What Is Pressure Dew Point? Why Is It So Important?

Pressure dew point is a key term that must be mentioned in the air compressor industry. It plays a vital role in the entire compressed air system, connected equipment and applications.

Different from atmospheric dew point, pressure dew point has more practical application significance. So, what is pressure dew point and why is it so important?

Let’s dive in!

What is Pressure Dew Point?

Pressure dew point refers to the temperature at which moisture in compressed air reaches saturation at a specific pressure. In other words, it is the temperature at which condensation begins to form within a compressed air system under a given pressure condition.

Pressure dew point is a critical parameter in compressed air applications as it indicates the level of moisture present in compressed air systems.

Maintaining the pressure dew point at an appropriate level is essential to prevent condensation and moisture-related issues such as corrosion, freezing, and equipment malfunction.

Why Compressed Air Contains Water?

Water’s presence in compressed air is an entirely natural occurrence and is primarily a byproduct of its compression.

When the surrounding air, laden with moisture, is sucked into the air compressor and compressed, the volume of the air reduces, but its moisture content remains the same. The compressed air’s reduced volume cannot hold the moisture in vapor form, causing it to condense into water droplets.

The quantity of water contained in the compressed air can largely hinge upon the air’s inlet conditions and the ambient air quality. A high relative humidity of the environment would mean more volumetric moisture content in the air, which would then lead to greater condensation inside the compressor.

It is worth mentioning that, adjusting the pressure can change the level of water condensation in the compressed system.

How Does Pressure Dew Point Affect the Moisture Content in Compressed Air?

Pressure dew point directly signifies the amount of moisture in compressed air. To be specific, it indicates the temperature at which water vapor in the compressed air begins to condense into liquid droplets. The inherent property of pressure dew point is that a lower reading indicates a lower water content of the compressed air.

For instance, a lower pressure dew point reading means that the air will have to be cooled down much further than usual for the water vapor to condense, which suggests that there is less moisture in the air. Consequently, this will result in compressed air with lower moisture content.

In the air compressor sector, particular attention is paid to the pressure dew point to ensure the quality and efficiency of the compressed air, as the presence of unwanted water can potentially lead to operational issues and system damage.

Therefore, various industry-grade procedures and equipment, like air dryers and water separators, are employed to effectively remove water droplets and maintain the system’s operational efficiency.

Importance of Pressure Dew Point in Compressed Air Systems

The pressure dew point holds tremendous importance in compressed air systems for numerous reasons.

Avoid System Damage

Too much moisture in the compressed air system can wreak havoc and result in substantive damage. Adverse impacts can transpire in the form of rust and corrosion, which ultimately weaken the system’s components and threaten the longevity of the system.

Safeguard Operating Efficiency

Not only does high moisture content risk physical damage, but it also impedes the system’s operating efficiency. It has the potential to interfere with the operation of pneumatic tools, valves, and instruments, thus leading to inefficient performance or sudden equipment failure.

Prevent Energy Wastage & Capacity Loss

Maintaining a suitable pressure dew point is also critical to prevent energy wastage and capacity loss. If unnecessary energy is exhausted on dealing with high moisture content, it would constitute significant operational inefficiencies.

Weather-proof System

Particularly for systems where the air pipes pass outside of buildings, maintaining an optimal pressure dew point is crucial to prevent condensation due to ambient temperature changes.


Compressed air with a high dew point may carry moisture, which can act as a medium for contaminants like microorganisms. In industries such as food and beverage or pharmaceuticals, this can lead to product contamination.

Product Quality Issues

In industries where compressed air directly interacts with the product, a high pressure dew point can impact quality. For example, in the automotive industry, excessive moisture can lead to paint defects during car painting applications.

Safety Hazards

In healthcare facilities, a high dew point can contribute to an unsafe environment. Moisture in medical air can increase the risk of infection, impacting patient safety.

Factors Affecting Pressure Dew Point

The pressure dew point in an air compressor system can be influenced by several factors:


One of the most significant factors impacting the dew point is humidity. Higher levels of humidity in the air imply a greater amount of moisture, this subsequently translates to a higher dew point.


