Successful businesses all have a need to make sure that the compressed air operating their machinery is running optimally.
In fact, in some businesses and industries, depending on the country and industry, this is a legal requirement to ensure the safety of the machinery used.
As a result, many businesses will need to have an air assessment or an air audit of their working premises and machinery to ensure that their staff are able to work in a safe and healthy environment. As well as to make sure that their machinery is operating efficiently
Not only this, but the quality of the air that their employees breathe needs to be of a certain standard by law - again, depending on the country and industry. A duty of care exists for their staff and their working environments.
But which one of these air assessments does a particular business or industry need? And what is the difference between the three?
That’s exactly what we discuss in this post and our aim is to help any good business owner or health and safety coordinator to decide.
Before you read on, please make sure that you are familiar with the laws and regulations of your country before taking any advice from this article. You are responsible for any actions you take and we can’t assume liability.
With that disclaimer out of the way, let’s explore the differences between a compressed air audit and air quality assessment:
While it’s true that an audit of your compressed air system is more involved and in depth, it won’t cause any disruptions to your operations. This is because it is carried out as the system is fully operational.
Data loggers are used during air audits to measure a number of factors, including temperatures, depoint, flow, pressure, power (kW) etc and are devised to offer a comprehensive overview of the utilisation of compressed air in a particular system.
The data loggers are connected to the actual compressor and there at various points along the air network and remain in place for between 7 and 14 days.
It is done in this way to gather the appropriate information through observation and recording of a normal working week’ and weekend’s system diagnostics.
The goal of these audits is to help indicate how much compressed air is actually used during a specific period of time, highlight any issues and offer insight into how the system could be run more efficiently.
With all air audits, you have the choice of various options such as monitoring and control programs, air leak detection and control, maintenance reviews and straight forward air quality audits.
Also known as a compressed air survey or a walk-the-line style assessment, a compressed air assessment is a very basic way of determining how efficient and effective a compressed air system actually is.
You will find that often assessments of these kinds are free. They tend to utilise simplistic recording devices like pressure data loggers and amperage data loggers and tend to be concentrated on the supply end of things.
The primary goal with an assessment of an air compressor is fully understand how much energy is utilised by the system in question , in addition to making suggestions and alterations that could improve its efficiency.
The tests can help you to identify any problems that were unknown up until that point and this is the best option if you have a tight budget and have recently opened up. Air assessments will also highlight any that need more in depth checks which can lead to an audit being required.
Air quality testing is separate from both air audits and air assessments of compressed air.
This method of assessment tests for pollutants in the air for health and safety of homes and, in this case, business premises to ensure all staff are breathing in safe air.
This will need to be done at various intervals to ensure compliance in certain industries (and country dependent)
The biggest difference between an air audit and air assessment is the cost.
You will find that most assessments of compressed air systems are complementary, whereas full-on audits are more expensive, though it depends what the particular one you are interested in covers.
Air audits are also carried out over a longer period, with some lasting as long as weeks or even months.
The length of time they take will depend on the outcome you are looking to achieve and the size of your property.
Bear in mind that not all facilities require in-depth audits of the compressed air systems.
In some cases, all that is required is a walk-the-line style of assessment to help you save on your energy use.
Our suggestion would be, before you settle for one or the other, speak to a compressed air provider in the local area to determine which of the options they think would be best.