of the system, air/lubricant separators, aftercoolers, moisture separators, dryers and filters can be the main items causing significant pressure drops. The maximum pressure drop from the supply side to the points-of-use will occur when the compressed air flow rate and temperature are highest.

Your Compressed Air System components should be selected based upon these conditions and the manufacturer of each component should be requested to supply pressure drop information under these conditions.

When selecting filters, remember that they will get dirty. Dirt loading characteristics are also important selection criteria. Large end users who purchase substantial quantities of components should work with their suppliers to ensure that products meet the desired specifications for differential pressure and other characteristics.

The distribution piping system often is diagnosed as having excess pressure drop because a point-of-use pressure regulator cannot sustain the required downstream pressure. If such a regulator is set at 85 psig and the regulator and/or the upstream filter has a pressure drop of 20 psi, the system upstream of the filter and regulator would have to maintain at least 105 psig. The 20 psi pressure drop may be blamed on the system piping rather than on the components at fault. The correct diagnosis requires pressure measurements at different points in the system to identify the component(s) causing the excess pressure drop. In this case, the filter element should be replaced or the filter regulator size needs to be increased, not the piping.

Tips to Reduce Pressure Drop:

• Properly design the distribution system.

Minimizing pressure drop requires a "systems approach" in design and maintenance of the system.

Air treatment components, such as aftercoolers, moisture separators, dryers, and filters, should be selected with the lowest possible pressure drop at specified maximum operating conditions.

When installed, the recommended maintenance procedures should be followed and documented.

• Reduce the effective distance of the flow for air to travel through the system.

-Just like water in a garden hose --the longer the hose, the less water pressure at the end. It works the same with air.

-The pressure loss between the compressor and the end user tool comes from friction in the pipe. The smaller the pipe, the greater the friction, and the longer the pipe, the greater the friction.

If you have both of these issues in the same may have substantial pressure drops.

Reduce the friction and restrictions.

-Pressure loss is caused by the friction of the air mass flowing on the side walls of the pipe or hose.

The larger the pipe, the more air it will carry in the center, not causing friction loss on the inside walls.

-A smooth inner lining of the pipe or hose will cause less pressure drop.

-A rough inner lining of the pipe or hose will cause more pressure drop. Pipe corrosion can cause friction and pressure loss.

-Couplings, fittings and valves increase the pressure drop.

-Make sure you have the most efficient system layout possible. You may need to relocate some equipment or re-pipe, but if you are suffering from excessive pressure drops, then the benefit may outweigh the cost.

• Reduce the velocity, or flow rate, of air through the system.

-For a given pipe or hose size and length, the pressure loss increases as the volume of air flow increases.

-Reducing and controlling the system pressure downstream of the primary receiver can result in a 10% or more reduction in energy consumption...even though the compressors discharge pressure had not been changed. Reducing your system pressure can help improve system performance, reducing leakage rates, and helping reduce stress on operating equipment. Note that a reduced system operating pressure may require modifications to other components, such as pressure regulators, filters, and the size and location of compressed air storage.

• Be sure to consider the effects of all your compressed air system's components on pressure.

-Operate and maintain air filtering and drying equipment to reduce the effects of moisture, such as pipe corrosion.

-Select aftercoolers, separators, dryers and filters having the lowest possible pressure drop for the rated conditions. It's important to check if manufacturers are including pressure drops in filters, pressure regulators, and hoses in their pressure requirements for end-use equipment, or if those pressure requirements given are for after those components. The typical pressure differential for a filter, pressure regulator, and hose is 7 psid, but it might be higher if the system is poorly maintained or designed.

-Specify pressure regulators, lubricators, hoses, and connections having the best performance characteristics at the lowest pressure differential. These components must be sized based upon the actual rate of flow and not the average rate of flow.

*SOURCES: "Improving Compressed Air System Performance: A Sourcebook for Industry" - a cooperative effort of the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Best Practices and the Compressed Air Challenge®; "Energy Savings in Compressed Air" by Hank Van Ormer.

Tommy McGuire

McGuire Air Compressors, Inc.

"Real People with Real Air Compressor Experience"

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