Does Your Business Need a Refrigerated Air Dyer?

Most dry-cleaners, unless they live in Maine, dread the summer.  The hot, humid weather not only makes for uncomfortable working conditions, but the humidity can also be hard on your equipment.  Let me explain why. 

Typical dry-cleaning plants have production equipment with air-activated cylinders and valves.  The process begins when an electric valve directs compressed air to feed into either cylinders or valves connected to the actual press mechanism, and each cylinder or valve has a rubber O-ring with lubricant around the seal.  If the air is excessively damp, then that damp air will mix with the lubricant creating a sludge that causes the rings to become slow to operate or to completely stick.  This slow or non-reaction leads to issues like shirt press expansion bags not opening in a timely manner causing poor quality and added touch up labor.

An air compressor does not control the moisture of the air; it simply takes in air, so the moisture content of the compressed air is whatever your climate offers, but an air dryer cools down the air as it passes through prior to hitting the storage tank.  Cold air can’t hold humidity like warm air can, so the water condenses and is removed by the water separator on the dryer air outlet. Air dryers, like the Atlas Copco FX HT 2 pictured above, are continuous run units and are both simple and maintenance free.  The only thing you have to do is to periodically clean or change the air filter, and as an added bonus, they don’t require much more electricity than a dorm refrigerator.

Refrigerated air dryers come in different sizes based on the CFM of your air compressor; your distributor can help you determine the model you need.  I would recommend by-passing the air dryer during installation in case there is an issue down the road or if an internal part of the air dryer develops a leak.  This will help you with repairs should you develop any issues later.   

Once a refrigerated air dryer is installed in your compressed air system, you will notice less issues with air operated equipment and will have smother pneumatic valve operation and far fewer pneumatic valve issues.

If you have questions or need help in this area, feel free to call Tri-State Laundry Equipment at 1-866-885-5218.