Tuesday, May 16

Stop Dreading the Summer Heat, Upgrade Your Dryers!

I think it is safe to finally say that summer is just around the corner! With summer heat coming soon, you’ll want to make sure your compressed air dryers are in tip-top condition and ready to battle all the elements that the summer heat brings about!

Basics of Refrigerated, Desiccant, & Membrane Dryers

A compressed air dryer is another piece of equipment that can be added to your entire compressed air system. They are made to separate water vapor and/or moisture from your compressed air process. There are three main types of dryers utilized in the industrial compressed air realm: refrigerated, desiccant, and membrane.


Refrigerated air dryers are designed to eliminate compressed air moisture by reducing the dew point of the incoming compressed air to 40 degrees F. The compressed air enters the refrigerated air dryer and goes through a heat exchanger that will both cool the incoming air and reduce the dew point to ensure that moisture is condensed to liquid water and is drained away.

Refrigerated air dryers come in both non-cycling and cycling variants.  Non-cycling refrigerated air dryers run constantly, whereas cycling refrigerated air dryers utilize a thermal mass to cool the air without needing to run all the time, which is dependent on air demand.


Desiccant air dryers utilize desiccant materials to eliminate compressed air moisture by reducing the incoming compressed air to -40 degrees F. Wet air flows through the desiccant material, which adsorbs the moisture.  The incoming air flows into the dryer and saturates the desiccant material as it moves, which results in dry air and wet desiccant materials. Once the dry air exits, the air dryer will regenerate the used desiccant material for reuse.

Desiccant air dryers utilize several different technologies depending on your application:  heatless, heated, and blower purge.


Membrane dryers have a more specific application for those industries that need to meet strict requirements, such as in food production. They are primarily used to remove moisture and to separate different gases.

As compressed air enters a membrane dryer, it moves across semi-permeable membrane fibers that allow certain materials to pass through, while separating the unwanted moisture or gases. They are generally used for smaller projects or single point-of-use applications.

Why Your Compressed Air System Needs Drying

The short answer is: moisture is always present!

All of the air around you contains some form of water vapor, sometimes a lot of it and sometimes very little, but the fact-of-the-matter is that the moisture is there.

Unfortunately, moisture can be extremely damaging. This moisture in the air will begin to condense into water as your compressor pressurizes and cools the air to a temperature known as dew point. The higher your dew point, the more drying your system will need. It can cause problems in all stages of the compressed air process and ultimately damage your finished product.

A few of the common issues associated with moisture in your compressed air system include:

  • Rust of moving parts in your system
  • Finished product having inconsistent color
  • Freezing of lines in cold weather
  • Corrosion of instruments that ultimately leads to false readings or plant shutdowns

And so many other possible risks.

Summer Heat’s Effect

Warmer weather means higher humidity, which means more condensate in the air. The increased temperature also creates an increase of vapor in the air so your system will experience much more water than it would during the cooler seasons.

This means your drying system will be working much harder to dry your compressed air and keep up with your demand. So, make sure your dryer is in tip-top shape going into summer!



Zorn is the Midwest leader of custom, engineered compressed air and vacuum solutions. We provide the best customer experience by understanding your applications and needs and offering an unparalleled commitment to customer satisfaction. 

Our comprehensive product and service solutions keep you running 24/7.

  • Reliable equipment
  • Trusted brands
  • Seamless, easy installation
  • Post-sales support
  • Local, 24/7 service

Our compressed air experts look forward to meeting you to discuss your equipment and support needs. Please contact us directly at (262) 695-7000 with any questions or to schedule service for your system moving forward.

contact a zorn expert today!