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Refrigerated Or Desiccant Air Dryer : Which One is Best for Your Application?

We all know that air dryers are often used in various applications. Air compressors contain moisture that can exceed the dew point temperature and condense into an unfavourable liquid. As a result, an air dryer will be required to remove water from compressed air. Air dryers are essential for air compressors because they keep the compressors dry and prevent condensation and rust problems.

Top-tier manufacturers provide a variety of air compressors. It's critical to get the correct air dryer.

You might be wondering why this is so crucial! Why should you be concerned about selecting the proper type of air dryer for your application if all air dryers offer the same function? Although air dryers remove vapour from compressed air, they may have some unintended consequences that can sabotage your work. Choosing the wrong air dryer can result in equipment failure, which can lead to costly repairs. You risk losing track of time and falling behind in your business activities. You may quickly eliminate these hazards and feel assured that your equipment will perform effectively with the right type of air dryer.

There are four types of air dryers available in the market- Refrigerated air dryers, Desiccant air dryers, Chemical air dryers and Membrane air dryers. However, Refrigerated and Desiccant air dryers are prevalent options in most industries.

Today we will see whether you should go for a Refrigerated air dryer or a Desiccant air dryer!

Refrigerated Air Dryer

The most popular type of air dryer is a refrigerated dryer. As the name implies, these dryers cool the air to condense the mist and then remove the moisture from the compressed air using refrigeration similar to that found in a household refrigerator.

The dew point is reduced to 38°F with a refrigerated dryer. You should use this air dryer if your application requires dry air with no visible moisture. When comparing refrigerated air dryers to desiccant air dryers, refrigerated dryers have-

  • Easy setup
  • Low capital investment
  • Lower operating and maintenance costs
  • The quality to Resist oil particles in the air
  • Higher dew point

To summarise, refrigerated air dryers are adequate for general-purpose compressed air applications, with pressure dew points ranging from 35 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit (PDP). It is often less expensive than other drying processes. Refrigerated dryers are divided into two categories. The first one is Cycling which is the more energy-efficient alternative and is often utilized for higher flows and where the flow rate fluctuates. Another type is non-cycling which is a less expensive choice. Non-cycling dryers are always on and don’t stop until you turn them off.

Desiccant Air Dryer

Industries like healthcare, food, and material processing often depend on air compressors that can offer dry clean air. These types of industries can try out Desiccant dryers.

Desiccant compressed air dryers use adsorption to remove water vapour from the air. Desiccant air dryers contain two towers packed with desiccant beads To enable continuous operation. The system switches back and forth between the two, allowing one to dry compressed air while the other regenerates desiccant material.

Desiccant air dryers are more expensive than refrigerated air dryers in terms of the initial capital investment and the ongoing operating and maintenance costs. They can, however, bring compressed air's dew point down to -40°F or even -100°F. If your applications run in cold temperatures, desiccant compressed air dryers are also required.

So, Desiccant air dryers-

  • Have low dew points
  • Offers Reasonable operation costs
  • Are best for remote and dangerous places
  • Come with a high Installation costs 
  • Need replacement of the desiccant material every three to five years
  • Are non-resistant to oil particles in the air


You can choose the right type of air dryer for your application now that you know how Refrigerated and Desiccant air dryers work and their features.

MasterAire offers heavy-duty Refrigerated and Desiccant air dryers by top-rated manufacturers. Click here and take a look at our inventory of air dryers.

We offer a specific warranty, best price deals, add-on options and many more! If you find it challenging to figure out which type of air dryer will suit your application, you can talk to our experts. We offer on-time pre-sale and post-sale support and service related to fitment advice.