How To Make Your Air Compressor More Efficient

There are a bunch of ways you can make your air compressor more efficient. The first step is to improve the efficiency of your machine with an oil-free motor and to always use an air filter. 

If you have an old compressor, air leaks can lead to a loss of power and an overall reduction in efficiency. Look for signs of wear on the cylinder head gaskets and replace them if necessary.

Dirt can also interfere with the operation of your compressor. Make sure you clean it regularly by disassembling it and cleaning all parts thoroughly with warm water and mild soap or an appropriate solvent. 

Why Are Air Compressors So Inefficient?

Air compressors are highly inefficient machines. Air compressors have high power consumption because they use lots of energy to overcome friction in the system.

Most air compressors are about 90% efficient, meaning that for every 10 units of electricity consumed, only 9 units of work are produced. The remaining 1 unit goes into heating the air inside the motor windings.

Another reason air compressors are inefficient is that they’re designed to operate at very high pressures which means they have a lot of moving parts that create friction with each other and require lots of maintenance.

The efficiency of an air compressor depends on what kind of motor it has and how much work it has to do. If you’re using a small compressor to run an impact wrench, then its overall efficiency will be pretty low because it’s running at full throttle all the time. 

But if you’re using a large one to inflate tires or run tools at moderate speed, then its efficiency will be much higher because it can operate at lower speeds most of the time without overheating.

What Affects The Efficiency Of The Compressed Air System?

The air compressor is the heart of a compressed-air system. It compresses air to high pressure and delivers it to the rest of the system. The more efficient the air compressor, the less energy it takes to compress air.

The efficiency of an air compressor depends on numerous factors, including:

Motor Size

A larger motor can produce more compressed air at a lower operating speed, which results in less energy use per unit of compressed air produced.

Type of Insulation

Insulated head units can reduce heat loss and allow higher operating temperatures, which increases efficiency because heat is not being wasted by escaping through the head cover.

Air Pressure

The higher the pressure of your compressed air system, the more input energy it takes to generate that pressure.

That means that if you have two identical compressors with one operating at 15 psi and one at 25 psi, then the one operating at 15 psi will be more efficient than the other (assuming both are running at 100% duty cycle).

Air Volume

Compressed air systems need to be sized based on how much air they will be required to supply. If there’s not enough capacity in the system, then performance will suffer because it takes more energy to fill up the tank than it does when it’s already full. 

Likewise, if there’s too much capacity in a given system, then some of that extra capacity will go unused and wasted which also reduces overall efficiency by wasting energy unnecessarily.

Piping and fittings

The more bends or turns in the piping, the more resistance there is to flow — which means less efficient operation and higher energy costs.

How To Increase Air Compressor Efficiency?

A broken air compressor can cost you time and money, so it pays to take care of it. However, there are some steps you can take to make sure your air compressor operates at maximum efficiency. We’ll explore some of these below:

Use the Right Size Air Compressor 

The first step in making your air compressor more efficient is choosing the right size unit for the job. Choosing an oversized unit will result in wasted energy consumption and lower performance. 

A smaller unit might not be able to meet your needs if you need high volume or pressure levels.

You should also take into consideration any future expansion plans as well as any current or planned equipment that may need additional pressure or volume levels above what you currently have available.

Clean the condenser coil

Most compressors have a condenser coil that surrounds the fan blade(s). This coil helps cool the compressed air before it enters the tank and/or hose. 

The coils are usually located near the bottom of the unit (on top-styled compressors) or on the side (bottom-styled compressors). 

If there is no visible dirt or dust on them, then they should be fine for now. However, if there is visible dirt or dust on them then scrub them off with warm water and soap until they are clean again – do not use any abrasive materials like steel wool pads or wire brushes as these will ruin the finish on your compressor!

Clean the Air Filter Regularly

Air filters are essential for keeping your air compressor clean and free of debris that could damage or clog the machine.

If you don’t clean them regularly, they can get dirty quickly and possibly cause damage to your compressor. Cleaning your filters often will help keep dust out of the air so that it doesn’t pollute your workspace or harm employees who breathe this air.

Use Correct Oil With Your Compressor

When was the last time you changed the oil in your air compressor? If you don’t know, then maybe it’s time for a change! 

Oil is important because it keeps moving parts from sticking together or wearing out too quickly. Making sure that your oil is fresh and clean will help ensure that parts move smoothly and efficiently without causing friction.

Keep Coolant Levels Full

Your air compressor will work harder if its coolant levels are low, so you must keep them filled at all times. If your coolant level gets too low, it could cause internal damage or even an explosion if it overheats! 

What are some of the symptoms of an inefficient compressor?

