How to Increase CFM on Air Compressors: 3+ Powerful Techniques

During the time of purchase of an air compressor, we mostly looking for a budget air compressor and ended up with a low CFM rated compressor, Due to which you come to know after a few days that your compressor cannot operate efficiently those air tools which required high CFM.

But you will be glad to know that you can increase the CFM rating of your air compressor. With this, you will be able to operate air tools with high CFM very comfortably.

So in this article, we will discuss how to get more CFM from an air compressor. There are a few techniques that will help you to increase the CFM rating.

Without any further delay let’s get straight into it.

What is the CFM of an air compressor?

CFM stands for Cubic Feet Per Minute which tells about the compressor flow rate or the volume of air that an air compressor can produce at fixed PSI over a period of time. So in simple words, a higher CFM-rated air compressor can provide more amount of air at the same time than a lower CFM-rated air compressor.

That is why operating heavy-duty air tools required a higher CFM-rated air compressor that can deliver more volume to power it effectively.

How Do I Increase the CFM of My Air Compressor

So there are so many methods available where you can able to increase the CFM of your air compressor but from all of them, we are here to give you a few effects which are really practical to apply.

1. Improve your Air Compressor Efficiency

The Air compressor needs lots of fittings to operate the air tools properly. But when we use an air compressor for a long time, then all the fittings get loose, due to which there is a problem like air leakage, length of the hose. Because of that CFM rating gets reduced and the compressor is unable to perform at its optimum level.

i) Try to fix air leakages

We generally ignore them but this is one of the most effective ways to enhance the compressor performance. If the compressor is getting old then it is more likely that the fittings have come loose and there is air leaking.

So to avoid this, you have to keep tightening all the joints, and also make sure all the gaskets, washers, and rubbers are in good condition. So that there is no air leakage.

iI) Hose Length Should Be Minimum

The length of the hose should also matter a lot because when the compressed air travels inside the hose then it creates friction which leads to loss of energy. The longer the tube, the greater the friction, resulting in huge energy loss and diminishing the power of the compressor.

Apart from the length also chcek if there are any kinks on the hose that also can cause obstruction.

III) Try to Minimize Pressure Drop

The pressure drop situation is indirectly connected to the hose length. Because the longer the distribution system, the greater the drop in pressure. So as I told you earlier, you should minimize the hose length.

Low-pressure drop hoses are also available in the market, you can also use them to reduce the pressure drop.

iV) Minimize Joints and Fittings

Try to minimize joints and fittings as much as possible to reduce energy loss.

2. Connecting Two Compressors for More CFM

If you want to double the CFM of your compressor then this method is for you. In this technique, you need to buy another air compressor and connect it with the other air compressor, so here are the steps you need to follow:-

  • Connect the output valve of both the air compressor together with the help of T-shaped air fittings.
  • Then connect the air hose to T shaped air fitting outlet.
  • Check pressure switches, they must be the same.
  • Now all done and you can connect the air tools with this system.

In this method now have 2 ways to connect two air compressors:-

i) Two same CFM-rated air compressors from the same brand

If you have an air compressor then you have to buy the same air compressor from the same brand and same model. Now both air compressors have the same CFM, when you connect these two compressors you will get almost double airflow.

To connect these two compressors you need to follow the above steps already shared. And because these two compressors have the same CFM rating, brand, and model so they have the same cut-out and cut-in pressure so you don’t even need to check the pressure switch.

For example: If you have two air compressors with 5 CFM then after connecting both you got now have almost 9 or 9.5 CFM.

Important Points to be careful about in this process
  • This is very much suitable for both continuous as well as intermittent air tools operations.
  • It’s an expensive process because you have to buy another air compressor.
  • Necessary to check the duty cycle.
  • Because here we need the same brand of air compressors to connect so you just have to make sure that pressure switches should be the same.

iI) Two different CFM-rated air compressors

If you have two differnt CFM-rated compressors then the connection process is similar, you need the same T-shaped adapter but after all the joints are done then you must need to adjust the pressure switches precisely.

For example:- If you have one compressor with 5 CFM and you buy another compressor with 10 CFM then now when you connect these two then they are capable enough to provide 13 to 14.5 CFM.

So combining two air compressors in parallel is the most effective process but it’s a costlier one because here you need to buy another air compressor.

Important Points to be careful about in this process
  • Here it is necessary to check the pressure switches and they should be identical. So adjustable pressure switches should be required.
  • Good for both intermittent as well as continuous operations.
  • Obviously, this is also not cost-effective.
  • Here also you need to check the duty cycle.

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3. Adding Secondary Air Storage Tank

This is our third and one of the easiest and cheapest methods to increase the CFM of an air compressor but one thing you need to know about this method is that: it can increase the CFM for a certain period of time but not increase the CFM of the system.

If you add an extra air tank into the system then this will increase the air storage capacity. This means now the air compressor motor need to fill two air tanks one with the air compressor plus an additional air tank too. Which results in longer lime of tool run time before reaching the cutout pressure.

Now compressor pump needs more effort to fill that large capacity and because of the larger volume of pre-compared air it is capable of delivering a high volume of air means more CFM to run heavy-duty air tools.

In this method only because of the large reservoir, it can deliver higher CFM but if you need more the fact is that higher CFM only be available short period of time because the compressor pump won’t be able to fulfill the demand.

For ex: If an air compressor has an output pressure of 6 CFM then with the added air tank it can easily deliver upto 12 CFM but this 12CFM output is only avilable for a fixed period of time because the motor or the pump is not capable enough to sustain it.

Greater tank capacity not only allows you to run air tools for longer than usual, But it gives the pump more time to cool down before it drops below the cut-in pressure where the pump needs to kickstart again. So it is one of the most effective ways to reduce the stress of air compressors for a longer life span.


