Compressor Location

Compressor location, unlike real-estate, where the maxim everyone uses is, it is Location, Location, Location, where you position your compressor is not normally as critical, but still, it is important over the long term for a number of reasons.

A compressor installation location that has been given adequate forethought will prevent some problems, assist in the more efficient use of that compressor, and probably save you some significant operating and maintenance dollars over time.

Here are some tips on how to make your compressors installation work for, and not against, you.

Compressor Noise

Or...please, just put the darn thing behind walls!

The folks at Jun-Air (among others) make a compressor that I used to sell, when I was in the compressor selling business. One of the neatest things about the Jun-Air compressor, aside from its portability, was when it was operating there was the absence of noise. It was quiet!

I recall a customer seeing a demo. We had the compressor on their desk, running. They did not know it was on, and it was not until the air compressor unloaded that they realized that we had been having a normal-decibel-level conversation with an air compressor running right beside us.

Noise mufflers

Most industrial and the low cost DIY air compressors generate headache producing, eardrum thumping - and possibly ear damaging - noise. It is not good for you and certainly not good for the staff that have to put up with it. Read up a bit on how incessant noise negatively affects work output and quality. You'll be glad you did, and perhaps motivated to engender a quieter working environment.

Even in a small shop, consider building a sound-insulated wall around the compressor. Everyone will thank you for it and it will lead to higher productivity levels and quite likely better quality work if your staff does not have to wince or shout over the noise of the compressor while they are working.


You have built the wall, you and your employees are happy as the sound beast has now been contained, and you can talk in the shop again without having to shout. There now comes a time to do some maintenance work on the air compressor.

It seems you have got to change out a compressor part. Unfortunately, the part that has to come out is bigger than the doorway into the compressor room. Ooops! A problem for you...yes?

No, not if you have designed your compressor room or compressor partition to have access doors and access areas that are at least as large as the largest part (perhaps the whole compressor?) that will need to move out of the compressor room should the need arise.

Also, you will periodically need to be in and around the compressor for regular and routine maintenance. Access all around the unit is important. Do yourself a favor and give yourself lots of elbow-room completely around the compressor and accessory equipment. You will thank your far-sightedness down the road.

Speaking of compressor room doors, it is an unfortunate necessity, yet my advice is that they should be locking. There needs to be a protocol (plan) for key handling and compressor security. You may sometimes have no idea who is in and around the shop, and as a critical energy source for your plant, do not risk downtime due to someone monkeying with the air compressor. Good locks and doors keep out the experimenters, those folks who just want to see what happens when they push that button....!

Compressor Air Supply

The air compressor has to got it; AIR!

It needs lots of free air around the compressor both for an air source, and to help in keeping the compressor cooler.

The best place for your compressor intake to draw air from is outside your shop.

A 25 HP air compressor will gulp in more or less than 800 SCFM , the actual amount depending on where, physically, in the world that particular compressor is installed.

While it is not likely that an air compressor could suck all the air from a room, why pull air that has already been treated by air conditioning or by heating from the plant? You might as well use the air from outside your plant that you have not spent any money on conditioning as yet.

Cool & Shady Air

Set up your compressor outside-air intake on the coolest, shadiest side of the building, so you will be bringing cooler air into the compressor.

The process of compressing air generates heat, and there is no point in increasing that heat by ingesting hot, humid outside air into the compressor intake if it can be avoided.

Hot and humid intake air increases compressor generated water and water related problems .

Waste Heat Recycling

The heat generated by your compressor might be reclaimed as a heat source for your shop? Interested in reusing compressor generated heat? Then consider this option when determining the scope of your compressor room. You may need room for additional equipment.

Here is more information on where to install your air compressor.

Did you know that....

"... if 90 deg. F intake air is tempered with cooler air from another source to 70 deg. F, the 20 deg. F temperature drop will lower operating costs by almost 3.5 percent. "