Air Compressor Heat Recovery

The Latest from C.H. Reed

February 19, 2024

Air Compressor Heat Recovery


As utility costs continue to rise, businesses are seeking ways to cut expenses by reducing energy consumption.

Does your company utilize air compressors? While these machines perform numerous essential functions, such as painting vehicles, powering pneumatic tools and sandblasting in machine shops, they require a substantial amount of electricity to operate. A compressed air heat recovery system can reduce energy consumption and provide significant cost savings in the colder months.

What Is a Compressed Air Heat Recovery System?

An air compressor generates substantial heat during operation. However, only a small percentage of the energy used by an air compressor actually compresses the air. The remainder, which can reach 20% in some cases, is often allowed to radiate away as heat. Heat recovery systems provide a way to reclaim this wasted heat and use it for multiple beneficial purposes. You may be able to recapture up to 90% of the generated heat.

While many newer air compressors have built-in heat recovery systems, older models may require a retrofit or the installation of specialized equipment. Either way, the energy savings typically outweigh the upfront costs, providing a substantial return on investment.

Air Compressor Heat Recovery Applications

Your business could use heat recovery systems for various practical applications:

  • Space heating: The recovered heat can help keep targeted areas of your facility warmer and lower your energy costs. The process typically involves connecting the compressor to your HVAC system via its ducting. You can also discharge excess heat through the external exhaust to avoid overworking your air conditioner.
  • Water heating: Heating water is an essential but costly process for many businesses. Using an energy recovery system offers a cost-effective solution for generating pre-heated water. Because water molecules are not symmetrical, the hydrogen atoms tend to form weak bonds with atoms of other molecules. An energy recovery system streamlines the process of breaking the chemical hydrogen bonds within the water, which requires significant energy and is therefore often expensive.
  • Industrial processes: Use heat recovery systems to support industrial procedures, such as molding, cutting and separating, by providing supplemental thermal energy.

What Are the Benefits of Air Compressor Heat Recovery?

Implementing compressed air heat recovery solutions offers several potential benefits for your business:

  • Energy cost reduction: By enabling you to manage wasted heat more efficiently, the process can lower energy consumption and your utility bills.
  • Simplicity: Retrofitting compressors or installing heat recovery equipment is a relatively straightforward process requiring minimal time and labor.
  • Reliable heat source: You’ll get a dependable heat source you can trust, whether you’re using it to provide thermal energy or improve industrial processes.
  • Extended life span: Removing heat prevents your compressor from getting hot while working, which can help extend its life span.
  • Environmentally friendly: Heat recovery systems can reduce your company’s carbon dioxide emissions and enable you to leave a smaller ecological footprint.
  • Short payback period: The fast return on investment helps a business’s cash flow and provides a relatively quick boost to the bottom line.
  • No impact on your air supply: These systems won’t impact the production and availability of compressed air — you’ll have plenty to use for your manufacturing tasks and other purposes.

Contact C.H. Reed to Learn More About Heat Recovery Systems

At C.H. Reed, we can help you get the most out of your compressed air heat recovery systems, along with other industrial solutions, including but not limited to, vacuum pumps, nitrogen generators, air treatment equipment, paint application equipment, and industrial fluid transfer pumps. We also provide emergency service, repair, and preventative maintenance on all the equipment that we sell.

Ready to tackle your next compressed air, vacuum, paint finishing, or fluid handling project? Contact our experts for more information today!

Related Posts

The 3 Distinct Advantages of Hydraulic Powered Pumps

Recently, C. H. Reed helped a major printing operation install a new ink pumping system. The new system needed to transfer four colors of high viscosity, heat-set ink to their three presses, drawing the ink from multiple 5,000…


Simple Ways to Reduce Waste in Your Spray Finishing System

In today’s demanding manufacturing landscape, it can be convenient to adopt a “cut-costs-at-all-costs” mentality, justifying questionable means for the sake of leaner production, a lower bottom line and increased profitability.  Regrettably, those efforts can interfere…


What You Need to Know About Air-Powered Pressure Washers

Pressure washers are great solutions for your average cleaning applications, but what tool do you turn to for your more challenging applications?  There are many instances where it is simply impossible to use a traditional…