Are you a huge fan of DIY? If so, the term “air compressor” is no longer strange to you. For example, an air compressor nail gun is something you use to tighten the screws onto a surface.

By pressurizing and converting the air around you into another form of energy, an air compressor can be extremely helpful with hour housework. But despite popular misconception, an air compressor is not merely a machine that helps with your crafting.

There is so much more to this gadget. An air compressor system can be found at large factories where it serves industrial purposes. And of course, we must not forget about the highly portable air compressors that you use at home.

But the question that you should be asking yourself is: How does an air compressor work? What is the magic behind this seemingly complicated item?

If you want to find out the answer, keep reading! In this comprehensive article, we will provide a meticulous insight into the working principles of an air compressor. Let’s figure it out together!

​What Is An Air Compressor Used For?

What Is An Air Compressor Used For​There are many types of air compressors, and each category has a distinctive purpose. But overall, all air compressors share one common feature when it comes to the function.

An air compressor can convert and transform energy. Incorporated inside an air compressor is an electric motor or a gas engine. These engines will power up the air compressor, which in turns will draw a specific amount of air into the machine.

These volumes of air will undergo a process of pressurization, and it will become the stored energy inside the compressor’s tank. This energy line will be the source for you to perform any work you like.

So what are the specific applications of an air compressor? What is an air compressor used for? Let’s find out below.

  • DIY Projects: Have you ever had the urge to create something with your hands, even the simplest thing like crafting a wooden frame? An air compressor will be your ideal companion since it will cover everything for you.
  • Home Repairs: Sometimes you will encounter minor issues at home. Is your roof leaked from the latest rainfall? Do you have to nail a photo on the wall? No need to call for a professional electrician yet, because owning an air compressor means you can perform the tricks on your own.
  • Inflating Empty Objects: Pumping a car tire by hands is no piece of cake. So is pumping a sports ball, or trying to bloat a pipeline. To solve this problem, you can resort to using an air compressor. The pressurized air will be enough to inflate pretty much everything within seconds.

In short, it is evident that an air compressor can be used for multiple purposes. However, in the end, it all boils down to an air compressor’s ability to convert and store energy.

How you take advantage of this energy relies on your creativity. All you have to do is to adjust the use of the machine so that it fits your purpose perfectly. Yay!

Why Do You Need An Air Compressor?

Why Do You Need An Air CompressorNow that you have understood the use of an air compressor, you might wonder whether you need one or not. If you are still pondering over its uses, let us reassure you that an air compressor might very well come into handy.

Below are some of our top reasons why you need an air compressor within your reach. Keep reading to figure out!

1. An Air Compressor will Be a Nice Touch to Your Basic Tool Kit.

Your tool kit is a combination of tools that might help with your house renovations. Are you intend on installing a pair of exterior shutters? Or you want to set up a bookshelf? Ever think of building a fence?

From the smallest crafts to complicated carpentry, having an air compressor ready in your garage will be helpful. Not only is it highly versatile, but it can also make a much more impressive tool kit.

2. An Air Compressor can Make Painting Projects Less Challenging.

Let’s admit it, no one likes painting. While the idea of emerging into arts seems fun, it is a real ordeal to go around and try to spray-paint any surface. But we have some good news for you! Because an air compressor has got your back.

By connecting an air compressor with painting sprayers, you might find it way easier to do painting projects. Your layer of paint will be more even, and the pressure will make the painting more durable – a win – win situation!

3. An Air Compressor can Assist You with Mundane Housework.

Believe it or not, there are a variety of applications that an air compressor can be of great help. For example, you can pump your tires or your balls with an air compressor. Doing it this way will be less difficult than pumping everything by hands.

Furthermore, an air compressor is an excellent helping hand when it comes to cleaning. Have you ever struggled to get rid of the mold on the stairs? Or are you trying to clean up the dirt that keeps getting stuck at a narrow corner?

With an air compressor, you can power a blower easily. This blower will remove all the stain from the surface as you wish, leaving you completely surprised at how spotless the floor can be.

4. An Air Compressor can Serve Industrially.

Not only is an air compressor a home-friendly device, but it can also do wonders at construction sites. If combined with the suitable tool, an air compressor can power building equipments and get things done within seconds!

Bear in mind that there are multiple gadgets that can work well with an air compressor. Wrenches, nail gun, saws, and even hammers are perfect to connect with an air compressor. Say goodbye to the worries of having to do things manually, everyone!

In short, we highly recommend that you get an air compressor. The widespread applications of this gadget will not let you down, as it will be your best assistance when it comes to household projects.

