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How Does Air Quality Affect a Compressor's Operating Cost?

Compressed Air Wiki Compressor Economy Compressors

High quality compressed air reduces the need for maintenance, increases operating reliability of the pneumatic system, control system and instrumentation while limiting wear of the air-powered machines.

air quality can affect the operating costs

If the compressed air system is conceived for dry, oil-free compressed air from the start, the installation will be less expensive and simpler, as the pipe system does not need to be fitted with a water separator. When the air is dry, it is not necessary to discharge air into the atmosphere to remove condensation. Condensation drainage on the pipe system is also not required, which means lower costs for installation and maintenance. The most economical solution can be obtained by installing a central compressed air dryer. Decentralizing air treatment modules with several smaller units placed in the system is more expensive and makes the system harder to maintain.


Experience has shown that the reduced installation and maintenance costs for a system with dry compressed air will cover the investment cost of the drying equipment. Profitability is very high, even when drying equipment must be added to existing installations.


Oil-free compressors do not require an oil separator or cleaning equipment for condensation. Filters are not needed either and the cost for filter replacement is therefore eliminated. Consequently, there is no need to compensate for the pressure drop in the filter and the compressor's working pressure can be lowered. This contributes to improving the installation's economy even further.

Related articles

an illustration about economy and compressors for the atlas copco wiki.

The Cost of Compressed Air

In many compressed air installations there are often significant and unutilized cost-saving possibilities. Learn more about these possibilities here.