The utility of air compressors is so versatile and prevalent that it can hardly be portrayed by a few words. There are a lot of sectors of our daily lives that involve direct applications of air compressors.
Some of you might be thinking about why you don’t see any air compressor uses around you every day. It’s because they’re mostly hidden, installed inside various machinery around you.
This component isn’t just actively involved in our lives, but passively as well. Countless services that we need pretty often, somehow require an air compressor to function.
It also has a copious number of industrial usages as well. Many products we use regularly have something to do with air compressors in their manufacturing processes.
Although the application range of air compressors is beyond comprehension, in this article I tried my best to include all the essential ones.
I have differentiated the utilizations between indoor and outdoor sections to help you comprehend better. Let’s dive right in.
Indoor/ Home Applications
All the uses mentioned here will be focused on indoor applications. Some of these might surprise you, especially the unconventional ones.
Conventional Applications at Home
It’s very likely you have gone through plenty of these applications without knowing that the mechanism behind these needed an air compressor. Let’s see.
1. Inflating Things
This is probably the most apparent application of a compressor. If you own a car or a bike, you’ve most likely used an air compressor pump to inflate its flat tires.
These sorts of pumps are a very simple but efficient implementation of the principle of a compressor. Besides inflating tires, you can use it for pumping party balloons and pool accessories too.
2. Spray Painting
Airbrushes and spray cans used in painting depend on air compressors to get the job done. There are a variety of airbrushes with different mechanisms available in the market.
Some of them are good for precise and delicate works while others are apt for quickly covering a good amount of area. You can use them for painting over your vehicles or dying your walls.
They’re also very suitable for different types of arts and crafts. Just make sure to get the one that’s fitting for your need.
3. Home and Yard Cleaning
Are you familiar with a pressure washer? Many of you might have it in your house. These are very effective at cleaning floors, patios, garage floors, and even the pavements in front of your house.
They mainly clean the surface with the force of sprayed water. And they manage to shoot the water using the pressure supplied from the air compressor installed inside.
Using the cleaner, you can also effectively clean mud or dust from your vehicle’s body. As the force of sprayed water is vigorous, you often won’t need to use any extra cleaning chemicals for proper cleaning.
Aside from pressure washers there are simple cleaners that utilize air pressure force to clean dust, spider nets, and similar light, dusty things.
These pressure cleaners are also very effective for sweeping dry leaves and debris away from your yard and pavement.
Moreover, using air pressure cleaners, you can clean your home pretty quickly and effectively. Tight spaces where it’s hard to reach normally can easily become dust free with their help.
They’re also fitting for cleaning electrical components that shouldn’t be washed using water.
4. Crafts Like Woodworking
Many people have a penchant for casual woodworking while many people are pretty serious about it. Both of them can use an air compressor to make their work easier and neater.
Air compressors have a diverse range of applications in the field of woodworking and carpentry.
Firstly, air compressor cleaners are used for keeping the workstation neat and dust-free. This procedure is actually essential for any sort of craft as a dusty workstation can pollute the products and scathe their quality gravely.
Various pneumatic tools like nail guns, and drivers require air compressors to function. Processes like polishing, nailing, carving convoluted design patterns, removing rusts and anomalies, etc. require using of these tools. That’s why these tools are often indispensable for woodworking.
An essential aspect of woodworking is sanding. Sanding is done to smoothen the products and provide them with a shinier finish.
But the process generates a huge amount of wood dust which needs immediate cleaning and air compressor cleaners can effectively help you with that.
Unconventional Applications at Home
Mainstream things are boring, wouldn’t you agree? That’s why I got some unconventional home applications of air compressors to spice things up.
Trying any of these clever hacks, when necessary, will surely help you with your tough situation. Let’s dive in.
5. Fun Inflatables
Got an airless football or basketball?
No worries as you can easily inflate them to full using the same pump you normally use to inflate your bike tires. Inflatable mattresses, tents, and playhouses are also some of the examples where it’ll come in handy.
6. The Firemaker
Having a BBQ party in your backyard with friends and family is surely fun. But if you’re in charge of the fire in the charcoal grill, it might not be as fun for you as the others.
It’s because starting the fire isn’t always easy. Often it can pose various issues. Like the coal taking a lifetime to get hot, the lighter fluid doesn’t seem to be working and there’s always the suffocating smoke.
But with the help of an air compressor, you can ace this process like a champ. Find the right spot to stoke the fire with bursts of air and it’ll work like magic. The coals will heat up a lot faster and it will take a very stingy amount of fluid.
Make sure the shots of air are milder due to safety concerns. Also, try not to overdo it. Remove the compressor as soon as the charcoals get enough hot.
7. The Snowmaker
Parties in early winter aren’t as much fun if the snow is late. No worries, as air compressors are here to the rescue. With some professional tweaks and twists, the air compressor in your home can turn into a DIY snowmaker.
There are also readymade compressor-based snowmakers available in the market which are pretty reliable as well.
Paintball is an exhilarating game enjoyed by many. The gun used in a paintball fight can shoot with a decent amount of power. This power comes from built-in air compressors inside the gun.
Many people experiment with small air compressors like bicycle pumps to make their own paintball guns at home. While it can be achieved, it just involves the risk of fracture due to over-pressure.
So, make sure you maintain the safety concerns and calibrate the required air pressure if you decide to go for such experiments.
Outdoor/ Business Applications
From small time businesses to large industries, applications of air compressors are plenty. And the demand is continuously ameliorating day by day. Here are some large-scale outdoor applications of air compressors.
Uses in the Field of Agriculture
Modern farming tools are dependent on compressed air. Here are some applications of air compressors in the agricultural field.
