What does an Air Leak Study entail

Did you ever hear the saying growing up from your parents saying “shut the door, we don’t live in a barn”? I know I did and I know my folks hated it when doors or windows were left open when either the heat was on or the air conditioning was running. I would then hear we don’t need to heat (or cool off) the cold/warm air outside of this house. Now as a parent I know I say the same things to my kids. So, if we are so concerned about our house and how energy efficient it is shouldn’t we also be that concerned with our businesses. That is one of the reasons why Sawyer suggest doing a leak study of your business and your compressed air systems.

Did you know that the Department of Energy estimates the average leakage rate is 25% in businesses?  Some plants can lose as much as 80% of their compressed air to leaks. Basically, it is saying to us that compressed air leaks are simply demands for air that create no value.

To help you understand what a Leak Study consists of I asked some specific questions to John O, our main guy in charge of doing these. These are the steps we follow:

  1. We will set up a time to come out to your plant to do the audit. Most can be done during your normal operation, but during a down time is preferable.
  2. We use what is call an ultrasonic leak detector. It is small tool that is handheld, it detects a high frequency signal or noise that can’t be heard by the human ear.
  3. John will start by the compressor piping to see if it detects leaks. He will check between compressors, dryers, and tanks and follow all the airlines throughout the whole plant. He will check all fittings and any place there are couplers or hoses added on.
  • The detector can find leaks as small as a pin hole.
  • It can pick up leaks as far as 30 ft away.
  • Leak detection devices are also able to estimate and record the volume of leakage based on the decibel level of the leak.
  1. Once leaks are found we will tag each leak with a bright tag to make finding the leaks easy when it comes time for repairs.
  2. John will then come back to Sawyer and write up a report with everything that he finds. He will figure out approximately how much each leak is costing you and give a full report with pictures of leaks and the location. Below is an example of one of the reports that John put together!
  3. Last step will be to fix these leaks. Sawyer will work with you and your power company in these fixes. Most often you can get rebates back to you for fixing these leaks.


Sawyer is all about saving our customers money and making sure your compressed air system is working at its best possible output. Let us help you find leaks and help you fix them. In the end your energy bills will decrease and it will also help your compressor run better for longer.

Air Leaks Repaired Argon Leaks Repaired Helium Leaks Repaired Hydrogen Leaks Repaired Other Leaks Repaired Cost Avoidance Identified CFM Total
CFM Cost CFM Cost CFM Cost CFM Cost CFM Cost Identified Repaired % Complete
0.0 $0.00 0.0 $0.00 0.0 $0.00 0.0 $0.00 0.0 $0.00 $1,730.10 $0.00 0% 31.2
Record Number Group Name Location Name Type of Gas Pressure at Leak dB Reading Problem Description Repaired (Y/N) Work Order Schedule # Identified Leaks Cost Avoidance Size of Leak (CFM) Energy Avoidance (kWh)
1 Blast Cabinet Air 100 16 Leaking at hose and pipe thread N $37.68 0.7 314
2 Blowgun Air 100 14 Fitting or valve packing leaking N $31.25 0.6 260
3 Blowgun Air 100 48 Male fitting is leaking N $175.50 3.2 1463
4 Blowgun Air 100 31 Needs replacing leaking at valve packing N $95.14 1.7 793
5 Blowgun Air 100 18 Needs replacing leaking at valve packing N $44.44 0.8 370
6 Filter Drain Air 100 30 Leaky drain on bottom of filter N $90.87 1.6 757
7 Filter Tee Air 100 25 Not sure if threads or filter leaking N $70.40 1.3 587
8 Blowgun Air 100 14 Needs replacing leaking at valve packing N $31.25 0.6 260
9 Bridgeport Air 100 51 Regulator pipe fitting N $191.05 3.4 1592
10 Blowgun Air 100 37 Leak at the fitting N $121.89 2.2 1016
11 Manifold Air 100 37 Pipe fitting N $121.89 2.2 1016
12 Shipping Air 100 41 Leak at gauge N $140.74 2.5 1173
13 lubricator Air 100 57 Sight dome leak N $223.25 4.0 1860
14 Upper Rail (w) Air 100 29 Fitting leak on upper feed line at tee fitting N $86.66 1.6 722
15 90 Above Air 100 16 Fitting leak on upper feed line at 90 elbow N $37.68 0.7 314
16  Jigmil above Air 100 33 Fitting leak on upper feed line at tee fitting N $103.85 1.9 865
17  Colchester above Air 100 38 Fitting leak on upper feed line at 90 elbow N $126.53 2.3 1054