Check Your System for Leaks to Keep Costs Low

Check Your System for Leaks to Keep Costs Low

Check Your System for Leaks to Keep Costs Low

Leaks can be costly. A quarter-inch air leak at 100 psi can waste as much as $8,000 in energy costs per year. Depending on the age of the compressor system, as much as 20 percent of compressor costs are due to leaks. But while leaks are easy to see in your energy bill, they are harder to spot in the system. Some bigger leaks can be heard in a system walk-through, but almost 80 percent of leaks are inaudible. And these inaudible leaks – while small – account for a significantly larger portion of energy loss. Knowing where leaks commonly occur is a good first step to reducing your unnecessary energy costs.

Filters: Filters remove harmful contaminants from the compressed air. This makes end use safer and keeps the system cleaner, but the filters need to be maintained as well. When filters are clogged, lubricant aerosols, moisture and particulates remain in the airstream, coating the pipes and leading to system leaks.

Drains: When manual condensate drains are left open, compressed air is constantly leaving the system before end use. Solenoid valve drains on a timer may be on an interval that is longer than necessary, leading to wasted compressed air. To make sure compressed air doesn’t escape, make sure your manual valves are closed and any solenoid valves are on an appropriate interval for the condensate flow.

Piping and Connections: Did you know piping systems over five years old likely have leaks that account for 25% of compressed air usage? Frequently monitoring and maintaining your piping system can go a long way towards decreasing leaks and increasing energy savings. Improperly sized connections, like hoses and tubing, can lead to compressed air losses. Make sure your components are working together to save you air and money.

Leaks are a common problem, but they have an easy solution. Start a regular maintenance routine now to avoid costly leaks in the future. Your compressor system – and your energy bill – will thank you.

  |   By Erik Arfalk  |

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