Quiet Air Compressors – Are They Worth the Investment?

For many consumers noise levels are a key consideration when buying a new air compressor. There a huge range of quiet air compressors now available to suit a variety of different needs but are they worth the extra investment over their louder counterparts?
Let’s take a typical application which we see a lot: 
Manufacturing business X has moved into a new unit to increase their production output and they need a new compressor to match their requirement.
One of our first questions when discussing their best option will always be “where is the compressor going to be sited?“. If the compressor is going to be sited in an external plant room then noise is not an issue, however for the majority of installations this is not the case – we most commonly see compressors sited in one corner of a warehouse or unit. So assuming this is the case for business X they have 2 main options:
1. A silenced piston compressor
2. A screw compressor
We would almost always recommend a screw compressor for applications where employees are working within close proximity of the compressor. A standard silenced piston compressor will still have a noise output of 80-90 dB(A); a comparable sized screw compressor would be around 60-65dB(A). Given that the average workshop operates at around 70-80dB(A) a screw compressor will offer a much more comfortable working environment than a piston machine. But what is the difference in cost:

ABAC SPINN 5.5-270 Screw Compressor:  £2550+VAT
ABAC Silenced Piston 5.5 -270 Compressor: £1675+VAT

Even when you consider the higher investment a screw compressor will always be the best option of those two. A silenced piston compressor does not offer the same quality, reliability or comfort as a screw compressor and if you can afford one we would always recommend a screw compressor.
 
What about specialist applications?
There are applications where noise levels are even more important – we have done various installations for dentist practices, research facilities and salons where the compressor needs to be sited very close to their end user and this means that even a screw compressor is too loud. In these cases we will install our range of Whispair Compressors – these super silent air compressors are extremely quiet at just 45dB(A), similar to a domestic refrigerator. They do have a lower output than a standard compressor but they are the number one choice for use in dental practices, laboratories, offices and beauty salons where low air requirements and minimum noise levels are a priority.
 
For more information or to discuss the best compressors for your own application please contact us on 01480 217904 or email us.