When purchasing a brand-new air compressor, there are a number of important considerations to keep in mind before settling on something. With multiple different brands and models available, it can be difficult to find a compressor that is perfect for your needs while also fitting within your budget.

Perhaps one of the biggest factors to consider is the size of your compressor. Its size will ultimately impact how much pressure it can provide for a specific task. There is no one-size solution for air compressors. This is because an air compressor that is too small will not be able to perform its intended task. On the other hand, an air compressor that is too large will waste power and could potentially cause a mechanical failure.

In this post, we’ll be taking a look at some of the factors to consider when choosing the size of an air compressor. If you’re not entirely sure about your needs, then an air compressor specialist will likely be able to help you.

Identifying how much pressure you need from an air compressor

In order to determine the size of the compressor that you need, you’ll have to understand the different flow and pressure requirements for its intended purpose. When looking at air compressors and related systems, two keywords that you’ll see a lot are pressure and flow.

What is pressure?

Pressure is just a measure of how much force is required to perform a specific task. In the context of an air compressor, having too little pressure means that there is not enough force to perform a task. A common example of this is using pressure to power a conveyor belt that moves items around your facility. If there is not enough pressure, then the conveyor belt will not move due to a lack of force. However, if there is too much pressure, it can cause mechanical failures or offer little to no control of the conveyor.

Since every facility’s needs are different, it’s difficult to determine exact pressure requirements without first examining the machines or tools that you need to power. Different sizes of compressors are capable of outputting varying amounts of pressure, so it’s a good idea to either work with an air compressor specialist or to thoroughly understand your exact requirements before making a purchase.

What is flow?

Flow determines an air compressor’s ability to provide enough pressure to complete its task within a set amount of time. The flow required is usually determined by the task that it has and the frequency that it must complete it.


For example, if an air compressor is used to power a tool in your facility, then you must determine how often that tool is used in order to find the right amount of flow required. If the task only takes a small amount of pressure but the tool is in constant use, then having a steady flow is important to avoid taking frequent breaks. Sooner or later, your air compressor will need to pause for a moment in order for the storage tank to refill again.

On the other hand, if your task requires a high amount of pressure but the tool is used infrequently, then you can lower your flow requirements. This is because the tool has time to replenish its storage tank before the next task.

When more flow is required, we usually recommend a larger air compressor because it can store enough air for any given situation.

Finding the best solution for your needs

Pressure and flow are important factors to consider when purchasing an air compressor. In most cases, a larger air compressor will offer more flow and more pressure, but there are some smaller options that can deliver plenty of pressure as long as it’s not required to perform the same task several times in a row.

Figuring out the exact amount of pressure and flow requires you to understand the equipment that you intend to use it with. There may be data sheets and technical information available which can help you determine the exact amount of flow and pressure needed. However, if you’re not sure, you can always contact us to perform a compressed air audit that accurately measures the exact pressure and flow requirements of your facility. This is often the best choice when you have multiple machines or tools that require compressed air and do not have access to data sheets and technical documents.

In short, you’ll need to look at the technical data of your machines to figure out the size of the air compressor that you need to purchase. Alternatively, you can work with an expert to identify these requirements. If you’re looking for fast response air compressor services or air compressor repair, get in contact with us today.