The Importance of the Air Compressor Air Filter

air compressor air filter

Air filters are one of the most vital components in a compressed air system. In addition to removing debris and contaminants, the compressor air filter helps the unit operate more efficiently and minimizes the impact of wear and tear over time. This post will provide information about the various types of air filters for air compressors as well as what to consider when choosing the best system filtration for your compressed air.

Air filters are used at two different spots in a compressed air system: at the air in-take and in line with the piping. Air in-take filters are the more important of the two, as they keep out the dust that causes wear to the compressor element, valve and other essential components.

Air Compressor Filter Types

The various types for system filtration include:

  • Particulate filters: These general-purpose filters will remove liquid, oil, pipe scale, water, dirt and rust. This protects the compressed air equipment and end products by preventing contamination and corrosion.
  • High-temperature particulate filters: A high-temperature particulate filter will protect against the risk of fire caused by sudden temperature spikes that can sometimes occur downstream of a heated desiccant dryer.
  • Coalescing filters:  Coalescing filters serve the purpose of removing harmful oil aerosols. Coalescing filters are typically installed downstream of the particulate filters.
  • Adsorber filters: An adsorber filter is normally installed downstream of the particulate and coalescing filters, and is used in compressed air applications requiring the removal of oily vapors and related odors. They contain multi-wrapped layers of activated charcoal to enhance air purification qualities.
  • Compressed air/oil separator filter: Oil-injected rotary screw compressors are equipped with an air/oil separator, which enables lubrication of the coalescing filter. An air/oil separator filter separates water and oil droplets from the compressed air prior to reaching the coalescing filter.

Factors for Choosing the Best Air Compressor Filter for Your Needs

Factors to consider when selecting air filters for air compressors include:

  • Size: A filter for an air compressor is rated based on inlet flow, which is typically measured in cubic feet per minute (cfm). Choosing a filter with a cfm that is twice the compressor’s cfm flow rate will lower the filter’s pressure drop, which reduces energy consumption and extends element life.
  • Extraction efficiency: Extraction efficiency refers to the filter’s ability to remove dust from the air. A filter with a 99.9% rating will remove twice the amount of dust as a filter with a 99.8% rating.
  • Temperature: Be sure the filter you select is compatible with the operating temperature of your compressor. As a general rule, you should choose a filter that will work at the lowest possible temperature for your requirements.
  • Pressure drop: There is a noticeable pressure drop between the upstream and downstream sides of a filter for air compressors, which is referred to as “Delta P.” It’s important to choose a filter that produces the lowest level of Delta P as possible.

Contact Quincy Compressor to learn more about choosing the best air filter for your needs.