By . Air Compressor. At Sunday, September 09th 2018, 11:50:03 AM.
Air output of a compressor is expressed in standard cubic feet per minute (SCFM) or just cubic feet per minute (CFM). Not all 5 HP compressors put out the same volume of air per minute. This is a function not only of motor horsepower but also the efficiency of the air compressor pump the motor is powering. The higher the CFM, the less your air compressor will have to cycle on and off to keep up with the demands you are putting on it. A small compressor pump on a huge tank will produce no more air than on a small tank. The only difference will be in the number of times the compressor cycles on an off each hour and the time it takes to recompress the tank on each cycle. In the final analysis, you need to pay attention to SCFM (or CFM) more than you do motor horsepower or tank size. Air flow is the end product of any compressor and the CFM must be sufficient to the job at hand.
Compression not only produces heat but squeezes water out of the air which ends up in the tank. Tanks can rust internally over time and if this is not controlled, the rusted air tank can eventually explode causing considerable damage and even death. That is why it is really important to evacuate the tank of water regularly. Most air compressors come equipped with a drain valve at the lowest point of the tank. If you dont want to spray water all over the floor under the unit, you may want to consider piping it from the valve to another place such as under the floor or into a drain. Piped water will flow uphill into a sink because it is being pushed out of the tank by compressed air.
Though this information may not help you a lot in deciding what actual brand and model you should buy, it should help you to at least recognize basic terms. That way you will know the best questions to ask an expert and maybe understand better his answers. That way you can make the best decision according to your needs. After all, the right air compressor will make a lot of your home projects a lot easier and faster to accomplish.