Air compressors are an incredible tool. They can generate an immense amount of power with just a small input of electricity or gas. Industries have been using these machines for decades and they make regular appearances in construction, medical and even catering businesses.
But have you ever considered how valuable an air compressor can be in your own home? Whether you are a DIY fanatic or just want to make a few home upgrades, air compressors can be an excellent investment for your next projects.
So what can they be used for? How do you choose a green air compressor and how can we ensure energy reduction with these machines? Let’s start with a list of just a few of the many uses for an air compressor.
The most popular use for air compressors is for pneumatic tools such as a nail gun. Pneumatic tools can provide effortless fitting, from putting up a new garden fence to upholstering furniture. Both time and effort are considerably reduced.
Purify the Pool
If you’re lucky enough to have a pool but live in a less than ideal climate, you will know the struggle of getting it ready for the summer.
Over the colder months, mud, debris and all other forms of organic material gather in our pools and can be a nightmare to clean. You can use an air compressor to blast this grime away in minutes, without the use of chemicals that can impact our environment and affect the ph balance of the water.
This One is Nuts
Do you dabble in home mechanics? Then you’ll know the extreme strength it can take to remove lug nuts from your car. You can put yourself and your car at risk when using a cheater bar and socket. Save your back and your wheels by using an air-powered impact gun instead.
Grappling with Grills
If you are BBQ aficionado but struggle with the timing of your coals, an air compressor can save you a lot of hassle. By trimming the pressure regulator on your grill and blasting air from the bottom, you can create an instant stoke. Your guests won’t be left starving waiting for your grill to get to the right temperature.
It is becoming increasingly popular to transform unloved items into something new. Sanding and painting items can be labour-intensive and is a common reason why some people avoid this task. Using power-assisted sanders and spray painters minimizes efforts while achieving a professional finish. This isn’t limited to furniture either. Transform any tired hand-me-down into a unique gift without getting too tired yourself.
Have you got a particularly difficult item or area to dust? Blast it with some compressed air and you instantly have an immaculate piece. This can do wonders on intricate chandeliers, ornaments and hard to reach places, such as the top of the wardrobe.
Choosing a Green Air Compressor
It is imperative to consider the carbon footprint of these machines before buying. There are numerous ways to ensure you are being as green as possible with your purchase.
Firstly, consider the lubrication of your air compressor. All compressors require lubrication to safely and efficiently draw air and this is often achieved with oil. You can avoid using these fossil fuels by investing in an oil-free air compressor. These use a non-stick coating, such as Teflon, to gain lubrication. As these have fewer elements, they are usually more compact and require less maintenance, making them ideal for home use.
The next point to contemplate is getting a variable speed compressor, also known as a VSD (Variable Speed Drive) or VFD (Variable Frequency Drive). These are the most energy-efficient models. Their counterparts, fixed speed compressors, send a continuous stream of power to the motor. A VSD alters its power in relation to the demand for air. This means there is no energy wastage.
If you already have a fixed speed compressor, it’s possible to have it converted to a VSD, thus eliminating the purchase of a new machine and saving cash and resources.
Your initial purchase determines how green you can be but so does your ongoing maintenance. If an air compressor is not correctly looked after, there can be a huge loss of air and therefore a huge amount of wasted energy. It is estimated that 20-40% of compressed air is lost due to undetected leaks. You can prevent this with regular checks.