Air Dryer Power Consumption

Refrigerating dryers for pneumatic equipment air lines consume power when they're running. Cycling models can save electricity. March 9, 2008

I have a two headed Butfering sander that is about 6 years old. From the very first day it was ever turned on, it has had its own dedicated air drier. The guy who installed the sander told us that we should always turn the drier on about 30 minutes before we ran the sander. He implied that it took the compressor unit on the drier this long to actually start drying air. I got to thinking about this the other day when I realized this drier has run just about nonstop all day, every day we've had the sander. This has got to use a bunch of electricity, so I thought I would check out this assumption. How long does an air drier need to be cooking before moisture is taken out of the airline?

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor D:
Well, I know that my air drier starts chilling right away. If you never run your compressor/draw air without your air drier running, than your air will stay dry within the system, though you must run the air drier when drawing air for the air to stay dry.

From the original questioner:
Sorry to be so dense about this. I want to make sure I am confident in my assumption. Does the air dryer have to warm up in order to remove moisture from the air? Or can I turn on both the air dryer and widebelt sander at the same time and have only dry air in the system? What I am trying to do is not have to keep the air dryer running all day in anticipation of needing to use the widebelt sander. Do I need to have the air dryer running for a while first before it is capable of pulling the moisture out of the air?

From contributor D:
Wide belt sanders do not consume a lot of air. That being said, why a dedicated air drier? If it were mine, I would get a desiccant drier and install that in the line feeding the sander. Then you wouldn't have to turn anything on, just drain it periodically. Air driers don't warm up, they cool down, causing any moisture to condense in the system, thus allowing it to be drained from the system. Usually refrigerated air driers are directly downstream of the air compressor keeping all the lines in the shop dry, which benefits all your air operated machinery. When you turn on an air drier, they start working within a minute or two.

From contributor G:
As long as a standard refrigerated air drier is turned on, it will run. It will run whether air is being used or not. It is wasteful of electricity when not needed. I bought a cycling air drier which runs only when needed. Cost more, but worth it to me.