9. Moving Conveyor Belts
Among many diverse farming applications, moving conveyor belts in order to transport crops is probably the most prominent one. The necessity of this process is extremely significant, especially in agriculture-depended countries.
Using large conveyor belts, huge amounts of crops and grains can be carried to the silos for storing. The process is very efficient as the overall power cost is very low due to the compressed air depended mechanism.
10. Greenhouse Ventilation System
Ventilation systems in large greenhouses are completely based on air compressors. The system’s job is to consistently extricate the air inside the greenhouse into the atmosphere and replace it with fresh new air from outside.
11. Applying Fertilizers and Pesticides
For a lucrative season, making sure that the crops are getting the nourishment they need and that they’re safe from inimical insects is indispensable.
That’s why in large fields, air compressor-based spray machines are utilized to evenly distribute the fertilizers and pesticides. Even distribution is key because neither deprivation nor overflow of pesticides and chemical fertilizers is suitable for a plant.
Uses in Production Line
Air compressors are most prevalent, especially in the manufacturing business. Huge chains of production like plastic goods, metal fabrication, and many others need to consider air compressors as the core of their production process.
I’ll be explaining some of the significant few air-compressor applications in the production chain. Let’s have a look.
12. Operating Pneumatic Tools
Industries often require various air-powered tools in different sectors. Basic tasks that need straightforward tools like nailing guns, drivers, etc. gravely depend on pneumatic power.
Air compressors are essential for various heavy-duty tasks as well. Sandblasting, and ventilation are some vivid examples.
13. Improving Production Efficiency
Air-powered machinery increases production efficiency greatly as the power cost is significantly lower. Heavy tasks like placing rollers and adjusting feed machinery are effortlessly executed via pneumatic machines.
Industries use various pneumatic accessories like air clamps, chucks, positioners, etc. to mostly mechanize the production system.
These automated machineries powered by air cylinders can monitor and handle a vast portion of the production process by themselves. Implementation of the system decreases labor cost and production time significantly and so the efficiency increases.
Especially used in the metal industry for providing metal surfaces with a smooth finish, sandblasting is an exceptional example of an air power utility.
Also named abrasive blasting, the process here is shooting coarse particles at a high speed to diminish any rough surface or rusty patch on a surface. This requires an immense amount of power which is supplied from the compressed air tank.
Applications in Energy Sector
15. Used in Energy Sector
In many countries, the main source of energy is steam-based power plants. Air power is used to remotely control the openings and closings of the valves in the steam circuitry.
The ventilation system in the boilers is also regulated by air-powered machineries. Compressed air is also used in nuclear power plants to control the insertion and exertion of reactor rods.
Applications in Pharmaceutical Industry
16. Used in Pharmaceutical
Air power has plenty of uses in the manufacturing of pharmaceutical products. Conveyor belts make sure that different ingredients reach the right places at the right time.
These belts transport the basic ingredients to the mixing tank, where the ingredients are mixed and processed. The air pressure inside the tanks is maintained carefully.
Spray paint comes in handy when painting over capsules, bottles, and labels. With the help of conveyor belts, pneumatic accessories, and automated machineries, the final product packaging can be completed effortlessly.
Uses in Automobile Industry
In the automotive industry, there are mainly two sides to air compressor applications.
Besides using pumps to inflate tires, repair shops constantly use various other pneumatic tools like nail guns, drivers, wrenches, hydraulic jacks, etc. They also use sandblasting and paint spraying for finishing and painting a vehicle.
Industries use air compressors in manufacturing and finishing different parts of vehicles. Various parts inside the vehicle consist of air compressors too. One notable example is the engine which includes an air compressor as the cooling system.
Let’s take a look at some more miscellaneous applications of air compressors here.
19. Medical Uses
Air filtration systems in hospitals depend solely on air compressors. This technology provides fresh air throughout the hospital building for doctors, patients, as well as visitors.
Supplying oxygen-rich air for patients, and regulating the air quality in the operation theatre and ICU are also some of the notable uses of air compressors at hospitals.
20. Scuba Diving
Divers need to bring air tanks for breathing underwater. These tanks are equipped with air compressors that deliver the air to the diver from the tank. Professional divers use more rigorous tanks equipped with more powerful compressors.
21. Dry Cleaners
Air compressors are also prevalent in dry cleaners. The laundry pressing machines and steam cleaners are powered by compressed air.
Air Compressor Maintenance
To keep an air compressor up and running to its full potential, proper maintenance has no alternatives. Here are some tips regarding the maintenance of an air compressor.
- Don’t forget to read the user manual for safe use and maintenance.
- Keep the intake valves clean and free of extraneous pressure.
- Keep the nuts and bolts in check. They shouldn’t stay loose in the slightest.
- Hoes are really vulnerable as they are the way to transport the high-impact air from the compressor to output. Make sure to keep the hoes clean and damage-free.
- Inspect the air filter regularly and change it when necessary.
- Not all air compressors require oil. If your compressor needs oil, make sure to change it frequently.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How does an air compressor function?
An air compressor needs a tank or container that holds the air. Air is compressed using immense pressure and is stored in the tank where it holds potential energy.
This potential energy is converted into kinetic energy by letting the air out at high speed. Using an engine, this kinetic energy is then transferred into work.
2. How many types of air compressors are there?
There are mainly 3 types of air compressors. They are rotary screw, vane, and reciprocating. These types vary mainly by their build and the amount of horsepower (HP) they can supply. Among all 3, rotary screw air compressors have the highest range of HP.
The utilization of air compressor technology has flourished different sectors of our lives profoundly. Air compressor uses in industries have increased production by diminishing labor cost and production time.
Indoor applications have made our daily lives easier and more comfortable. I hope this article has answered all your questions regarding air compressor applications and helped you understand the significance of this technology.