As you may already know, air compressors are very different from each other – you can find either stationary ones or portable ones. Then, you have gas air compressors and electric units. Moreover, you will also find devices with different PSI levels.
But what about the CFM rating? What it is and what it does for your unit? Do all air compressors have the same CFM? If not, how do you adjust it? Read this article and discover how to get more CFM from the air compressor.
What Is CFM?
CFM is short for cubic feet per minute. Basically, it measures the flow rate of the air volume that comes out of your air compressor.
The CFM is measured considering the tank size, as well as the pump’s cylinders’ size and the speed the pump uses. To give you an example, if a unit has a 9 CFM rating, then it means that there will be 9 cubic feet of air coming out of the air compressor in one minute.
CFM is an important consideration when you want to purchase and use an air compressor. That’s because the CFM will dictate the types of tools you can use with the compressor. Each kind of air tool requires a different CFM, and with that in mind, you will have to get an air compressor that can adjust its CFM level.
What Makes CFM so Important?
As mentioned, CFM is very important for an air compressor. Without the CFM rating, the air compressor would not even work, because there wouldn’t be any air going into the unit. So, no air pressure will be generated to make the tools work. Therefore, nobody who is interested in an air compressor should ever overlook the CFM aspect if they want a high-quality unit.
The amount of CFM a unit can generate is also crucial. The higher the amount of CFM it can create, the more air it’s able to generate for your tool. When the CFM is high, it means it will be able to power bigger units. So, it’s best to get an air compressor with high CFM if you have to complete an important job.
What Is the Difference Between CFM and PSI?
CFM stands for Cubic Feet per Minute and it only shows the amount of air that comes out of your unit per minute. So, it’s a measurement for the volume.
Conversely, PSI refers to Pounds per Square Inch and it shows the pressure level of the air in your air compressor.
How to Increase CFM on an Air Compressor?
Do you want to increase the CFM on your air compressor? In general, air compressors come with a certain CFM rating, as they were built specifically for certain pressure. But it is possible to boost the CFM level and here’s how you can do this:
1. Increase CFM by Decreasing the Pressure
The first thing that an air compressor does when it starts operating is to take air inside. After that, it starts building pressure in the tank. Then, the pressure allows the air to go out of the air compressor at a certain rate. This is what the CFM is.
But if you want the CFM to be higher, then the pressure has to be decreased. Basically, every air compressor will come with its own power level that is dependent on the CFM and pressure. If you want the power to stay constant, then you will have to decrease the pressure. Doing so will increase the unit’s CFM.
Keep in mind that while you’re able to increase the CFM, operating the air compressor beyond its limit will not be possible. Just try to decrease the pressure in the unit’s tank and the CFM is going to increase. Dial down the regulator to make this possible. It will allow the air to slowly flow into the tank and end up creating less pressure inside.
2. Connect Two Compressors
As mentioned, all air compressors will have a limit for their CFM, so decreasing the pressure will only increase the CFM up to that limit. But what if you need more? What can you do to obtain the amount of CFM you need? Well, if your unit has a 6 CFM limit and you need more, you can try connecting two compressors. So, if you connect a 6 CFM unit to a 4 CFM one, you will obtain 10 CFM.
To do this, you will have to connect the tank of the two compressors with two different hoses, then add another hose and connect the two with the third. Consider a hose with three holes for the third one, as they will have to be used as inputs, while the third hole can be used as output. Then, connect the output of the last hose with the tool, and you will be able to get a higher CFM for your project.
The Bottom Line
As you can see, obtaining a higher CFM is possible and now you know how to do it. Try one of these methods and increase the CFM level according to your needs. It is up to you what air tools you will use with the air compressor afterward.