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Top Compressed Air Myths – Busted!


Happy April Fools’ Day! Though this “holiday” is typically focused on performing lighthearted pranks and jests, we decided to take a different route. Instead of shenanigans, we’re rounding up and debunking our list of the top ten myths that surround compressed air. Read on for the myth-busting!

Myth #1: System-wide pressure increases raises productivity levels. False! The amount of pressure in one area of your facility might be too great – or too little – for another area. The most efficient operation is to increase and decrease pressure based on specific applications. This local regulation also averts premature failure of your tools and machinery.

Myth #2: Oil-free air is the “best” air. Not necessarily. This depends on the air purity requirements of your application. If the application requires extreme air purity, or in an application where the threat of contamination is too great, oil-free air compressors are likely an optimal choice.

Myth #3: Compressed air is extremely expensive. As with any power source (including electric & battery), compressed air can be expensive. However, compressed air costs can be greatly lowered through things like regular maintenance, energy recovery, properly sizing machines based on your applications, and staying up-to-date with compressor technology changes.

Myth #4: Routine air compressor maintenance isn’t required. Incorrect. Your air compressor system needs regular service and maintenance performed in order to function at optimal levels. Extending intervals beyond factory recommendations will increase the chances of your compressor breaking down – and your production to cease.

Myth #5: It’s safe to use compressed air to clean workspaces. Not in the slightest. Air compressors aren’t vacuums; instead of sucking up any dirt and debris, they would redistribute the particles – and at a high velocity. Cracks and small holes in furniture & walls, and even human injury, could result.

Myth #6: Patching air leaks, rather than repairing them, is an effective fix. Air leaks are a big problem that requires complete repairs. The air lost via these leaks reduces efficiency and raises your costs. And keep in mind that you may not be aware of all the leaks in your system – especially if they are not hissing. 

Myth #7: When choosing a compressor, pressure is the most important factor.In reality, both pressure and flow must be considered when selecting the air compressor that is best for your application.

Myth #8: Compressed air is dirty. In contrast, compressed air is typically on the cleaner side – especially with the addition of compressed air ancillaries like filters, dryers, and drains, as well as regular maintenance.

Myth #9: There is no difference between generic and the manufacturer’s replacement parts. Not really. Replacement parts sold by the manufacturer are produced with your specific unit in mind, which generic parts are only for generic use. Using parts that are not specifically made for your machine could decrease its performance, decrease service intervals,be incompatible with other system components, or even void warranty.

Myth #10: Using a VSD (variable speed drive) can increase oil carryover. Wrong – the two main causes of increasing oil carryover is lower pressure and higher temperature. Utilizing Atlas Copco’s VSD technology doesn’t contribute to this. 

Have another myth you want busted? Let us know in the comments below, or reach out to us on www.atlascopco.com/air-usa!

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