Air compressors are used in commercial applications and industrial facilities to provide compressed air for a wide variety of processes such as the operation of pneumatic tools, pneumatic controls, and automated equipment.
DOE issued a final rule at the end of 2016 establishing the first national standards for air compressors. However, DOE delayed final publication for three years until compelled to publish by the courts. The standards were finally published in the Federal Register on January 10, 2020 and will take effect on January 10, 2025. The standards apply to rotary positive, lubricated air compressors, which are used almost exclusively in industrial facilities.
California, Colorado, Vermont, and Washington adopted the final DOE standards as state standards with a compliance date of January 1, 2022. States that adopted the standards prior to publication of the national standards can implement the standards until the 2025 federal compliance date.
Technology options for improving the efficiency of air compressors include improved controls, improved cooling fan efficiency, high efficiency motors and variable speed drives, and inclusion of multiple-staged compressors.