Three Tips For Choosing An Air Compressor For Your Roofing Business

Installing, maintaining, and removing roofs require the use of a variety of tools. One of the best things you can invest in for your roofing business is an air compressor. This appliance lets you run a variety of pneumatic tools, such as nail guns, that can reduce job times by delivering greater force and pressure than regular tools. However, buying the right air compressor can be challenging. Here are three tips for purchasing one that fits the needs of your roofing company.

Number of Workers and Tools

The first thing you need to determine is the maximum number of people who will be using the machine and, thus, the number of tools that'll be connected to it. This will help you figure the amount of air a machine needs to provide so employees can work efficiently and with as little interruption or down time as possible.

The amount of air delivered by a compressor is measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM). The higher this number, the more tools can be connected to the machine without reducing efficiency. For instance, a framing nail gun requires 2.2 CFM to function at full capacity. If you get an air compressor that produces 5 CPM, you can run two nail guns with no problem.

You can determine the minimum number of CPMs your air compressor needs by looking at the jobs your crew does and the tools they will use. Add up the amount of air each of the pneumatic tools use to get the size compressor that'll work for your business.

Power Source

Another thing you'll need to consider when purchasing a compressor is the power source. These appliances can run on gas or electricity, and the best type for your roofing business depends on the kinds of roofing work you specialize in.

For example, if your work consists primarily of putting roofs on newly constructed homes (or homes in the process of being built), then you may want to opt for a gas-powered air compressor. You may not have access to an electrical outlet to plug your compressor into. On the other hand, if you work mostly on existing structures that are in use (e.g. not abandoned), then an electric air compressor may be the better option, since you won't have to worry about storing and handling gas safely.

Even with an electric model, it's important to know how much voltage you'll have access to at a job. Most single-family homes are wired for single-phase input. It wouldn't do you any good to get an air compressor that uses a three-phase input because you won't be able to hook it up your clients' houses.

Noise Level

A third thing you need to consider is the amount of noise the machine makes. Air compressors can get quite loud, especially ones that run on gas. Whether or not this is an issue for you, again, depends on where you'll be doing the bulk of your work. It's not uncommon for residential neighborhoods to have noise ordinances. If you show up at your client's home on a Saturday morning and begin making a racket with your air compressor, you may draw the ire of the neighbors and get fined by the local cops.

As mentioned previously, gas air compressors make a lot of noise as do reciprocating compressors. Electric rotary screw compressors tend to be somewhat quieter. However, it's essential you check the noise level of the machine before buying it. Have the salesperson turn on the compressor so you can determine if it's too loud for your needs or not.

For more information about air compressors or help picking one out, contact a construction equipment seller like Compressed Air Systems.