Because of the larger air tank capacity, the compressor pump takes a long time to fill or refill the air tank and due to this, we need to wait longer to use air tools again. Only, for this reason, this method is much more suitable for intermittent operations. Where the air compressor pump gets a chance to refill the tank and our work does not stop.

For example, an Impact wrench is an air tool that is the perfect example for intermittent operation which required compressed air for a shorter duration on a frequent basis. But on the other hand, if we talk paint guns then they required continuous airflow for longer. So to operate paint spray guns we need to have enough air storage and accurate CFM.

Adding an Extra tank into a compressed air system actually decreases the working time vs ideal time ratio, resulting in a reduction in the duty cycle. So it’s very important to make sure sure that the air compressor does not exceed its duty cycle.

Important Points to be careful about in this process

  • It is cost-effective because here only need to purchase an air tank.
  • A powerful strategy for intermittent use not for continuous.
  • Find a tank as per your demand.
  • Need to check the duty cycle, they must be in the perfect zone.

Read More: How does a two-stage compressor work

4. Reduce the Pressure on Your Compressor to Increase CFM

If you do not know then let me tell you, that air pressure and the air CFM are indirectly proportional to each other. So if we increase the outlet PSI of our air compressor then CFM decreases but exactly the opposite is when we decrease the output pressure then the CFM of the compressor increases.

Power= PSI x CFM So power always remains constant. But with this process, you can not double your compressor CFM because it’s not easy to increase the compressor power beyond its limit. With this method, you can only expect 20 to 25% more CFM.

If you are using an air compressor for a long time then you may know about that process. But many compressor users have no idea that when you change the output pressure then CFM varies.

So here is an example of this method:-

If you have an air compressor that can deliver 5 CFM at 90 PSI then if you lower the output pressure to 40PSI the same compressor can give you the maximum CFM of 6.50CFM. So as I told you earlier that there is no drastic improvement in CFM levels. But if the output CFM is fulfilling your requirement then you can use this for continuous as well as intermittent tasks.

To implement this method, you have to first check the CFM and PSI requirements of air tools that are going to use and if they can meet all the requirements of air tools then you can use this method. It’s super easy.

Some Points you have to keep in mind for this Strategy

If your compressor is capable to deliver the required CFM at a lower pressure then this is one of the best and cheapest techniques. But in most cases, this method is not suitable for continuous operations.

Unfortunately, it is quite difficult to calculate the CFM of an air compressor at a specific pressure level. So if you want minor improvement on your air compressor then this can be a perfect method for you but if you want drastic improvement on your compressor then adding another compressor or adding an additional air tank (as per your condition) can be the best method for you.

But here is a method where we can calculate the new CFM of our compressor:-

As we already discuss Pressure x CFM= Power

So power remeans constant here

So, Old Pressure x Old CFM = New Pressure x New CFM

So if, 

Old Pressure= 130

Old CFM= 5cfm

New Pressure= 70

New CFM=?

Old Pressure x Old CFM= New Pressure x New CFM

130 x 5cfm = 70 x New CFM

New CFM= 130 x 5/70  = 9.28.

So our new CFM is 9.28.

Important Points to be careful about in this process

  • Not to exceed the compressor duty cycle.
  • Good for intermittent use of air tools.
  • If your compressor suits then only you can use this method for continuous use.
  • Most cost-effective method on our list, You don’t even need to do anything here.

5. Increase the Size of the Motor and Pump

This is also one of the processes which help to increase the CFM of an air compressor. So if we increase the size of the pump of an air compressor then it can capable to deliver higher CFM but in most cases increasing the size of the motor is of no use as the pump is only made to work with a specific size motor.

If a compressor age is less and the condition is good then replacing the pump and motor on the existing tank can be a cost-effective option. But if you feel it’s expensive or your compressor condition is not fine then my suggestion is to replace the existing compressor with a brand new high CFM compressor which is suitable for your need.

FAQs for How To Get More CFM Out of Your Air Compressor

faqs for how to increase cfm on air compressors
FAQs for How can I increase the CFM of my compressor

How to make air compressor faster?

To faster your air compressor you need to improve the efficiency of an air compressor you have to follow the steps:-
1. Try to fix air leakages.
2. Hose length should be minimum.
3. Try to minimize pressure drop.
4. Try to minimize joints and fittings.
5. Maintain your compressor.
6. Improve system design
7. Quality air intake.

Will an auxiliary tank increase CFM?

The auxiliary air tank has the capability to improve the CFM for a period of time but it’s not permanent. But because it can store more compressed air in the tank so you can work longer.

Is it possible to increase CFM with combine two compressors?

Combining two air compressors in parallel is the most effective way to increase the CFM of an air compressor. This method is very much useful to operate continuous as well as Intermittent operations.

Is it possible to decrease the CFM on my air compressor?

Yes, there is a way where you can decrease the air compressor CFM too. As you know CFM and PSI are inversely proportional to each other, so if you inverse the air pressure (PSI) of your air compressor then CFM decreases automatically.

Conclusion: How to Increase Compressor CFM

We have included everything so that you can easily understand all the processes for how to increase CFM on air compressors.

If you have any doubt regarding any of these processes then, let me know in the comment box. We will definitely help you with that.

So guys if you like our post then don’t forget to share this with your friends.

By the way thanks for visiting.

Hi. This is Subhadip. I am a Mechanical Engineer and I have been working in mechanical Industries for more than 3 years. I have expertise in several kinds of Mechanical Devices and Air Compressor is one of them. So I am here to help you find the best air compressor for your desired need.

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