Heater for air compressor

Old 06-02-12, 02:33 AM
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Heater for air compressor

Hello, I live in Michigan and I have a well insulated polebarn (hobby barn) and of course we experience alot of cold weather. I do have a couple salamander type heaters and am thinking of investing in some electric heaters but I've been trying to think of a way to heat the air that run my air tools like, impacts, air ratchets, sanders etc etc. No matter if the barn is at a workable temperature, the air coming out of the exhaust ports on the air tools is cold enough to give you frostbite... I thought about wrapping my compressor tank with a heating cord you would wrap around your water pipes but thought that would not really be efficient since the air compressor does cycle on and off a bit when using high volumes of air and the heating wrap could not heat the air fast enought. Then I got thinking that the air compressor takes in sorrounding air in order to compress it and store it in the tank so what if I come up with a heater that would heat up the air going into the inlet of the compressor unit. First I thought hair dryer but figured being on for such a long period is asking for trouble since they are not made to be on for a hour at a time. so now I am thinking of fabricating a duct to the inlet air filter on my compressor and using an electric heater with fan (forced air type) so the air the compressor takes in is already warm so if I wrap all my air piping with insulation and the tank in kind of a water heater blanket that may be the best way to use the air tools in the winter without freezing your hands off. I am looking for anyone elses idea's and opinions. I dont want to jump ahead too fast and do something moronic and have to use my home owners insurance lol... Thank you in advance.
Old 06-02-12, 03:27 AM
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Welcome to the forums!

While I don't get as much cold weather as you do, I've experienced the cold hands when using pneumatic tools. IMO the best/easiest fix is to put on gloves
Old 06-02-12, 04:17 AM
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I agree, use gloves.
By heating the air you will allow it to hold more moisture and would create freeze-up problems.
My compressor is outside in an unheated shelter where it experiences -30 degC temps with only a magnet heater on the compressor crankcase.
It has been operating perfectly for over ten years.
Old 06-02-12, 04:56 AM
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The air heats up inside the compressor head, so you don't need further heat, except as Greg mentioned for the crankcase. You are experiencing hot air hitting your hands and the ambient air causing the cold feeling.
Old 06-02-12, 05:17 AM
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Compressed Air

Compressed air heats up and de-compressed air cools down. Its just the way it is.

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