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Air Compressor Positioning Tips

Where Should You Put Your Air Compressor

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The position of your air compressor in your facility is essential to its performance. But do you know exactly what to think about when deciding where to put your compressor?

The location not only influences the compressor’s performance, but it can also affect the efficiency and productivity of your facility and its staff!

Here are six crucial considerations to highlight before locking in your unit’s location to assist you in finding the ideal position.

1. Employee Disruption – Levels of Noise and Vibration

Is your air compressor in close proximity to your workers? If this is the case, you should reconsider the location of your compressor. Some units can be noisy, resulting in lower productivity and dissatisfied workers.

If your unit is electrically noisy, you might want to consider the following options:

1. Keep your compressor out of reach of your workers.

2. Purchase a rotary screw air compressor with a low noise level.

3. Construct a sound-deadening enclosure for your compressor.

Vibrations in the floors can be caused by commercial air compressors. Employee disruption is also a possibility for those who work in the vicinity. You can use vibration dampeners to limit the transfer of vibrations between the air compressor and the floor it is mounted to if your compressor is causing them.

2. Air Circulation and Ambient Room Temperature

Air circulation and ambient room temperature are critical to keeping your system running with minimal downtime.

Make sure the room’s initial air temperature is cool before installing your air compressor. Air compressors produce their own heat, so adding more could cause your machine to shut down. The temperature in a compressor room should be between 40 and 105 degrees Fahrenheit. If your air compressor is running in a room that is near either end of this temperature range, it will have to work harder to keep up, which will cause the lubricants to break down faster. This will necessitate more frequent compressor maintenance.

To avoid high-temperature shutdowns, your system will also require proper air circulation and ventilation. Warm air is expelled by compressors. If your system is in an enclosed space, this can cause the room to become increasingly hot, causing your compressor to shut down due to the high temperature. This can be avoided by venting your exhaust air to the outside. This allows your unit’s intake air to be much cooler, while reducing the likelihood of shutdown on high temperature.

*Quick Tip: You can have two exhaust air ducts: one that leads outside in the summer and one that leads into your facility in the winter. This saves you money on your heating bill, or it heats your facility for free if you don’t have any!*

3. Location of Power Distribution Center

Is there a power source near your compressor?

The distance between your power and your system, believe it or not, matters. The more expensive it is to wire your compressor, the further away your power is.

According to the national electric code, you must increase your wire size by one size for every 100 feet between your equipment and the power distribution source. As a result, the cost of powering your compressor rises as the distance between it and the power source grows, so check the location of your power distribution center before deciding where to put your air compressor.

 

4. Air Quality in the Environment

If the air around your air compressor is dirty, it may necessitate additional maintenance. If at all possible, locate your air compressor near a source of clean air. If you can’t avoid putting your compressor somewhere where there’s a lot of dust and dirt in the air, you could consider ducting in your intake air, but your intake filter should be enough to keep the air clean.

 

5. Maintaining a Clean Environment Around Your Compressor

If your facility must remain clean at all times (for example, a food packaging facility), a containment center around your air compressor should be considered. Due to a buildup of oil within the machine, your compressor will inevitably leak oil at some point. A containment center will act as a gutter, catching any spilled oil and keeping it off your floors.

6. Accessibility and Serviceability

Your air compressor should be serviceable at all times. As a general guideline, your compressor should be placed in an area that allows for a three-foot radius around it. This allows doors on any side of your compressor to fully open, allowing for the replacement of different components during service.

Keep in mind that some parts of your machine are larger and may require more space to remove, replace, or repair them. Make sure that the location of your air compressor takes this distance into account.

However, there will be chances when you’ll need to put your air compressor in a less-than-ideal location, which may necessitate taking extra precautions to keep it safe and accessible. If you run your compressor from a mezzanine, for example, you may need permanent stairs and support bars to make servicing the compressor safer and easier.

Repairs, major component replacements, and even routine preventative maintenance will be more expensive if your air compressor is in a more complicated location due to the increased time and possibly the number of technicians required to perform these tasks.

In addition, it is preferable to install a compressor on the ground floor, with space allowed for expansion. Where this is not possible, careful planning will help to minimise headaches later down the line when your compressor arrives on site. Weather extremes can also influence the choice of location; compressor will need to be raised off the ground if it is going into a floodprone area. South-facing roof spaces are best avoided due to the possibility of excessive solar heat absorbed by steelsheeted roofs.

Once a compressor is fully operational, engineers will need ample space for maintenance and servicing. Siting the equipment in a suitable space will ensure that compressor doors can be opened and that engineers can safely lift components in and out. Each site is different and can present a wide range of challenges for managers to overcome. But by working with your compressor supplier and planning well in advance, a suitable site can be identified to ensure a smooth installation and optimal compressor performance thereafter.