How to Pick an Air Compressor

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How to Pick an Air Compressor

When you own a home, it’s important to have the tools that are necessary to make little repairs, or even do major DIY if that’s your thing. One of the most useful tools you can add to your collection is an air compressor. An air compressor can do so many things around the house, from helping you keep screens and vents debris-free, to airing up car tires and other inflatables, and even powering a whole collection of useful tools. But how do you pick the perfect air compressor for your projects? Don’t worry, it’s easier than you may think.

First, Choose Your Air Tools

Before you can really select an ideal air compressor, you need to know what you’re going to do with it. Are you going to use it to power an air nailer to help you install new trim work throughout your home? Will you just use it seasonally to blow up tires and pool toys? Knowing what you plan to do with your air compressor can help you choose an air compressor that can do the work.

How quickly an air compressor can supply air is measured in cubic feet per minute (cfm) and different tools use air at different rates. Paint sprayers, for example, will use a lot more air than a pneumatic nail gun, so if you plan to do a lot of painting, you’ll need an air compressor that can really step up. If you’ll use more than one air-thirsty tool at once with the same compressor, that goes doubly.

Consider Tank Size and Shape

The size of the tank on your future air compressor does matter, but nowhere near as much as the cfm it can supply. Having a large air tank can help compensate for a lower cfm, but that won’t work if you’re using a tool that uses air most of the time, such as a sprayer. You can’t exactly stop mid-spray to wait for the tank to refill, but you certainly could take a break if you were nailing or sanding.

For household use, there’s a secondary concern with tank size. Most of the tasks many homeowners will be tackling will be small jobs, and they may happen anywhere on the property. Having a smaller tank means that your unit is more portable, generally speaking (some do come with wheels), and can get into tighter spots. This can be an advantage, depending on how you’re using the air compressor.

Convenience IS an Option

Sometimes, you know you need tools, and you know you need an air compressor, and you find a delightful bundle of both. If you’re just doing occasional work around the house, and the bundled tools are ones you’ll actually use, it can be a great way to get into an air compressor and tool kit at a significant discount.

You’ll still want to consider all the other things you may do with that air compressor in the future, to ensure it’ll be useful to you as time goes by. So you’ll need to keep in mind how much air it can hold and how much it can produce, but choosing a bundle can make the decision easier. No matter which you choose, though, always make sure to get things like an air chuck for tire inflation, because you’ll use them over and over again.

Not Sure You Want the Baggage of an Air Compressor?

For some homeowners, extra tools just mean extra clutter and valuable space being taken up by things you might not use all that often. It’s ok to not buy an air compressor if it doesn’t make sense with what you hope to do with your home. If you’d rather hire someone to come around and hang your trim or winterize your pool house, that’s perfectly fine.

But, in that case, you’ll need a hook-up for a great air compressor owner who can get the job done right the first time. That’s where your HomeKeepr community comes in! Whether you need a carpenter, a general contractor, a handyman, or a pool expert, there are tons of professionals full of compressed air to choose between. Log in and ask your community for their recommendations to get started!

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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the HRIS.
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