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Electric, water, gas, and the 4th utility: compressed air

By: Curtis Hankins Last Updated: April 9, 2019

Water, gas, and electricity. Three utilities familiar to any home or business owner. They are the fundamental elements that allow a house or business serve its purpose. However, if you shift away from homes and toward businesses, specifically manufacturing or industry, the field of utilities widens to create space for one more utility: compressed air.

A company must have four major sources in order to stay up and running. These four utilities include Electric, Water, Gas, and Compressed air. Compressed air is everywhere. From chemical plants, gas compression, general manufacturing, automotive, food and beverage, healthcare, power generation and much more. Without compressed air, companies wouldn’t be able to continue with making the product. 

Despite how widespread it is as a utility, compressed air is often poorly understood or implemented. Simple things like using a compressor too big for its intended use, drives up cost. Leaks and oil contamination often sneak by, and heat loss (present in even the most efficient compressed air systems) all contribute to even greater unnecessary costs. According to Paul Humphreys of the Compressed Air Blog, poorly designed and maintained compressed air systems in the US result in “up to $3.2 billion in wasted utility payments every year.”

As with any engine, the easiest way to optimize and lower costs is through regular maintenance. Sullair, headquartered locally in Michigan City, is an industry leader in innovative compressor technology. Their local distributor, CompressAir, offers a service called an “Air Audit.” During one of these audits, the experts at CompressAir locate leaks, over-pressurization, bad piping, obsolete or inefficient solutions, and work out the best and cheapest way to optimize a business’s energy costs. Most times ending with an energy rebate from local energy providers.

They are also able to log all kinds of data about power, pressure, and flow throughout an air system. They use this to create detailed, data-driven diagrams and graphs that visualize any issues contributing to lower productivity and high costs. An air audit is conducted with no downtime, while the results it brings can reduce operating costs by as much as 50% and maintenance costs by 80%, according to CompressAir.

Preventative maintenance is the easiest way to prevent costs from ballooning, whether it be in a home or factory. Visit compressair.net to learn about the fourth utility and to schedule an Air Audit today.