According to PneumaticTips, it’s important to remember that, if you consider the overall cost of ownership of a compressed air system, assuming a ten-year life for the system, the purchase cost only accounts for about 12% of the total. Furthermore, 76% of the cost of owning a compressed air system comes in the form of electricity bills.
To put this in perspective, if you continuously run a 100-hp compressor at full power, you will spend $74,000 a year in energy costs, assuming a rate of 10 cents per kWh.
Therefore, if you are assessing the value of your compressed air system and making your decision in purely economic terms, you need to keep the total cost of ownership in the forefront of your mind. While the cost of repairs may be significantly less than the cost of replacing your system, ask yourself if you’re keeping a system working that’s actually costing you more in the long run by operating less efficiently.
These costs come in many different forms. First, as compressors age, the costs of repairs increase. That’s why you should carefully consider any repair that costs over 50% of the cost of a comparable replacement. But you also need to consider the operational inefficiencies and the subsequent costs of an older compressor. Because of how inefficient some older models are, you may be wasting as much money on energy costs as you would spend on a new dental compressor.
Many operational malfunctions can be traced back to the power source. Are there issues with the point of connection between your compressor and the electric grid? Additionally, improper lubricant levels can contribute to poor operation. When was the last time you checked and adjusted the oil levels in your system?
If you are experiencing excessive noise or knocking while the compressor is running, loose bearings, flywheels, belts or defective crankcases are also possible culprits. If you can isolate the source of the noise, you can either make the small adjustments necessary or at least guide a repair technician in the right directions, potentially saving you money on otherwise costly repairs.