Inline compressed air filters are called ‘inline’ because they are installed somewhere in your compressed air piping system.
Of course, the purpose of the filter is to filter the air. You can install one near every consumer, or install
a big one near your compressor for all your consumers near the compressor
Where to place it
As I said, you could either install one main filter for all the system, or many small ones, one for every consumer.
Which option is best for you depends on your system layout and number and type of consumers.
If all consumers need the same quality of air (how well it is filtered) you may best install one big filter for all consumers. But if you only have a few consumers with demand of high-quality air (very clean air) and all the other equipment doesn’t really need any filtering, then installing a few small inline compressed air filters, just for the specific equipment might be the best solution
Pressure drop and cost
Always keep in mind: filters create a pressure drop. If your equipment needs 6.5 bars to function and your filter creates a 0.3 bar pressure drop, then you need to set your compressor at a minimum of 6.8 bar.
The higher the pressure setpoint, the higher the energy costs! For every 1 bar of higher pressure, the energy costs will rise 6-10%!
If you buy a cheap compressed air filter, chances are that the pressure-drop of a completely clean, new filter will be higher than that of a more expensive filter.
As the job of the filter is to collect dust, it will slowely clog up. This also means that the pressure drop over the filter will slowly become higher, because the compressed air will have more trouble to pass through the filter.
With cheaper filter you will see a higher pressure drop faster. So the initial pressure drop will be higher (compare to high quality filters), but it will also increase faster.
Since every pressure drop in your system means higher energy costs for your compressor, it
might be more economical to buy the more expensive one.
We have a lot more information on compressed air filters on our compressed air filters page.