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Why an aftercooler?

Why an Aftercooler?


The compressed air discharged from an air compressor is hot, over 200°F. Compressed air at these temperatures contains large quantities of water in vapor form. As the compressed air cools this water vapor condenses into a liquid form. Example: a 200 SCFM compressor operating at 100 psig introduces 45 gallons of water into the compressed air system each day!


By reducing the air temperature condensate (liquid water) forms. Most air aftercoolers are sized to cool the air to within 5°F to 20°F (2.7°C to 11°C) of ambient air temperature. As the compressed air cools; up to 75% of the water vapor present condenses to a liquid and can be removed from the air system.

A coalescing moisture separator installed downstream of the aftercooler can remove over 99% of the liquid moisture and solids from the compressed air.


Air cooled aftercoolers use ambient air to cool the hot compressed air. The compressed air enters the air cooled aftercooler. The compressed air travels through the finned aluminum tubes of the aftercooler while ambient air is forced over the cooler tubes by a motor-driven fan. The cooler ambient air removes heat from the compressed air.

An oversized aftercooler is usually the most cost-effective; it will produce cooler air with less moisture, reducing the requirements of the air dryer. Additionally, a larger aftercooler will have a lower pressure drop, lowering the necessary discharge pressure from the compressor. For the best results, size the aftercooler for a 1 to 2 psi pressure drop.


·        Most aftercoolers are sized to cool the air to an approach temperature of 5 to 20°F (2.7°C to 11°C) of ambient air temperature.

·        Compressed air aftercoolers are located directly downstream of the compressor.

·        Proper maintenance will keep the aftercooler efficient. A dirty aftercooler results in both warmer air temperatures and increased pressure drop.

·        For every 20°F (11.1°C) rise in compressed air temperature, the moisture content of the air doubles.



The internal air pressure drops will range from 4 psi to less than 1 psi.

Note: Every 1 PSI of pressure loss equals a 1-1/2% of lost work efficiency !


Our most commonly asked for aftercoolers are the 185 CFM to 400 CFM heat exchangers. They use either DC electric motors with 19 amps of current draw or pneumatic motor models that will use 15 to 30 CFM of that systems air flow.


The cost of the various aftercooler models will vary according to each units design efficiency. Those with the most efficient low temperature cooling with the least amount of pressure drop will be the most expensive to purchase initially but will more than pay for themselves in the long term with your increased production/profitability .


Aftercooler prices range from $750  for 185/200 CFM units up to $1,750  for 400 CFM coolers.


Moisture extractors: 15 CFM to 500 CFM coalescing moisture extractors are available.

Prices start at $95.00 for the 15 CFM model.

The 185 to 250 CFM coalescing moisture extractor is $995.00

The 500 CFM unit is $1,650.00


Larger CFM aftercooler and moisture extractors are also available.


With your purchase of the suggested package for your usage/air flow, you will have a low maintenance; extremely cost efficient air preparation system to keep your mobile or fixed air operation running smoothly, efficiently and profitably.


We guarantee it!


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