The first step is to identify what symptoms point to an inefficient compressor. Here are some common signs:

The motor doesn’t turn on or off 

The motor starts and stops at random times, or runs continuously without turning on the tool. The first thing you want to do is make sure all of your connections are tight and that there are no leaks in any of your hoses or fittings. If everything looks good here, then move along to step two: checking for voltage at the motor terminals. 

Problematic pressure gauge

This happens when the pressure gauge is off by several pounds of pressure or more than one number over its range (for example, reading 100 psi when it should read 90 psi). This problem could be due to a faulty gauge or low oil supply pressure.

Noisy motor

If your compressor is making loud noises, especially when it’s running, then metal parts inside it might be rubbing together and causing damage. This could be caused by worn belts or pulleys, which may need replacement.

Unusual smell 

An odor that smells like burning rubber can indicate that there’s a problem with the motor’s bearings or other internal parts. You should shut off your unit immediately and contact a repair professional if you notice this kind of smell coming from your air compressor.

Oil Leaks

There is oil leaking from the air filter or somewhere else around the compressor unit. Some leaks are normal while others indicate possible damage that needs attention.

The Tank Doesn’t Fill 

The tank does not fill up properly when you turn on the machine. If you have to wait several minutes for your tank to fill up with enough pressure before you can use it, then this may be an indication that there’s something wrong with your unit’s pump mechanism or other internal parts.

Advantage of minimum discharge pressure in air compressor

In general, the lower the discharge pressure is set on an air compressor, the more efficient it will be. This is because when you set a high discharge pressure on your air compressor, it has to work harder to overcome friction losses on its way from the tank to your tool or tool group. 

You save more energy

Less energy is needed for powering tools or running equipment than if you choose a lower setting. In addition to this, if you run your tool at full speed for too long, it can damage it as well as cause overheating and wear on various parts of your tooling system.

It reduces wear and tears on your pump

The pump has to work harder when there is a high discharge pressure because it needs to push more air through it. This increases heat and wears on your pump, making it less efficient and increasing its lifespan.

It reduces wear on your tools

Low air pressure means less stress on the tool, and less wear on the parts as well. Think of it as a car engine. If you’re driving at a high RPM (RPM=Revolutions Per Minute), you’re putting more strain on the engine than if you were driving at a lower RPM. 

By reducing the pressure coming out of your compressor, you reduce the strain on your tools, and make them last longer!

What is the most efficient air compressor?

The most efficient air compressor will be one that is designed for your specific needs. It will also offer both high performance and low energy consumption.

There are two main features to look for when choosing an efficient air compressor:

High CFM and PSI  

The CFM (cubic feet per minute) determines how much air can be pushed through the system, while the PSI (pounds per square inch) determines what pressure you can achieve at the end of the hose. The higher these values are, the more powerful your compressor will be.

Variable speed control or ECM 

The ECM (electronically commutated motor) allows you to adjust the speed at which your pump operates depending on how much pressure you need at any given time. This feature helps save energy because it reduces unnecessary wear and tears on your machine over time. 

It also allows you to run at lower speeds when doing light jobs without sacrificing performance or quality in any way.

Centrifugal compressor efficiency

Centrifugal compressors are the most common type of air compressor. They’re also efficient, but not as efficient as other types of compressors. While centrifugal compressors can reach efficiencies above 90%, they typically operate at around 85%.

Centrifugal compressors use a rotating impeller to force air into the motor housing. This air is then pushed into a diffuser and mixed with oil before passing through a diffuser plate. The oil helps cool the air and allows it to expand further than it could without oil.

To increase your compressor efficiency, you should:

  • Use the right refrigerant.
  • Clean your centrifugal compressor regularly
  • Use a single-stage centrifugal compressor.
  • Use the right lubrication. 
  • Install an energy recovery device (ERD)
  • Use a variable-speed drive

Energy-efficient compressor vs inverter

Inverter air compressors are new technology and they consume less energy than normal compressors. This technology is not only used in air conditioners but also in refrigerators and freezers. 

Inverter technology makes use of the power supply available to run the device at higher efficiency and lower cost. The cost of inverter ACs is more than that of non-inverter ACs because of the extra features provided by them such as auto restart, sleep mode, etc.


Compressors are devices that are used for the cooling process. They consist of two main parts namely an electric motor and a mechanical pump which rotates at high speed to compress gas into liquid form so that it can be cooled down easily. 


It is a type of compressor which works on low voltage power supply instead of high voltage power supply like normal compressors do.

These inverters have electronic circuits that regulate the voltage required for each operation depending on load conditions and temperature differences between indoor & outdoor temperatures.

Final Thoughts

In summary, there are many ways to make your air compressor more efficient without sacrificing quality. By implementing these several tips, you will notice an improvement in your performance capabilities, and you may save some money while you’re at it.

      Residential & Commercial Air Compressors