How to have a Healthy Relationship with Your Air Compressor

healthy relationship wit air compressor

Unless you’ve been living in a cave your whole life, you know that today is Valentine’s Day. You may be celebrating with a significant other, treating yourself to a tub of ice cream, or hanging with some friends. But, have you ever thought about showing your air compressor system some love? With any healthy relationship, it takes time, effort, and a little bit of patience. Here are a few ways to keep the relationship with your air compressor happy and healthy.

Communication is Key

All good relationships are built on strong communication. The same can be said for maintaining a healthy relationship with your air compressor system. Periodic check-ins are great, but the real communication starts when you have a planned, thorough inspection. If you need some help with your communication skills and you’re not sure where to start, we at 3C like to think we’re the communication experts when it comes to inspecting your air compressors. 

Let the Flame Burn Bright

Heat recovery is a simple way to benefit your entire facility. Compressor heat recovery systems can heat water to 158 °F. You can then recover up to 76% of that heat energy. With the energy recovered through hot air or water, many facilities can power other operations, such as boilers or heaters. Thus, saving your energy and money in the long run. 

Be Less Demanding

Who wants to be in a relationship with someone who is always demanding something from you? Your air compressor sure does not! Avoid asking too much of your air compressor system, by making sure your compressor is the proper size and drive. If you have a relatively steady demand, try a fixed speed compressor. Selecting the right compressor can be tricky, luckily we have a blog for that. 

Moral of the story, give your air compressor system some love, not on just Valentine’s Day, but every day of the year! If you need some advice, help, or are moving onto a new air compressor, we’re ready to help!

Avoid Choosing the Wrong Industrial Compressor this Year!

Avoid Choosing the Wrong Industrial Compressor this New Year!

Choosing the right industrial compressor for your business can be tough.  You have to sort through the compressors technologies, sizes, CFM (cubic feet per minute) and PSI (pounds per square inch) requirements, and other specs to determine which air compressor would best fit. Here are some common mistakes to avoid when choosing your industrial compressor:

1. Selecting the Wrong Air Compressor Size

Not every compressor will fit inside the confides that you’ll need. Every brand and every compressor is different. Knowing the exact operating pressure and the maximum compressed air volume flow of your process is key! If you choose a compressor that is oversized, it will lead to huge energy bills, largely caused by the spike in energy produced when the compressor starts up. On the other hand, if an air compressor is too small, the applications won’t be complete due to lack of compressed air supply. So make sure you’ve got your sizing all down.

2. Choosing the Wrong Compressor Technology

We know there are TONS of compressor technologies on the market right now! From rotary screw and reciprocating compressors, to scroll and centrifugal compressors. Choosing which compressor type is best for your specific application can be tough. Here are a few things to keep in mind when making that decision:

  • Screw air compressors are a great option for businesses that are looking for a compressor with lower noise levels, and higher energy efficiency levels. They’re also a great option when it comes to longer daily use.
  • Reciprocating compressors are great choices for businesses where daily demand and duty cycle requirements are lower and has reduced maintenance needs. They are also ideal for businesses with smaller space.
  • Scroll compressors are fit for applications in research and development, universities, breweries, dental offices, and hospitals. These compressors operate quietly and provide 100% oil-free air.

3. Not Thinking About Air Quality Requirements 

Different applications require different air quality. Some, like those in the medical or pharmaceutical industry, require 100% oil-free air. Other applications, such as general manufacturing, might not have as tight air quality requirements. If you’re unsure of what your requirements are, our guys at 3C can help you figure that out. 

4. Underestimating Compressor Costs

You have to factor in three major things when it comes to an industrial compressor’s lifecycle cost: 

  • Initial investment
  • Lifetime maintenance costs
  • Lifetime energy costs

When choosing, keep in mind that up to 80% of the compressor’s lifecycle costs are credited to energy consumption. This means that the energy efficiency of your machine is extremely important when determining how much your compressor will cost to run over its lifetime.

Have Questions?

We understand that choosing the right industrial compressor is a tough choice with a handful of variables. If you still have questions, give 3C Industrial a call today – 361-452-2749. We’re always ready to help! 

Prepping your Air Compressor for Winter

air compressor condensation in winter

It’s getting to that time of the season where us Texans bring out our winter coats and slip on gloves before we head out to work. Just as we prepare ourselves for the winter months, our air compressors need some prep work to navigate properly through the cooler temperatures. Prepping your air compressor helps malfunctions and maximizes your air compressors longevity to make it last all winter long and beyond! Here are our tips as an industrial air compressor manufacturer for winterizing your industrial air compressors. 

