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Renting an Air Compressor That Meets Your Needs
You can rent air compressors of different sizes, output capabilities and mobility configurations. When you go to rent an air compressor, you need to choose one that will match your tool requirements and your project needs. The material below provides information on some of the points you should consider when renting an air compressor. Your ARA-affiliated rental professional also can answer any questions you have about rental air compressors.
  • Power source. Electric-powered air compressors offer the perfect rental solution for indoor projects that have access to the proper voltage of electricity. On the other hand, exhaust fumes from a rented gas-powered air compressor dictate using it only outdoors or in a well-ventilated area. You also should choose to rent a gas-powered air compressor when working in a remote location without electricity.
  • CFM requirements. You need to rent an air compressor that pumps enough air — measured in standard cubic feet per minute (cfm) — to exceed the total compressed air needs of all of the tools and attachments you will operate with it at a certain pressure. To calculate your total cfm requirements, add up the air requirements for each of the tools you plan to attach simultaneously to the air compressor and then add 30 to 35 percent more to it.
  • PSI requirements. A rental air compressor’s rating of pounds per square inch (psi) determines the pressure of the air it delivers. Various air tools require different amounts of pressure to operate.
  • Tank capacity. The number of gallons of air a rental air compressor can hold indicates the size of its tank. You will need a larger tank to run tools, such as sandblasters, that require a continuous supply of compressed air than you will for tools, including nail guns, which need only short bursts of air.
  • Style. Do-it-yourself homeowners and small contractors tend to find that renting smaller, portable air compressors, such as hand-carried or smaller, wheeled models suffice for the majority of their projects. These air compressors allow you to move them easily, but tend to produce less cfm. Larger, professional contractors may prefer to rent towable air compressors for more power and dependability. You can tow many sizes of towable air compressors using a pickup truck.
  • Single- or two-stage pump. Both gas- or electric-powered, air compressor rentals can store air in a tank. These types of air compressors rely on pistons that pull air into the cylinder to compress it. Single-stage compressors use one compression piston and generate enough pressure — up to 150 psi — for lightweight projects. A two-stage compressor uses a second piston to compress further the air from the first piston, producing higher psi pressures for more tasking applications. Air compressors that lack a storage tank must run continuously and provide less power than air compressors that have a tank.
Contact your local, ARA-affiliated, rental store for information on available rental products and services to meet your air compressor needs. To locate the rental store nearest you, use the Rental Store Quick Locator above.

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