How Does An Air Compressor Work?

Air Compressor WorkThe working principles behind an air compressor can be a bit difficult to understand. We will try to deliver a concise explanation of how an air compressor functions.

There are two main types of air compressor, which are positive displacement and dynamic displacement.

1. Positive Displacement.

A positive displacement relies on a chamber to pressurize the air. By pulling air into a closed compartment, the volume will slowly be decreased to condense the air. When the compartment reaches a set pressure, the vault will open and release the already pressurized air.The brief description has shown you the magic behind a positive displacement air compressor. But be aware that there are a specific number of compressor types using this working principle. What are they?

  • Piston-type: A piston is a long and solid tube that can move up and down an air chamber. That said, a piston-type makes use of the constant movements of pistons to get things done. A piston’s motion will pump air into and out of the compartment.
    Why can pistons perform such a miraculous job? – you may ask. The answer lies in the attached storage tank. When the pistons move downward, they will attract air inside the air chamber. Vice versa, when they move upward, air will be discharged and moved to a storage tank.
    Whether it is a single-stage air compressor or two-stage compressor, piston-type compressors always function based on a common principle. Everything is about the movements of pistons, everyone!
  • Rotary Screw Compressors: Another popular type of air compressor is a rotary screw. As the name indicates, this compressor consists of two helical screws. This pair of objects will pump air into the closed chamber as they turn around. For every turn, the volume will decrease until reaching the maximal pressure.
  • Vane Compressors: If you are looking for a machine that produces a set volume of air at a specific pressure, then a vane compressor will suit your needs. With an open rotating motor, a vane compressor will vary its blade’s position to pump air into the chamber, which will then be stored for future use.

2. Dynamic Displacement.

Unlike positive-displacement air compressors, a dynamic displacement relies on the technology of kinetic energy. By converting the air into the chamber, a rotating impeller will speed up and down accordingly to pressurize the energy. Boom!

How To Maintain An Air Compressor

Having an air compressor at your disposal is the effortless step. What about maintenance? How can you make sure that your air compressor can function properly for a long time?

If you want to seek some advice on how to maintain an air compressor, below are some top tips that you might need.

1. Change the Air Compressor’s Oil Frequently.

Change the air compressor oil frequentlyOil changing is seriously underrated when it comes to technical maintenance, yet it holds up a vital role. A regular replacement of the running oil will help to smoothen the machine and make sure all the details stick together.

2. Clean and Replace the Air Filter when Needed.

Removing an air filter is not as complicated as it seems. All you need to do is to unscrew the nails attaching the filter and your air compressor, then all things are set.

For the newly replaced filter, you may want to use a soft cloth and special cleaning detergent to get rid of all the dust. Not only is cleaning a part of necessary maintenance, but it can also eliminate the obstacles and improve the efficiency of your air compressor.

However, do not forget to replace a new air filter every 6 months. Of course, the time may vary based on different types of air compressors, but you should watch out for the 6-month landmark. Why is that?

Because if you leave your air filter unchanged for more than 6 months, their filtering quality will become rusty. No one wants an air filter that contributes to a malfunctioning air compressor, right?

3. Replace the Damaged Belt.

Replace the damaged beltAfter a while, the belt attached to your air compressor will be worn out. It is a red flag informing you that you need to have a new belt. Gently remove the worn belt out of the wheels’ system, then put the new one in!

4. Establish a Regular Cleaning Routine.

It means nothing for you to achieve all the three steps above if you neglect your air compressor afterward. When it comes to maintenance, regularity should be your top priority.

Of course, you don’t have to clean up the whole thing every week. But we do suggest that you take care of specific parts monthly. Another thing you should do is to change the inner details based on the manufacturer’s recommendation.

How To Choose A Suitable Air Compressor

How To Choose A Suitable Air CompressorThere are some factors that you need to take into consideration when you pick out the best air compressor.

  • The basic requirements of your equipment. Are you trying to power up a nail gun? Or is it a wrench? Different tools will have different demands, so make sure you understand them carefully.
  • Types of air compressors. Like we have introduced before, there are two main types of air compressors available. Learn about the pros and cons of each type before making your final decision.
  • Size and portability. If you want something lightweight and easy to transport, go for a portable air compressor. If not, a large, concrete air compressor is your choice.


An air compressor can be of great help inside your home. But how does an air compressor work? After reading this article, we hope that you have found your answer.

If you think our explanation has come into handy for you, please do not hesitate to share it with your friends and families!