Tip #1 Check for Condensation

Condensation left within your air compressor tank creates significant problems as the temperature drops. When it freezes, water expands. If water accumulates in the tank because of condensation, it’ll freeze and cause significant damage within the interior of the air compressor.

So, check your compressor for any condensation and remove it by placing the receiver tank at a low angle so that the moisture drains. Depending on what model air compressor you have at your facility, your air compressor may drain automatically. Even if you have an automatic compressor, we still recommend checking for excess condensation just in case. 

Tip #2 Replace Worn Weather Stripping

Sometimes it’s about those little things that help the big stuff. Over time, weather stripping wears away and requires replacement. We recommend inspecting your weather stripping before the coldest temperatures of the year hit. The weather strips may come loose, thus trapping in condensation. Replacing weather stripping is an inexpensive and simple task to prepare your air compressor equipment for the chilly season. 

Tip #3 Adjust Your Louvers

Louver adjustments are important for keeping the cold air out of the compressor inlet. When you adjust the louvers, it recovers heat that’s headed toward the compressor outlet. You’ll also find the louver adjustments keep moisture out of the oil circuit while maintaining adequate lubrication of moving parts. Louver adjustments direct warm air towards your  industrial compressors. This minimizes the negative impact of compressor exposure to cold temperatures.

Tip #4 Service Drains, Valves, and Separators

At the end of fall, and any season really, is a good time to inspect drains, valves, and separators. Inspections should include detailed cleaning of all essential air compressor components. Drains, valves, and separators are subject to moisture exposure, and moisture exposure is one of the biggest factors leading to winter malfunctions of air compression systems.

Tip #5 Inspect Hoses and Belts

Rubber equipment is easily susceptible to failure in the cold weather. Unfortunately, cold weather wreaks havoc on rubber equipment. Hoses and belts connected to air compressors are generally made of rubber. Inspect hoses and belts for cracks as part of your winter prep procedure. Replace cracked hoses and belts because winter weather expands such cracks and makes air compressor malfunctions even more likely.

BONUS Tip

Prepping your air compressors can be a lot of work. Our tips are just the beginning of winter prepping. At 3C Industrial, we help businesses all around Texas with their preventive maintenance needs on your schedule. Your compressor’s preventative maintenance is tracked in-house by one of our trained PM Coordinators, available 24/7, to ensure your air compressor gets the quality care it needs for any season, including the winter!

Which Air Compressor Is Right For You?

Choosing the Right Air Compressor

Industries everywhere rely on air compressors to carry out a variety of functions, but not all compressors are the same. Here are some questions to ask yourself in order to determine which air compressor is right for you


How much air do I need?
Each tool or piece of equipment in your shop requiring compressed air to function should specify their exact CFM (cubic feet per minute) requirement, the units by which compressed air is measured. Use these numbers to find a compressor that has an output meeting or exceeding the requirements of your shop equipment.


What pressure do I need?
Similar to CFM requirements, your equipment should also specify its PSI (pounds per square inch) requirements. This will help you determine how much air pressure they need to function.


What kind of power source do I have?
Air compressors require a great deal of power, so it’s important to understand what kind of strain this will place on your electrical system (and power bill). Consult an electrician to determine the type and amount of electrical power available in your shop, and select a compressor that fits within those specifications.

Where will I keep it?
It’s important to ensure that you have adequate space for an air compressor in your shop, ideally in its own room. Compressors should have a roughly 3-foot radius to maintain ventilation and should be in an environment that maintains an ambient temperature and doesn’t get too hot or cold during periods of extreme weather.


Which compressor type is better suited for my purposes?
Do your research to determine whether you need a rotary or reciprocating compressor– take into consideration factors such as price, longevity, ease of use, duty cycle, and more before making your final decision.


Once you’ve gathered all this information, give us a call and we can assist in deciding which of our many air compressor options is right for you. Contact us, today.

Air Treatment Mythbusting, Pt. 2

air treatment myths and facts

Myth: Compressed air contamination is a compressor issue.

Fact: In a typical compressed air treatment system, contamination comes from three different sources, these being:

  1. Atmospheric air: Air compressors draw in huge amounts of atmospheric air, which continuously fills the system with contaminants such as water vapor, microorganisms, atmospheric dirt, and oil vapor.
  1. The air compressor: In addition to the contaminants drawn in through the compressor intake, the compressor also adds particulates from its operation. Additionally, oil lubricated compressors carry over liquid oil, oil aerosols, and oil vapor from the compression process. Once through the compression stage, the after-cooler will also condense water vapor. This introduces it into the compressed air in both a liquid and aerosol form.
  1. Compressed air storage devices and distribution piping: The air receiver (storage device) and the system piping that distributes the compressed air around the facility both store large amounts of contamination. Additionally, they cool the warm, saturated compressed air which causes condensation on a large scale. Thus, adding liquid water into the system. This saturated air and liquid water leads to corrosion, pipe scale, and microbiological growth.

Myth: Static oil water separators are not suitable for synthetic lubricants/PAGs. This is evident with cloudy outlet water.

Fact: Oil water separators are designed to reduce oil in water levels to acceptable limits. Some lubricants such as synthetics/PAGs also contain detergents and additives to extend the life of the compressor. Oil water separators are not designed to remove detergents and additives. Lab analysis needs to accurately determine oil in water content and not from visual inspection. Lab analysis of cloudy outlet water is the only way of accurately testing oil in water content to show whether or not it is within acceptable limits.

Myth: Any dryer (refrigerated or desiccant) can be installed outdoors.

Fact: A standard dryer design is for internal installation. However, many are often installed outside, with or without a lean-to roof. Outside installation is acceptable provided there is a lean-to roof with freeze/snow protection, blowing rain protection, and a roof/ceiling high enough to avoid hot air recirculation. We do no recommend outside installation of standard dryers with no roof.

In a case where outside installation without roof is a necessity, request an outdoor modification package including freeze protection, UV protection in paint, fasteners and electronics, and Nema 4 components throughout. A Nema 4 electrical enclosure alone is not sufficient for an outdoor setup without roof installation.

Myth: Most dryers do not provide dryness levels to the same levels quoted in sales literature.

Fact: Dryer installations often plague with a variety of mistakes which impact the level of compressed air dryness they provide. Classic installation mistakes are: 

  • Insufficient space above or in front of condenser air discharge, which causes recirculation and high pressure faults
  • Dramatic undersizing of dryers, forgetting that cooling water and ambient air in summer is at far higher temperatures than in winter
  • Insufficient power supplies, so the actual voltage is subject to tremendous dips, which can wreak havoc with dryer operation and performance.

Myth: Compressed air filters also dry compressed air.

Fact: Compressed air filters are capable of removing bulk liquid water and some water aerosol from compressed air. Compressed air filters are not capable of reducing the level of moisture vapor in compressed air. Nor do they reduce the pressure dew point of compressed air.

We hope this information helps those working with compressors to increase your understanding of your machines! We also hope we broke down all this air treatment myths you might’ve thought were true! Whether you’re looking to purchase a compressor or are in need of maintenance, 3C dedicates to educating our customers and providing quality service and products. Contact us for more information today!

Air Treatment Mythbusting, Pt. 1

air compressor mythbusting pt 1

With the amount of information available on the internet about air treatment and compressors, it can be hard to decipher how much of it is actually true! This is where our expert mythbusting skills come into play! Here are some common myths and misconceptions about air treatment, debunked:

Mythbusting: Filter elements should only be changed when differential pressure (DP) is high.

Fact: Compressed air filtration improves air quality. DP gauges/indicators are blockage indicators, not air quality indicators. Change your filter elements annually to ensure your compressed air quality.

Myth: Coalescing filters are ONLY for oil removal.

Fact: Coalescing filters have an even higher capture rate with solid contaminants than with liquids.

Myth: Oil contamination is not present in atmospheric air.

Fact: Atmospheric air typically contains between 0.05mg/m3 and 0.5mg/m3 of oil vapor from sources such as car exhaust and industrial processes. Because oil-free compressors use large quantities of atmospheric air, which contains oil vapor that can cool and condense in the compressed air systems, the use of oil-free compressors does not guarantee oil-free air.

Myth: Liquid oil and oil aerosol are the only contaminants present in a compressed air system.

Fact: Generally, there are 10 contaminants found in a typical compressed air system that need to be removed or reduced for the system to run efficiently:

  • Water vapor
  • Liquid oil
  • Oil vapor
  • Rust/atmospheric dirt
  • Water aerosols
  • Microorganisms
  • Oil aerosols
  • Liquid water
  • Pipe scale

Liquid oil and oil aerosol. Those two contaminants introduced from a lubricant compressor. The purification equipment required to reduce or remove the remaining contaminants also removes liquid oil and oil aerosols by virtue of their operation. Therefore, regardless of the type of compressor installed, you need purification equipment.


And that’s all the mythbusting for today! At 3C, we believe in the importance of educating all air compressor owners and users so that they fully understand the machines they work with. Do you still have unanswered questions about air compressors or air treatment that you’d like solved? Contact us today!