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Gas Vs Electric Air Compressor – Which One to Choose?

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Air compressors provide help in many projects, either small or heavy-duty. The two most common air compressors are Electric and Gas-Powered. But which one is better? Well, it depends on the type of project, you see, every air compressor is best, but you need to know your requirements to get the correct air compressor.

In the Gas Vs Electric air compressor debate, we should consider their working capacity, power source, and power output with the location as their working effects according to the surroundings.

Without further ado, we’ll dive into the article to know which one is best for you.

How Does a Gas Powered Air Compressor Work?

An air compressor powered by gas means it works on gas, as its anime implies. It is the primary type of compressor you will come across while buying an air compressor as it is long-lasting.

But why? How does it work to last longer?

In an air compressor, compression of air occurs. When air compression happens, it needs the power to move; that is when the gas-based compressor works by converting gasoline into motion which forces the air end to move and compress air.

The gas-powered air compressor air much faster, ideal for heavy-duty jobs. They are used to decrease the load on the engine, make the compressor quieter, and reduce the use of fuel.

How do Electric Compressors Work?

Electric air compressors have built-in electric motors, which are capable of working even when the engine is not working. It helps the compressor’s efficiency and continuous use.

The compressor produces air and creates a vacuum which helps in reducing volume. Then it pushes the air into the storage tank to reach its maximum level. After getting to the top level, the compressor turns off.

Gas Vs Electric Compressor

Gas Vs Electric Air Compressor

Power Source

Easy access is essential if you install an air compressor in a factory or shop. Depending on your Jobsite and electric and gas accessibility.

Electric air compressors require an electric socket right beside your compressor. Your direct access to a nearby power outlet to plug your compressor and power cords sometimes makes the compressor’s working slow.

Natural Gas Air Compressors need gas to work. If you have easy access to gas. It will be a great choice. Fuels are cheaper than electricity, and they also ensure that you always have enough when you need it. You can move your compressor. Fuel also has a fixed cost other than electric cost.

Power Output

Air compressors can have HP starting from 1.5-7, and for heavy-duty working, it can go up to 15-20HP. The standard air compressor has about 2HP. Unless you opt for a heavy-duty gas air compressor with higher HP, both air compressors have almost the same power.

Gas air compressors work continuously as they work on gas. While electricity turns off when it reaches its maximum pressure levels.


Electric air compressors are portable and lightweight, and the compact units are great for a small place, indoors, and are transferable. The compressor has a variety of sizes and styles. While gas air compressors are bulkier and heavy and are mainly used for heavy-duty industrial usage.


The natural gas air compressor is a unit that increases the pressure of the gas, but how? It happens by reducing its volume. When gas gets compressed, it increases its temperature.

An electric air compressor works by converting electric power to compressed air, making it more robust and beneficial for tools and workshops. Both compressors are similar to pumps, increasing the pressure on a fluid and transferring it through the pipe.

Energy Efficient

Most gas air compressors use gasoline gas which is used: to pressurize air moving in pipelines. It is a cheaper alternative in manufacturing plants other than electricity, and it is more efficient and less expensive than electric costs.

Electric air compressor price is lower, and regular fuel cost is also not there. It is expensive only when you use an air compressor regularly, increasing your bills. The use of gasoline is more costly for gas air compressors.


Electric air compressors are quiet compressors with their portability and being compact. They are not noisy, which makes them ideal for indoors. However, even in closed spaces, the gas air compressors will be highly louder. You and your employee will need safety headphones to be around the compressor.

How To make air Compressor Quiet

There are six ways to quiet your air compressor:

  • Use rubber grommets
  • Lubricate the bearing.
  • The outside placing of the air tank.
  • Wall is covered with sound padding.
  • Putting the compressor in a soundproof box.
  • Use a soundproof blanket.

Learn More: How to Make an Air Compressor Quiet? 9 Effective Tips

Effects on Environment

Electric air compressors do not release any harmful gas, and they are safe indoors and do not risk any safety. While gas air compressors make noise and inhaling toxic fumes might not be dangerous if placed outside, indoors, it is highly toxic.

Gas air compressors are much more dangerous for the environment as they relieve gasses in a toxic environment. It contributes to air pollution, greenhouse gasses, and carbon monoxide in the environment.


Electric air compressors are less in cost and are convenient. It is a compact machine with less expensive technology.

Gas air compressors are large. It needs a lot of initial investments, but the cost of fuel every time you need it. You can say the gas air compressors are double the price of an electric one. Depending on your work requirement, decide on your compressor.

