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Olivia Grey | oliviagrey

Role of CFM in Air Compressors

Mar 11th 2015 at 12:30 AM

There are numerous applications of pressurized or compressed air in today’s world. Lots of industries like manufacturing, hospitals, hospitality, services and construction, etc makes extensive use of pressurized air either directly or indirectly. Gas Air Compressor is a device that converts power (either from electric motor or diesel engine) into potential energy by forcing air into restricted volume and thus increasing its pressure. Hence, it is inevitable for the industries to have an air compressor that suits their requirement.

Honda Gas Powered Compressor

Air compressors are available in the market in various types and capacities. It becomes very essential to choose the right compressor for the appropriate application.

These are a list of questions that would help you select the right compressor:

  • What is the maximum required operating pressure?
  • What is the maximum required CFM usage?
  • Does the machine need to be portable or stationary?
  • Required size of the receiver tank?
  • What is the drive system required?


Many people have a common myth that a receiving tank size is considered as a deciding factor for choosing a Gas Air Compressor. CFM stands for Cubic Feet per Minute. CFM can be very well considered as a deciding factor for an air compressor. One CFM compressor means that the intake port of the compressor inhales one cubic feet of free air at atmospheric pressure per minute. Please note that CFM should not be confused with the volume of the compressed volume.

CFM is the factor that will decide the number of tools that could be operational and the power that will be available with the user. Every equipment or tool that will be used will have its requirement in CFM. While deciding the CFM rating of the compressor, the general practice is that you sum up the required CFM value of all the required tools that would be used at the same time. Then there should be an added factor of 30% to this demand to cater any unaccounted usage of compressor. This will help one in deciding the correct compressor for their requirement. It is very important that you do not sum up the CFM of all the tools (which are not used at the same time), as it will result in the oversized compressor which will further result in increased capital and maintenance cost.



Air Compressor is very important equipment for a business owner. It is advisable that the investment on an air compressor should be made not only considering the current requirement of the business, but also the future requirement. Gas air compressors which allow capacity enhancement have an added advantage than the compressors with fixed output. Also, it should be noted that the compressors should have decent values of coefficient of performance as well as the built quality of the material used in the construction of equipment. There are various companies that produce quality air compressors and they could also be consulted for selecting an optimal compressor that will suit your requirement.

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