Refrigeration Compressor


Contact Us

  • A&S Aerodynamic Co., Ltd
  • Address: No. 469, Xinsheng Road, Gaoxin District, Chengdu, Sichuan, China
  • Tel: +86-28-65376575
  • Fax: +86-28-86129221
  • Email:
  • Contact Person:Laura Tse

What size air tank do I need?

There are no hard and fast rules for choosing a compressor’s tank size, but we suggest you get the largest, practical tank you can afford. There are two main reasons why bigger is better when it comes to air tank size: motor strain and condensation.

Motor Strain
A compressor uses its motor or engine to help fill its air tanks with compressed air. When the volume of air in the tank falls to a certain point, the motor will switch on and begin to fill the tanks again. Frequently turning off and on strains the motor, and shortens the life of the compressor. Because smaller air tanks hold a smaller volume of air, they need to be filled more frequently, and so they switch on their motors more frequently. A larger tank means you can use your tools for longer periods of time before the motor must switch on again. This reduces strain on the motor and prolongs the life of the compressor.

When air is compressed, it becomes hot and holds more moisture. If compressed air is used when it’s still warm and full of moisture, condensation can build up in your air lines and damage your compressor and tools. If  the air tanks are too small for your needs, the compressed air will be used right away, before it has cooled. Larger tanks hold the air for longer, giving it a chance to cool and release moisture before entering the air lines.

We should note that a larger air tank adds bulk, weight and cost to a compressor. Despite these issues, we still recommend getting the largest practical size tank you can afford. (A 20 gallon tank will hold a lot of air, but it will also be hard to move from job site to job site. You must decide what “practical” means for you.)

While there are several factors to consider, don’t get caught up in trying to calculate the “perfect” size air tank. Remember, cfm and hp are the most important elements when comparing compressors. Once you’ve narrowed your selection, tank size may be one of the factors that help you make your final decision.

Note: The drawbacks to smaller tanks are important for people who use their air tools frequently. If you plan to use your compressor for household tasks and occasional small projects, these drawbacks are not significant concerns.

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