top of page
  • Peg Minichiello

The Pros and Cons of Using Heatless Desiccant Dryers with Your Oil Free Air Compressors

An oil free air compressor & heatless desiccant dryer is one of the most reliable and efficient air compressor systems. As with all systems, this one has pros and cons, but you can only benefit from the pros if you eliminate the cons. The good news? Eliminating the cons is doable.

The Pros

Energy Costs

Oil free compressors can reload and unload faster than lubricated systems. This is because there’s no oil sump to blow down. As a result, these devices have a surplus compressed air output. If the compressed air is stored correctly, this can lead to lower energy costs and you can run machines for shorter periods of time.

If plants optimize the oil free compressor & heatless dryer combination, they can reduce the number of compressors on premises.


Whereas oil free compressors save energy costs, a heatless dryer relieves maintenance costs. The desiccant used in heatless dryers can be regenerated so it can be used over and over again. By doing this, you can go up to five years without resupplying desiccant.

The Cons

Fatal Attraction

If pressure decreases around the sensor of the air compressor, this will start the air compression process, which will create more compressed air than needed. Similarly, if pressure rises, this will cause the air compressor to unload.

This unnecessary load & unload process starts to build up energy costs. The build and drops in pressure are the results of one of the following:

  • Real demand after the dryer

  • Dryer purge

  • Auto drains

Because this issue is often the result of pairing oil free compressors with desiccant dryers, it’s known as “fatal attraction.” This performance issue can be costly because it wastes compressed air, but it’s avoidable.

False Demand

“Fatal Attraction” leads to false demands because the compressor system is reacting to lags between the dryer and compressor. This results in the compressor producing excess and unusable amounts if air.

On the other hand, by setting up an efficient air compression system, you can avoid this issue. You can do this by:

  • Not isolating one compressor to one dryer

  • Ensuring the dryer isn’t larger than the compressor

  • Getting a professional to set up the system

What Should You Do?

In order to avoid causing a “fatal attraction” between your compressor and dryer, you should contact CDA. Our team offers evaluation of existing plant air systems to access the need for preventative maintenance, inefficiency and energy reduction retrofits.

Contact us on: 925.667.3400/ With us you can benefit from the pros and avoid the cons.

173 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page