About compressed air filters provides basic information about compressed air filtration.
You can ask a question about compressed air filters via the comment box at the bottom of the page. I invite anyone with knowledge about compressed air filters to respond and to comment as well.
About Compressed Air Filters – Why Install One?
Why would you consider adding a compressed air filter to a compressor air line?
Compressed air is filthy. Your air compressor is sucking in vast quantities of ‘fresh’ air, and that air is full of grit and dust. The intake filter on your air compressor filters out much of that debris. Some always gets through.
Dirty compressed air acts as an abrasive, wearing inner components of your air tools, particularly of concern if you use your air tools a lot.
Depending on the element capability in the air compressor filter, as the compressed air passes through the filter element, any debris still in the air line is removed down to the filter element size, thereby reducing particulates getting to the air tool.
Water is also an issue
Compressors turn water vapor in the intake air into free water inside the compressor. Compressors also increase the amount of water vapor in the compressed air in the tank. Both free water and water vapor laden air enter your air line and through it to your air tools.
Water getting to an air tool is a problem. If your air tool is a paint sprayer, water getting to the sprayer is catastrophic to the paint job.
Compressed air filters remove much of that free water, and some of the water vapor from the compressed air stream, as well.
If you use your air tools a lot, or if you are working with an air tool that requires freedom from water spatters and water vapor, then you want to install a compressed air filter.
About Compressed Air Filters – Where Install One?
As a rule of thumb of mine if it is a small DIY type air compressor, install a compressed air filter right at the coupler of the compressor. Rather than disassembling the piping, if you want to be crafty, by using another connector and coupler installed in the filter head you can then simply plug the filter into the existing coupler on the compressor with the connector in the filter, and plug the air line into the coupler on the other side of the filter head.
If you have long air line runs, know that water will condense out in the lines, and end up spraying out your air tool, even if you have a filter at the compressor.
I suggest you run the air line to a filter installed on the workshop wall, and then use another, shorter air line, to get air to your air tool.
About Compressed Air Filters – All compressed air has water in it
If water coming down your compressed air stream is a problem for your work or your air tools, and it almost always is, do yourself a favor. Install a compressed air filter.
The modest up-front expense may save you significantly in the long term.