Waste heat recovery in air compressors: lower your energy costs and carbon footprint

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Energy costs are definitely a thing to consider these days, as well as lowering our carbon footprints. Costs are at an all-time high, while the rules and regulations are getting stricter. That’s why industries are constantly looking for new ways to lower their carbon footprint and minimize energy costs. Waste heat recovery in air compressors is an excellent way to achieve both goals. We’ll tell you all about it in this article.

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How does waste heat recovery work?

Essentially, the heat that is generated by your air compressor system can be recovered to be used in another part of your production process, or to heat the premises. You’ll read all about the specific principles in our article “Heat recovery systems for air compressors: making the right choice”


Lowering the carbon footprint through waste heat recovery

Research about heat recovery systems has shown the following results concerning the climate and energy efficiency: 

  • 94% of all energy consumed by air compressors is recoverable

  • Heat recovery technology could save 1.99% of the total industrial energy consumption in the UK

  • That 1.99% amounts to the removal of 913,000 diesel or petrol cars per year. 

So you can definitely say that heat recovery is an excellent way to reduce the carbon footprint of countries as a whole, and specific industries in particular. 

But what about the savings?

Saving on energy costs through waste heat recovery

Did you know that compressed air systems typically entail about 12% of the total energy costs for industrial manufacturers? This is a minimum, since some factories may reach a staggering 40%. But, as you could read in the previous paragraph, about 94% of that energy is recoverable. You’ll agree that this recovery can amount to enormous savings on energy costs. Energy costs that are about 80% of the total cost for air compression. 

Recovering heat means that you’ll have to purchase less energy - since the heat is used for different other purposes. Especially when energy costs are high this is a significant difference. Operation costs will also be lower. 

To give you an example: an English car manufacturer chose to implement waste heat recovery. The excess heat was used to heat water, to be employed further in the production process. So, they have access to a continuous supply of heated water, without an additional energy cost. The CO2 emissions were lowered by 260.000 tonnes per year, amounting to a saving of €43.473 per year

This is just one of many examples where heat recovery systems constitute substantial energy savings and CO2 lowerings. 

Want to lower costs and save energy?

Wondering how you can implement waste heat recovery to substantially reduce costs and lower the carbon footprint of your facility? We offer tailored solutions to meet all your needs. Just let us know, and we’ll get back to you straight away.

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Trust your air compressor maintenance to an expert

Everything mentioned in this article, is a simplified version of things to keep in mind when servicing your air compressor installation. Never perform any work on your screw compressor, piston compressor, air treatment or other equipment that you are not qualified to perform, but instead consult an expert.


Specialised air compressor experts know your system inside and out and are licensed to handle any situation, no matter what issue arises. Moreover, they’ll be able to provide pointers on how to better use your compressor.


Maintaining your air compressor is far more sustainable than buying a new one every few years, so make sure you take the time to really keep it up. If you’re looking to save money, refrain from buying a second hand compressor, and focus on quality parts and preventative maintenance.


Looking for some assistance? Get in touch with our experts for services that meet your needs.

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