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How Can I Save on Energy Costs by Using a Screw Compressor?

Screw compressors

Air compressors are helpful for an enormous range of applications such as air filling, packaging, tools, HVAC control, and more! One possible drawback is the amount of electricity they use; air compressors can be a huge drain on energy if used ​inefficiently​. If you are running them too long, allowing leaks to exist, or using the wrong type of compressor, you are wasting ​energy and money​. This article will go over some of the biggest power-wasters and how to
stop/prevent them!

6 Possible Problems and How to Fix Them

1. Operating Without a Schedule

One of the most common ways to waste energy with air compressors is to operate with no set schedule​. Every business works at different hours and has varying levels of air demand, but if you only need compressors for 4 hours out of an 8-hour work day, it only makes sense that you would only want them running for 4 hours.

Unfortunately, manually turning compressors on and off is not always possible due to time and space restrictions. Luckily, Chicago Pneumatic thought of that. We carry several state-of-the-art compressor models with control panels that allow the user to set a schedule on the machine itself.

2. Leaving Leaks Unfixed

Another problem that is more common than you may think is ​air compressor leakage​. Leaks are not always easy to see or hear and can contribute to energy waste and ineffectiveness of compressors.

Depending on usage, a ¼” air leak at 100psi could cost over $2500 in wasted energy over the span of a year. It is recommended to have a leak detection professional check your compressor(s) periodically so you can be sure you aren’t wasting any energy. Duct tape may work as a short term solution, but it doesn’t fix the problem permanently.

3. Using Single-Stage Compressors

Single-stage air compressors ​are often used in HVAC applications despite their inefficient operation. They are either on or off, with no variance in power, so if you only need a little air they will turn on full blast. When possible, variable-speed compressors should be used, as they will attempt to match delivery with what is being demanded and not use as much power when less is required. CP carries variable-speed rotary screw compressors that will save energy by operating when and how powerfully you need them to.

4. Clearing Debris

Though it is a very helpful tool, compressed air cannot do everything. You could be wasting money and breaking OSHA regulations without even knowing it. One of the most common misuses of compressed air is ​debris clearing​. Unless psi is 30 or less, clearing things from the ground with compressed air is an OSHA violation. In addition, dusting debris off yourself or another person is forbidden regardless of pressure. There are other, less expensive/dangerous ways to clean, so perhaps save the compressed air for more vital applications.

5. System Inefficiencies

Another place air could be wasted is in the piping of air from the compressor to its destination. Often, processes and machinery are changed or moved without considering what ​inefficiencies that could create, especially if you are operating multiple compressors from a centralized location. Periodically review your piping system to make sure air is getting from the compressor to its final destination in as short a distance as possible. The further air travels, the more energy it takes, so shortening the pipeline is a great way to save energy!

6. Old Filters

One of the most helpful tips for saving energy is to change filters according to a recommended maintenance​ ​schedule​. Most compressors say how often you should be replacing filters, and those schedules, based on testing and rigorous calculations, should be paid attention to! If you use filters in other parts of your facility, those should also be systematically replaced according to a schedule.

Blocked filters, whether they are for air, oil, water, or any other fluid, prevent a portion of fluid from passing through. It is extremely inefficient to operate with blocked filters, which is why replacing them is a great way to save energy. All of the other general maintenance items of an air compressor should be checked regularly as well. Doing so will improve performance and extend the lifespan of an air compressor.

Now time to get the energy savings going!

By implementing just a few of these energy saving tips, you could save thousands of dollars each year! Many operators miss many of these energy saving opportunities because they are trying to save money in the moment, but they all cost more in the long run. Fixing a leaky valve is not as expensive as all the energy it wastes. If you remember two things from this blog post, they should be to keep up with regular compressor maintenance and to only turn on your air compressor when it’s needed.





Talk to the team today to see how we can help you minimise costs and maximise efficiency.

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Ash Air is here for your business longevity!

Your business performance is what we strive for. Ash Air offers a full range of Chicago Pneumatic and Alup air compressors, tools and on-site solutions. We also provide oil-free compressors and food-grade oil to suit your needs. Ash Air are specialists in vacuum pumps, blowers, and medical gas solutions. Ash Air offers complete quality air solutions as well as advanced piping systems for the performance and efficiency of your compressed air system.

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Who we are and how Ash Air can help your business!

Ash Air has been around in New Zealand since 1979, and we’ve grown into a nationwide company with international support and a reputation for quality and reliability.We look after all things compressed air for your business!

  • Reciprocating, Screw, air compressors
  • Vacuum pumps
  • Nitrogen
  • An extensive line of air treatment components

Ash Air's range of Chicago Pneumatic, Alup, Pneumatech, and Quincy compressors are used extensively around the world in industries ranging from oil and gas to food, automotive and farming, and we bring you these world class compressors here in the land of the long white cloud.Our technicians are compressed air equipment experts and are dedicated to addressing customer needs. Supported by a 13 locations nationwide, Ash Air offers one of the widest selections of compressed air equipment and parts available today in New Zealand.

Reliability and Efficiency

With Ash Air compressors, you can count on reliability and high performance for even the most demanding applications. We focus our efforts on the following:

  • Increasing uptime
  • Reducing unexpected repairs
  • Reducing energy consumption
  • Improving the cleanliness of compressed air


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Read more from our #expertcorner


Air compressors are used in many different applications and provide essential compressed air to many businesses and individuals with different air needs. No matter what your CFM, PSI and HP requirements are, the electronic controller on your air compressor is the motherboard for keeping your unit running as efficiently as possible. It is your eyes into your machine.


The emergency stop, "e-stop", is for true emergency situations only. When hitting the e-stop, all power is halted from the machine and the unload process isn't achieved. The emergency stop button is intended to help with possibly hazardous situations that are developing. Common conditions of having to use the e-stop is the misuse of the equipment in ways that weren’t intended, predictable failures not addressed or failing to consider all the foreseeable uses of the compressor.


Air compressors are helpful for an enormous range of applications such as air filling, packaging, tools, HVAC control, and more! One possible drawback is the amount of electricity they use; air compressors can be a huge drain on energy if used ​inefficiently​. If you are running them too long, allowing leaks to exist, or using the wrong type of compressor, you are wasting ​energy and money​. This article will go over some of the biggest power-wasters and how to
stop/prevent them!


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