What Makes an Air Compressor Different From an Air Pump?

Air Compressor vs. Air Pump
Air Compressor vs. Air Pump

Air Compressor vs. Air Pump

An air compressor and air pump can be easily differentiated by how they function. The operational methods of both types of equipment depend on air that is propelled from valves on the equipment.

The air pumps have a simpler operational process when compared to the air compressors. Air pumps work with a piston that forces air into an enclosed space to inflate the object, and it is also used to introduce oxygen in aquariums, which is known as aeration, a practice that is essential to sustain the aquatic life in that aquarium.

The air compressors deliver an air pressure output that is significantly higher than the output from an air pump. The air compressors can deliver an output of air pressure as high as 200 PSI. This capacity makes air compressors suitable for different uses.

There are different types of air pumps. We have the reciprocating air pumps, double-acting pumps, and the diaphragm pumps. These air pumps have different output capacities; the task to be done will determine which air pump is selected.

Also, it is important to note that air pumps are manually operated. They can be manually operated by hand or legs. They are suitable for inflating things such as bicycle tires, footballs, and other types of sports balls. Air pumps are also installed in rafts; these models are controlled by using the legs to push a pedal, which propels the raft forward due to the release of air pressure from the pump.

The air compressors currently found in the market are powered by electricity or gas. You can find the heavy-duty industrial air compressors with Honda engines that run on gas. Other models feature electric extension cords that can be connected to a power source in cars of a garage.

Also, the air pumps that are used in air compressors can either be oil-lubricated or oil-free. The oil-free air compressor models are currently in high demand in the market because they have a significantly lower maintenance cost.

The air compressors are also single-stage or two-stage models. What this means is that the process of channeling air into the chamber where it is compressed and eventually expelled is done in only one stage. The single-stage air compressors utilize only part of the piston, they deliver lower air pressure output when compared to the two-stage air compressor models. Single-stage models are usually portable air compressors with average-sized air tanks.

The two-stage air compressors are the industrial models that can deliver an air pressure output as high as 200 PSI, using both sides of the piston.

The air pumps also have pistons, but they are basic types of pistons that force out the air in the system through an outlet valve.

In conclusion, the principle of operation for the air compressor and air pump are quite different. Also, their uses differ, while both types of equipment deliver air pressure output, the air compressor has a significantly higher output in terms of air pressure.

Also, the air compressor is sold at a much higher price than the air pump; this difference can be attributed to the more complex system of an air compressor.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments