While most of the “major” air compressor manufacturers promote their products using efficiency as a selling point, most fail to fully disclose the inefficient realities that accompany them.”
Efficiency is something we all strive for. To put it simply, efficiency is the ability to avoid waste. Wasted time, wasted effort, wasted money, wasted fuel. It’s applied toward us personally, to our businesses, to our cars, to everything. This is because just about everything in our world can be efficient, and over the last decade, the word has become a societal obsession. “Fuel efficiency” and “energy efficient” are terms we use daily. We sell and are sold on the idea of efficiency in all facets of life.
We hear “efficient” and immediately think “better”. In the air compressor industry, customers ears perk up when efficiency is brought into a sales pitch. It’s used to describe the amount of fuel, energy, waste and ultimately money that is required to run a machine. In the customer’s eyes, the “more efficient” a machine is, the higher quality it must be, and the more financially beneficial it is. Unfortunately, many customers fail to look beyond the initial sales pitch to determine just how efficient, or inefficient, certain air compressors can be.
While most of the “major” air compressor manufacturers promote their products using efficiency as a selling point, most fail to fully disclose the inefficient realities that accompany them. This is a prime reason why “The Fine Print” should never be overlooked, especially when evaluating air compressor warranties. While every brand of air compressor does need a level of preventative maintenance, many manufactures build in outrageous maintenance requirements to maintain warranties, such as:
-Scavenge line check valve kits twice a year
-Inlet valve rebuilds once per year
-Replace the thermal valve once a year
-Rebuild oil stop valve once a year
-Rebuild of minimum pressure check valve once a year
– Replacement of control solenoids @16,000 hours
-Complete drive motor overhaul @ 24,000 hours
-Condensate drain kit once a year
The above required maintenance is a direct result of manufactures looking out for themselves as they sacrifice reliability for efficiency. Not long ago, compressors were designed to achieve a 20+ year service life. Unfortunately, this has changed, with most new compressors lasting only 8-10 years, if they’re lucky. Machines are purposely being made using cheaper, lower quality materials to keep production costs down. This results in machine components failing much sooner than older machines, drastically increasing the need to frequently replace and service parts. Fully aware of the lack of quality, manufacturers have created strict service requirements in order to maintain warranties. These warranty requirements serve two purposes; to reduce the likelihood of fulfilling warranty claims and to boost their bottom line for their parts business.
The fact of the matter is that when all the dust settles and all the unnecessary maintenance is complete to maintain a warranty, it’s time for the customer to purchase a new air compressor all over again. In the short term these new machines may appear efficient but, in the long term customers find themselves spending more than ever.
How efficient is that?