How Much Does an Air Compressor Cost?

Air Compressor Cost – Compressed air is a reliable and safe power source that is widely used in different industries such as construction, mining, manufacturing, and energy industry. Because of its diverse applications, compressed air is often termed as industry’s fourth utilized utility after water, gas, and electricity.

Air compressor is a machine that is used to produce compressed air by cooling the air and reducing its volume. Almost every industry utilizes air compressors one way or the other, ranging from heavy manufacturing industries to the agriculture industry. Industrial air compressors are very similar to the air compressors used in homes, except the industrial ones have a more powerful motor and a larger storage tank.

Types of Air Compressors

One of the most important considerations of buying an air compressor is to decide which type of air compressor does your business need? There are three basic types of air compressors, each of which fulfill different requirements. Know your business requirements and choose an air compressor that is best for you.

Reciprocating Air Compressors – The reciprocating air compressors work on the principle of positive displacement, which means that they produce compressed air by reducing the volume and increasing the pressure with the help of a piston placed inside the cylinder. These are also known as piston-driven air compressors and deliver output ranging from 1 to 15 horsepower.

Reciprocating air compressors are very affordable and portable; therefore, they are most commonly used in small workshops. Large sized reciprocating air compressors that are not portable are used in the power and energy generation industries.

Rotary Screw Air Compressors – Rotary screw compressors also work on the principle of positive displacement, but they utilize a pair of interlocking rotors or screws to compress the air. These compressors are more complex and expensive as compared to the reciprocating air compressors.Rotary screw air compressors find application in industries that require continuous operation such as hospitals and round-the-clock manufacturing factories. The output capacity of rotary screw compressors is 7.5 to 100 horsepower.

Centrifugal Air Compressors – Centrifugal compressors work on the principle of negative displacement. They utilize the centrifugal force generated by an impeller to build pressure and compress the air captured inside the machine. Centrifugal air compressors are the most expensive air compressors, but they can give output of more than 100 horsepower continuously.

Comparison of Air Compressor Cost

Buying an air compressor is not an easy task. There are several different types with each having further sub-types. You should first decide whether you want to buy a consumer-grade air compressor or a commercial-grade air compressor. Consumer-grade air compressors are made to perform small jobs around the house. While, commercial-grade air compressors offer superior performance and better output against a higher amount of money.

There are several technical specifications to consider as well such as air pressure, capacity of storage tank, air flow, and power supply.

  • Power Supply – Depending on the type of power supply, air compressors can be divided into two types: electric air compressors and gasoline-powered air compressors. Gasoline-powered air compressors are more powerful and suitable for outdoor use only. Electric compressors are quieter but they require a reliable electrical supply to function.
  • Air Pressure – Air compressors are commonly used to power tools such as wrenches, paint sprayers, ratchets, etc. Every tool has a specific air pressure requirement, which is measured in pounds per square inch or PSI. You should choose an air compressor that can generate the minimum amount of air pressure that your tool requires.
  • Air Flow – Just like air pressure, the air flow requirement of each tool is different. Air flow is measured in cubic feet per minute or CFM. You should choose an air compressor that matches the air flow requirement of your tool in order to get it working properly.
  • Capacity of Storage Tank – The capacity of an air compressor is measured in gallons. An air compressor with a larger storage tank can deliver a better airflow.

Reciprocating Air Compressors

Power SupplyAir FlowAir PressureEstimated Cost
3-5hp10.3 – 15.5cfm135psi$750 – $1,500
7.5hp24cfm175psi$2000 – $2,400

Rotary Screw Air Compressors

Power SupplyAir FlowAir PressureEstimated Cost
10hp34cfm175psi$2,750 – $5,500
15hp46cfm175psi$3,000 – $7,500
80hp185cfm80 – 125psi$12,500 – $17,500

Centrifugal Air Compressors

Power SupplyAir FlowAir PressureEstimated Cost
20 – 200hp14.3 – 998cfm75-150psi$17,000 – $25,000
250 – 500hp1466 – 2444cfm109-125psi$35,000 – $100,000

Diesel Air Compressors

Diesel air compressors provide more powerful output as compared to the electric air compressors. These are best for contractors who work at construction sites where electricity is not readily available. Diesel air compressors have larger storage tanks; therefore, they can deliver a better air flow. Diesel engines also require less maintenance as compared to gasoline powered air compressors.

  • 6 to 12hp diesel air compressors – $750 to $2,500
  • 10hp diesel air compressors – $5,000 to $8,000
  • Portable diesel air compressors with airflow of 34cfm – $7,000 to $8,000
  • Heavy duty diesel air compressors – $25,000 to $35,000

Used diesel Air Compressor Cost will be anywhere between $500 to $50,000, depending on their storage capacity, air flow, and output capacity.

Electric Air Compressors

Electric air compressors are best for indoor use because of their quiet operation and zero-emission. However, they require continuous electric supply in order to function. The overall Air Compressor Cost of ownership of electric air compressors is less as compared to other air compressors because of their low maintenance and operating costs.

  • 5hp electric air compressor – $1,500 to $2,500
  • 10hp electric air compressor – $2,000 to $3,500
  • 20hp electric air compressor – $5,000 to $6,000
  • 50hp electric air compressor – $15,000 to $17,000

This article is written with the intent to provide users with an estimation of the Air Compressor Cost of different air compressors. The exact Cost of an air compressor depends on its power supply, air flow, storage capacity, and output. When buying an air compressor for your home or your business, you should consider all these and compare different models in order to get a fair idea about the cost of ownership of a particular air compressor.