How To Increase CFM On Air Compressors 

Air compressors are important pieces of equipment used in a variety of industries to power pneumatic tools, clean machinery, and perform other tasks. Increasing CFM on air compressors can enhance their performance and efficiency, allowing them to carry out tasks more quickly and effectively.

Several easy and effective ways to increase CFM output include:

  • Upgrading the motor
  •  Installing a larger tank
  • Adjusting the pressure switch
  • Reducing pressure drop in the system

 Proper maintenance and sizing of components are also crucial for ensuring reliable and efficient performance. Let’s discuss several ways through which CFM on air compressors can be increased.

1:Upgrade your compressor’s motor

The motor is the heart of an air compressor, and upgrading it can significantly increase CFM output. If your compressor has an old or underpowered motor, it may struggle to keep up with the demands of modern tools and machinery.

A higher horsepower motor will generate more power and airflow, increasing the compressor’s overall CFM output. This is how you can easily increase CFM on air compressors by just upgrading the motor of the air compressor.

2:Install a larger compressor tank

Compressed air is stored in a tank before it is released into the system. If your compressor tank is too small, it may run out of air quickly, causing the compressor to work harder and reducing CFM output.

So, Installing a larger tank will increase the amount of compressed air available, reducing the need for the compressor to run continuously and improving CFM output.

3:Replace the compressor’s air filter

Another reason that can be responsible for decreasing CFM on air compressors can be unwashed air filters. A dirty or clogged air filter can reduce the amount of air that passes through the compressor, decreasing CFM output. It is important to regularly clean or replace the air filter to ensure maximum airflow and maintain consistent CFM output.

Regularly checking and maintaining all components can prevent breakdowns and reduce the risk of decreased CFM output. This includes checking for leaks, cleaning and replacing air filters, and ensuring that all components are properly lubricated.

4:Upgrade your compressor’s pump

Grading your air compressor to achieve higher CFM output requires careful consideration of the specific requirements of your system. Before making any upgrades, it is important to evaluate the current system and identify areas for improvement.

The compressor’s pump is responsible for compressing the air that is stored in the tank. Upgrading the pump to a more efficient model can increase the amount of air that is compressed, leading to a higher CFM output.

A two-stage compressor pump is more efficient than a single-stage pump and can generate higher CFM output. Consulting with a professional can help you determine the best options for increasing CFM output and improving the overall performance of your air compressor.

5:Increase the diameter of your compressor’s intake

Another factor through which you can increase CFM on your air compressor is by increasing the diameter of the intake. The intake is the opening through which air enters the compressor. Increasing the diameter of the intake can improve the flow of air into the compressor, resulting in higher CFM output.

 It is important to ensure that the intake is free from obstructions, such as dirt or debris, which can reduce airflow.

6:Adjust the pressure switch

The pressure switch is a safety feature that automatically shuts off the compressor when it reaches a certain pressure. But how will pressure switch adjustment increases the CFM? 

Adjusting the pressure switch to a higher setting can increase the maximum pressure, allowing the compressor to generate more airflow and increase CFM output.

7:Reduce the pressure drop 

Another way to increase CFM on air compressors is to decrease the pressure drop in the system. Pressure drop refers to the reduction in pressure that occurs as air flows through pipes, hoses, and other components in the system.

One common cause of pressure drop is the use of small-diameter pipes and hoses. Using larger-diameter pipes and hoses can reduce pressure drop and increase CFM output. Additionally, removing unnecessary bends and turns in the piping can further reduce pressure drop and improve airflow.

Another way to reduce pressure drop is to ensure that all components in the system are properly sized and matched. This includes the compressor, tank, pipes, hoses, and fittings. Mismatched components can create bottlenecks and cause pressure drops, reducing CFM output.

8:Install a regulator

A regulator controls the pressure that is released from the compressor into the system. Installing a regulator can ensure that the pressure remains constant, preventing the compressor from working too hard and reducing CFM output.

9:Increase the number of air compressors in your system

If your system requires a high volume of compressed air, you may need to install multiple air compressors to meet the demand. By using multiple compressors in parallel, you can increase the overall CFM output and ensure a reliable supply of compressed air.

10:Reduce leaks in the air system

The easiest way to boost airflow in your system is to check for the absence of air leaks. Air leaks can significantly reduce the amount of compressed air available, causing the compressor to work harder and reducing CFM output. Regularly inspecting the air system and repairing any leaks can improve efficiency and increase CFM output.

11:Use the right size of air hose and fittings

Using the wrong size of air hose and fittings can restrict airflow, reducing CFM output. So the pro tip is to choose the right size of hose and fittings for your system to ensure maximum airflow and consistent CFM output.

12:Efficiency and performance 

We previously discussed various methods to enhance the airflow of your air compressor, and it was emphasized that inefficiencies and losses in your system have the potential to decrease the airflow delivered to your tools.

In addition to the upgrades listed above, there are several other steps you can take to improve the efficiency and performance of your air compressor. Regular maintenance, such as checking and replacing oil and filters, can help to prevent breakdowns and ensure consistent CFM output. Using high-quality lubricants and keeping the compressor well-oiled can also help to reduce wear and tear and improve efficiency.

13:Extent of use

One important factor to consider is the intended use of the compressor. Different applications may require different levels of CFM output, and upgrading to a higher output may not be necessary or practical for some systems. 

For example, a small-scale woodworking shop may not require the same level of CFM output as a large industrial manufacturing plant. As you can see, how the extended use of air compressors can affect the CFM but understanding the specific needs of your system will help you determine the most effective approach to increasing CFM output.

14:Cost of upgrading 

Another consideration is the cost of upgrading your air compressor. Some upgrades, such as replacing the motor or installing a larger tank, can be expensive and may not be feasible for all systems. However, there are also more cost-effective options, such as cleaning or replacing the air filter or adjusting the pressure switch, that can still lead to noticeable improvements in CFM output.


Q1: How can I increase the CFM output of my air compressor?

A1: There are several ways to increase the CFM output of your air compressor, including reducing the PSI of your compressed air system, fixing any leaks or waste, adding compressed air storage capacity, upgrading to a VSD compressor, adding a second compressor, or modifying your existing compressor.

Q2: What happens if my air compressor’s CFM output is too low?

A2: If your air compressor’s CFM output is too low, you may not be able to operate your tools continuously, or at all.

Q3: What happens if my air compressor’s CFM output is too high?

A3: If your air compressor’s CFM output is too high, it can result in excessive energy consumption, as well as potential issues such as drafts or the inability to dry moisture in certain areas.

Q4: How does pressure impact CFM output?

A4: It’s important to note that pressure has a direct effect on CFM output, as an increase in pressure requires more energy to maintain the same airflow.

Q5: What does a powerful CFM mean?

A5: A powerful CFM indicates that the air suction is stronger, with higher CFM ratings indicating greater air flow. For example, a fan with a 1000 CFM rating will draw in more air than one with a rating of 400 CFM.


Overall, increasing CFM output on your air compressor is an important step in optimizing the performance and efficiency of your pneumatic system. So it completely depends on you, Whether you need to upgrade the motor, install a larger tank, or simply adjust the pressure switch, there are several options available for improving the output of your compressor.

By carefully evaluating your system and considering the most effective upgrades, you can achieve higher CFM output and ensure reliable and efficient performance for all of your pneumatic tools and machinery.

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