When considering a higher temperature, more moisture can be held in the air. Hence, an increase in temperature leads to an increase in the dew point until saturation is reached. Post which, condensation likely takes place as the air is incapable of holding further moisture.

Atmospheric Pressure

The dew point is also contingent on the present atmospheric pressure. An increase in pressure will reduce the dew point. This emerges from the fact that an upgrade in pressure shrinks the volume of air, causing the molecules to come into closer contact and as a result, lower the temperature at which condensation occurs.

Quality of Compressed Air

The quality of the compressed air also plays a significant role in determining the pressure dew point. Higher quality air, with fewer impurities, typically leads to a lower pressure dew point.

Air Compressor System Design

Different compressor system designs can have varying influences on the pressure dew point. Factors such as the effectiveness of the drying system, the type of compressor, and the overall maintenance and operation of the system can all impact the pressure dew point.

To maintain target pressure dew point levels, it’s essential that components such as air dryers are optimally functional and processes like filtration and pressure regulation are appropriately managed.


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Applications and Industries Where Lowe Pressure Dew Point Matters

A low pressure dew point is of significance in various applications and industries. Here are some examples:

Pharmaceutical Industry

In pharmaceutical manufacturing, the quality of compressed air is of paramount concern.

A lower pressure dew point prevents airborne particles and moisture from contaminating products during production or packaging.

Food & Beverage Industry

In the food and beverage businesses, compressed air directly or indirectly comes into contact with products.

Thus, maintaining a low pressure dew point helps ensure there are no contaminants from airborne microorganisms, which can affect product safety, quality, and shelf life.

Healthcare Facilities

In the realm of health care, totally clean, dry air is a necessity. For instance, in surgical applications, any surplus moisture could lead to contamination, thereby posing hazards to patients’ health. Thus, a low pressure dew point is crucial

Automotive Assembly

Automobile painting applications demand premium quality dry air to ensure a superior finish and longevity of paint jobs. Therefore, the system must maintain a low pressure dew point to prevent the advent of moisture, which may lead to defective finishes.

Electronics Industry

In the electronics industry, small current pathways and voltages can be easily disrupted by water, which can lead to short circuits and corrosion. The low compressed air dew point can bring more drying air.

Semiconductor Production

In delicate industries, such as semiconductor and microchip production, maintaining a very low dew point is often necessary to prevent moisture condensation on tiny, sensitive components.

Controlling Pressure Dew Point: Techniques and Strategies

To control the pressure dew point, there are several techniques and strategies that can be implemented:

1. Dew Point Sensors and Monitors

High-quality dew point sensors and monitors can be installed in the compressed air system. They help you in understanding the dew point levels in your system at real-time, allowing for swift and effective measures if the levels are not optimum.

2. Improved Ventilation

This is the simplest and most effective way. Enhancing air circulation aids in decreasing the amount of moisture in the air, thereby indirectly controlling the pressure dew point.

3. Mechanical Dehumidification

There are two core methods for dehumidifying air and lowering the dew point mechanically: sub-cooling and reheating.

Sub-cooling comprises cooling air below the dew point to cause condensation. The condensed water is then removed, and the air is reheated to a comfortable temperature.

4. Overcompression

This method increases the pressure to a level above the dew point temperature, forcing the water to condense out of the compressed air. The excess water can then be easily removed, reducing the pressure dew point.

5. Temperature and Moisture Regulation

Specially for indoor environments, the development of moisture and temperature regulation mechanisms is key for humidity control and hence, implicating dew point control.

6. Use of Air Dryers

Air dryers remove water vapor from the air which results in a reduced dew point. Several types of air dryers can be used, like refrigerated, desiccant, and membrane dryers, each offering varying degrees of dew point suppression, depending upon the requirement.


What Is The Compressed Air Dryer? A Comprehensive Overview

The compressed air dryer is an important part of air compression system, it ensures the quality and efficiency of compressed air systems.

Let’s delve into what a compressed air dryer is and why it’s a crucial component in various industries.

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