Guide to Efficiently Using an Air Compressor

Posted on November 24, 2014


A reliable air compressor can make a world of difference in a construction and concrete project. Air compressors have many uses, and investing in a solid one is a good idea. However, before you invest in an air compressor, you and your team should be aware of how to use them, how NOT to use them, and what types of things they can help accomplish.

Air compressor negligence can be dangerous and costly.  By ensuring the proper maintenance and functionality, you will avoid injury and sever depreciation. Air compressors convert power into kinetic energy, releasing that kinetic energy when air is released really quickly. That energy can be utilized for many purposes, such as device activation, cleaning and so much more.

Air Compressor Efficiency

It is imperative that you and your construction team use air compressors wisely. A solid air compressor is a good investment and you want that investment to last. Whether you are using an air compressor to power tools like nail guns, sandblasters or wrenches, you first want to make sure you are safely covered. As with everything, remember to wear safety glasses and steel-toed shoes. Put the air compressor on a stable, flat surface, and double check the pump oil level before using, if the machine uses oil. If you do not have to use an extension cord, it is a good idea not to. It can cause the air compressor motor to overheat.

If you are using an air compressor for the first time, it is wise to do a test run. First, turn the pressure power switch to “off.” Plug in the power cord. Now start the compressor by turning it “on.” The pressure gauge should slowly rise. Now, turn if “off,” unplug the cord and release any air in the tank.

You’ll know if an air compressor isn’t working correctly when the pressure gauge indicates that there is a decrease in pressure.

If you are using the air compressor to power a tool, always make sure the pressure switch is in the “off” position before you plug it into an outlet. Attach any air hose connections, close any drainage valves. Turn down the pressure in the air hose, then plug in the power supply cord, and turn the power switch to “on.” Turn up pressure slowly until desired pressured is reached. If you need to set PSI specifications, make sure you know which PSI specification you need ahead of time and don’t forget it to set it.

It’s also good to understand the many different ways you can use an air compressor. Air compressors do not just come in handy for many projects, they provide a technique you may not be able to get the job done without. You can attach a blowgun to an air compressor to clean an area of sawdust or other debris. You can use an air compressor to paint or stain, and you can power all sorts of devices, from drills and pumps to jackhammers and saws.

Take care of your air compressor, as well. It’s important to change the air filter regularly, and drain air tanks every use. In a compressor that uses oil, you should change the oil regularly, as well.

Ways NOT to Use an Air Compressor

Air compressors are powerful machines, and should be used with caution and safety. You do not want the safety of a contractor to suffer or create a setback for your construction project because of a simple safety malfunction.

Do not ever use an air compressor without wearing protective glasses or shoes. Never plug in the power cord with the power switch to “on,” and never use an air compressor with an oil pump on a rocky or unstable surface.

To ensure complete safety, it is also important to not use an air compressor with just any power tool. Most power tools and air compressors are equipped to work together, but always take the extra step to make sure that’s the case. Make sure your air hose is clean, and not ripped, torn or overused. All hoses need to be replaced eventually, which is extremely important. Hoses should not have kinks or holes, as these can be dangerous. Do not ever use an air hose that shows damage or age in any way!

Air compressors obviously have many different uses, and each use has different PSI measurements. You should always make sure you know the correct PSI for every use. To power screwdrivers, for example, the air pressure needs to be between 70-90.

Air Compressor Accessories

Air compressors come with many accessories, and it is equally important to understand how to use each accessory properly. There are filters, guards, roll cages, and even fittings and adaptors that may be needed. When looking for air compressor accessories, make sure your air compressor is equipped to use each, and use each with the same safety guidelines in place