CPA Compressed Air Audit

Compressed Air Survey

It's not just about air leaks

After electricity, water and gas, compressed air is considered to be the fourth utility. Usually production critical and very convenient, compressed air is very expensive to generate. Typically, by the time it reaches the end user, the cost of compressed air can be as much as eight times more expensive than 'normal' electricity. With over 10% of industrial electricity demand used for compressing air, a simple analysis can often yield significant savings.

Is a basic maintenance up to date? 

Blocked filters, dirty oil coolers, tired oil and choked intake grills all make the compressor work harder.

What do you really need? 

Redundant pipework, overtreatment and more pressure than you require are all expensive to fulfil and where these elements can be reduced or eliminated, cost savings can be made. In some situations, compressed air may not be the best solution for the application and a cheaper, more appropriate alternative should be used.

Is supply meeting demand, at the right time

Proper analysis can show detailed fluctuations of plant demand and how this is being met by a combination of compressors switching between lead, lag and standby. It is possible that reconfiguring running patterns can make significant savings. In some cases simply turning off compressors that are not required; an idling compressor can still use 40% of its full load.

Have you checked for leaks? 

Perhaps the most obvious savings can be made by addressing air leaks. Air leaks in a system can represent between 20-30% of a compressor's output and contribute to indirect costs and operating losses. Our compressed air leak detection surveys are carried out while your plant and equipment is operational. There is no interruption to your operations during a survey and they are conducted without having to touch or isolate any plant or equipment and are extremely cost-effective.

A comprehensive compressed air survey will consider all elements of your compressed air; generation, treatment, storage, distribution and point of use and we will ask you the following: 

  • Is equipment well maintained?
  • Is equipment up to date and efficient?
  • Can pressure be reduced?
  • Can an alternative to compressed air be used?
  • Is there redundant equipment?
  • Are running programmes configured to suit demand?

A high leak rate causes fluctuations in pressure, resulting in hidden costs such as slower running or the stalling of production lines and also creates a noisy environment for staff. Common leak sources are:

  • Leaking pipes, joints, hoses and couplings.
  • Air equipment left running when not needed.
  • Manual condensate drain valves left open.

Our trained and highly experienced engineers use ultrasonic hand-held compressed air leak detection equipment to: 

  • Locate leaks.
  • Assess the size of the leak.
  • Calculate the cost per annum of each individual leak.
  • Photograph and identify (tag) each individual leak.
  • Assess the damage and make a recommendation as to the repair.


As systems are in constant use and therefore under constant pressure fluctuations, leaks develop continuously. We recommend having an ongoing leak test and repair programme in place as leaks reappear and a 3mm hole could cost over £600/year in wasted energy.