How to Use an Air Compressor?

Many people find it stressful to learn how to use a new tool. However, it is quite straight forward to learn how to use an air compressor. Although, there was a time when air compressors were only found in the workshops or garages of only dedicated mechanics and home crafters. With the increase in usage, they have become more prevalent in homes nowadays.

In this article, we have included a short tutorial to help you get started and learn how to use an air compressor for your home garage. Now you would not have to run away from any DIY task.

What is an Air Compressor?

An air compressor is a device that helps in converting power into potential energy, ultimately stored as compressed air or pressurized air. It helps in forcing a higher amount of air into the storage tank, which increases the pressure. Air compressors used in garages, homes as well as many different workplaces for assisting in a large number of jobs. These can be:

  • Power washers
  • Spray painting
  • Pumping up tires
  • External house washing

There can also be several advantages to having an air compressor. Some of these benefits are as follows:

  • Speeds up the task while doing crafts, carpentry or building things
  • It is excellent for doing minor home repairs on your own
  • It is a cost-effective method for calling up, professionals
  • It has several uses and is versatile

Types of Air Compressors

Based on the internal mechanism of an air compressor, they can be of different types. The types of air compressors are as follows:

Rotatory Screw Compressor: These are the easiest ones as they come with an internal cooling system. They also do not need much maintenance. Since they are industrial-sized and quite large, they can be run oil-free or lubricated with oil.

Reciprocating Compressor: These can be found in small work areas like home construction projects and garages. They cannot be used continuously and generally need to be lubricated with oil for smooth movement. They work with the help of a piston inside a cylinder.

Dynamic Compressor: These compressors can generate horsepower as they bring air with the help of rapidly rotating blades. They then restrict the air for creating pressure. The energy then gets stored inside the compressor.

Axial Compressor: This type cannot be used in construction sites and typically found in high-speed engines like on planes and ships. They are highly efficient, although they are costly. Mainly used in aerospace research.

Centrifugal Compressor: These compressors create potential energy by slowing down and cooling the incoming air.  They also need less maintenance and can produce air without needing oil.

Steps to Use an Air Compressor

Before you can get started with an air compressor for your home garage, it is vital to ensure that you have all the necessary supplies. It is also a good idea to clear the workplace and ensure the working area is entirely safe to work in. Once you are done, you just need to follow the following steps to use an air compressor:

Step 1: Check the Machine Thoroughly

The first step to use an air compressor is to check the air compressor thoroughly. One should check all the dials as well as the hose. Ensure that the hose is adequately secured; otherwise, it may create problems for you while using the machine. Not connecting the hose suitably can result in low air pressure inside the device, which can cause massive damage to the hose as well as the air compressor.

One should also ensure that the power switch is turned off while you do so to avoid any unnecessary accidents. It is also a good idea to check the machine on a flat surface so that it does not fall off while in use.

Step 2: Prepare according to the Power Source

One needs to prepare the air compressor according to the power source. This depends on what type of air compressor you have with you. These can be three types: electric, gas, and oil. If you have an electric air compressor, you should turn it on only after you have plugged it into the socket. For gas air compressors, you need to check the gasoline level before turning on. You might also have to adjust the level of gas if required.

Lastly, if you are working with an oil air compressor, the oil needs to be filled up to the correct level. This ensures that the seals of the air compressor are not tight enough, and there is no overheating. Whatever be the type of air compressor, one should always check it before turning the power button on.

Step 3: Set the Right Pressure

After turning the air compressor on, just set the pressure in the pressure gauge according to your requirement. Air would start filling in the tank. There are two pressure gauges in a small air compressor. One displays the air pressure in the tank, and the other one displays the pressure that is there while using the hose. These two are referred to as Proper Air Pressure (PSI) and the Air Flow (CFM). It is essential to know what is the exact pressure required as they can vary from one machine to the other.

Step 4: Include any Additional Attachment

After you have filled the tank of the air compressor with the correct amount of air, it is time to begin using the hose and start your work. Begin by closing the gauge. In case you also have an attachment that needs to be included, you should do so in this step. The enclosure needs to be added to the tip. Fasten the attachment securely as it will ensure that there is no damage to the hose or the machine while using it. It also ensures your safety in the whole process.

Step 5: Close the Air Compressor and Unplug It

After your work with the air compressor is done, it is time to turn off the pressure gauge in the machine to shut it off completely. After it is done and complete, it would be safe to unplug the air compressor from the power source. The next part is to release the leftover air from the tank and check the pressure relief valve. The relief valve shows whether there is any pressure left in the tank. You need to keep the valve open till the time the whole air doesn’t get released.

Step 6: Store the Air Compressor

Correctly storing the air compressor is very important to ensure that it does not get damaged while not in use and lasts for a long time. One also needs to make sure that there is no air left in the tank before you store it. The storage place should be arid. Otherwise, it can lead to the formation of condensed air below the air compressor. In case this happens, it will cause damage to the air compressor.

To prevent moisture, make sure that the air can move around quickly around and below the air compressor. So, this ensures that the air compressor remains durable and lasts for a long time without getting damaged.


Through this tutorial, you must have got to know that using an air compressor for your home garage is quite an easy and convenient process. All you need to do is follow the above steps, and you would be able to use the air compressor effectively and safely for a very long time.