Location and Surroundings

Gas air compressors need more space and fully ventilated areas. The outdoors are the best choice for a gas air compressor, as it helps in removing risk and provides safety. It is ideal for heavy-duty work, and you do not need extension cords.

Electric air compressors: they are ideal for indoors. They work continuously and are suitable for quiet places, and it is ideal for manufacturing areas, workshops, homes, and indoors. They do not need ventilation and cooling as they work at low temperatures.

Pros and Cons of Electric Air Compressors

Gas Vs Electric Air Compressor

  • These compressors are quiet and ideal for indoors and in peaceful places.
  • Great for the environment as they do not emit any toxic exhaust in the air.
  • It does not require maintenance or refilling of fuel.
  • They are lightweight and easy to move compressors.
  • There is no need for extra units or pieces to deliver access to a fuel source. 
  • Any fluctuation in the cost of electricity makes it difficult to budget the operating expenses.
  • Depending upon electricity causes difficulty in remote working and power outages to stop working.
  • Need for a power outlet that matches the compressor’s requirements.
  • It involves using extension cords which is not ideal for good results.
  • They are great for small projects, not for heavy-duty work.

Pros and Cons of Gas Compressor

Gas Vs Electric Air Compressor

  • These compressors are great for remote working and heavy-duty projects outdoors.
  • No need for plugging in the outlet.
  • Provides the highest efficiency even working at 30% load.
  • The cost of gas is cheap.
  • No risk of sparking in your industry.
  • While working, it generates dangerous air, which is toxic to the environment.
  • It is not for indoor working and can cause extreme issues without ventilation.
  • Carelessness can lead to an extreme fire.
  • You need safety headphones to be around these compressors as they are extremely loud.
  • The initial investment is way too much for ordinary people.

Which One to Choose – Gas Powered Air Compressors or Electric Air Compressors

Both of these compressors have their unique benefits. Your application is the deciding point of which compressor to choose, electric vs gas. From a glance, it feels secure and easy to choose electric air compressors as they are lightweight, but they have safety concerns too.

Relatively to electric, gas air compressors are much safer in applications. You need to consider your access to fuel and power by comparing your work and location for the compressor for working compressed air, and it will help you decide quickly.

Is Storage Capacity Important?

Having an appropriately sized air compressor storage capacity is essential in making the compressor stable, reliable, and efficient. In a load-unload air compressor, proper storage size will avoid load on the engine by reducing energy use, and short cycling will not happen. Although, it is not the most important thing to consider in an air compressor.


The working of an air compressor depends on the features. Both electric and gas compressors have similar functions to generate compressed air and provide it to the tools for application, but they have different features and capabilities.

Consider the power source and output of Gas vs Electric air compressors and your location and budget. Electric air compressors are superb for small projects, and at the same time, gas air compressors are mainly used for industrial (heavy-duty) working.


How Good are Electric Air Compressors?

The fact that they are low maintenance, quiet and ideal for indoor compressors makes the electric air compressor the best. They are suitable for pneumatic tools: paint sprays, sanding, sandblasting, etc.

What is the Most Efficient type of Air Compressor?

Its capacity of working defines the efficiency of an air compressor. When the compressor is loaded, which means it can produce air. The rotary screw air compressors are among the most efficient air compressors when they are in 100% loaded condition.

Does an air compressor use a lot of electricity?

An air compressor’s 75-80% percent lifetime cost is electricity. Compressed air is one of the most expensive, and industrial air compressors can accumulate 800,000$ cost of electricity in 10 years.

Do gas stations have air compressors?

Most gas stations have an air compressor, which helps inflate customers’ vehicle tires. Although you can use these gas stations free of cost or free, you have to air your tire yourself.

Is an electric air compressor Good for home use?

One of the ideal aspects of electric air compressors is that they produce compressed air of the best quality without discharging carbon or fumes, making them ideal for home use. It is a quiet compressor relative to others that puts out less power.

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We’re a team of engineers, contractors, technicians, and woodworking experts who use power tools daily and share fact-based information, tips, and recommendations. At thetoolgeeks.com, we debunk myths about power tools and share methods to use them effectively.

The Tool Geeks Team

We're a team of engineers, contractors, technicians, and woodworking experts who use power tools daily and share fact-based information, tips, and recommendations. At thetoolgeeks.com, we debunk myths about power tools and share methods to use them effectively.

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