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Frequently Asked Questions
An air filter for air compressors works by straining air that passes through it to trap solid particles and remove them from the compressed air. They also separate any liquids that are present. They use an inlet to allow the air to enter, and the filter cap directs the air through the filter. The air path directs the air to the filter element, where it pulls the contaminants out of the air, and there is a mesh screen to remove larger particles. Then, the air passes through the filter discharge and the water or particles get trapped in the filter quiet zone before getting drained out.
The short answer is yes. Providing your air compressor with clean air will make it last longer as it screens out water droplets, dust, dirt, oils, bacteria and possibly pieces of heavy metals like mercury and lead. Contaminated air that doesn’t pass through the air filter for compressor tools can lead to control valve contamination and premature wear and cause any protective seals to swell.
There are many compressed air contaminants that you can catch in your filter system. However, some of the most common include condensed water, water vapour, water aerosol, oil aerosol and liquid oil, oil vapour, dirt, rust and bacteria or viruses.
How often you’ll change your compressed air filters will vary, but most manufacturers recommend that you swap them out for new ones every 2,000 hours. You’ll also need to get a new separator every 8,000 hours or so. Your air compressor manufacturer will typically have the same recommendations in place for changing out your compressor air filters. However, if they recommend that you do it more frequently, you should follow their advice.
Before you pick out your air filter for your air compressor, there are a few factors you want to keep in mind to ensure you get the best one. You have to consider the size of the particles you want to filter out — most standard filters remove particles that are between 5 and 40 microns. There are filters capable of removing particles less than one micron in size, and they’re popular in the food industry and pharmaceutical fields. The pressure drop and flow rate are also important, as well as the temperature and any environmental standards. The type of air compressor and model you have will also factor in, as it will have specific accessories and requirements to meet to ensure the filter system works to the highest standards and is compatible with your equipment.