Free Money! (…or How to Save a Million Cubic Feet of Compressed Air per Year)

As the unscientific test in this video shows, most people will walk right past free money.

So instead of trying to hand you free money, I will just show you where to find some…

EXAIR moved into our new facility in 2005.  And, yes, we do actually make our products in this building.
We have a real factory with employees, machinery and equipment.
We aren’t simply an import and export company with a warehouse.

The original building owner did not have an extensive compressed air system, so we started from scratch and installed a completely new air compressor and distribution system  to go along with our existing air compressors (Yes, we need more than just one).  The new system was pressure tested thoroughly, and any leaks identified were repaired.  Everything worked great!

Fast forward four years.

It became more and more obvious that we were losing system pressure overnight.  Even though our facility operates less than 24 hours per day, our compressed air system still has air in it at night.  We simply had much less compressed air in the morning than was there the previous evening.  Even though the business wasn’t operating throughout this period, our leaks were still costing us money even when we were closed!

We used our Ultrasonic Leak Detector as part of a leak detection and mitigation project.  The project revealed fifteen very minor leaks (0.2 SCFM or less) and two somewhat larger leaks (2.1 and 2.2 SCFM).  Most of the minor leaks were the result of threaded connections or crimped hoses that just weren’t 100% airtight.  The pipe connection leaks were easily mitigated by applying pipe sealant and retightening the connections.  The leaking hose was replaced.  Our two larger problems were the result of a leaking automatic drain air filter and a leaking 4-way valve.  The air filter was rebuilt and the leaking valve was replaced.

How do we know how much air was being wasted by each leak?  That is one advantage of being a compressed air focused company.  We removed the offending equipment from our compressed air system and tested each in our lab to assign a loss value to the leakage.  These are real world numbers, not estimated figures.  (Our lab services are available to you – click here for more information)

The total of all of our leaks was only 6.5 SCFM.  The compressed air lost was roughly equivalent to having two 1/16″ diameter holes somewhere in our compressed air system.  We all expected a higher figure, and we wondered at first whether the project had been worth the time and effort involved for such a “small” amount of leakage.

But if you take those figures and extrapolate them over the course of a day, week, month and year you will find that THOSE SMALL LEAKS COST US OVER A MILLION CUBIC FEET OF COMPRESSED AIR PER YEAR!


6.5 SCFM x 60 minutes per hour = 390 CF per hour

390 CF x 10 operating hours per day (average) = 3900 CF per operating day

3900 CF per operating day plus 350 CF (leakage that happens after operating hours) = 4250 CF per operating day

4250 CF x 250 operating days per year (average) = 1,062,500 CF per year


If 6.5 SCFM in leaks can cost over 1M cubic feet of compressed air per year, just imagine how much free money is in your plant just waiting for you to pick it up.

Bryan Peters

2 thoughts on “Free Money! (…or How to Save a Million Cubic Feet of Compressed Air per Year)

Leave a Reply