5 Ways to Spring Clean Your Air Compressor

Your compressed air system may very well be one of the most expensive pieces of equipment operating daily in your facility. As such, it’s important to perform regular maintenance and cleaning of your air compressor. If you neglect your equipment, you may very well end up paying for expensive repairs down the road.

It can be a good habit to spring clean your air compressor just as you would spring clean your car, home, or office. Below we have five ways for you to spring clean your air compressor. This annual cleaning can help ensure that you get longevity out of your machine and fewer breakdowns occur.

Quick Glance Inspection

The first step in spring cleaning your air compressor is to perform a quick glance inspection. By doing so, you can take care of any dust built up on your compressor or take note of any obvious problems. You may even notice a leak or a strange noise emitting from your equipment.

Generally speaking, a quick glance will help you move quickly through the rest of your spring cleaning tasks. Pay close attention to strange shaking/vibrations, air leak sounds, and anything else out of the normal, and be sure to address these problems promptly.

Check for Leaks

While you may have looked around for leaks during your quick glance inspection, it is important to look much deeper for any leaks that may be present. If you’ve noticed that your air compressor is consuming more oil than normal lately, this may be a sign that a leak is occurring. Be sure to thoroughly check hoses, valves, joints, and tubes for leaks. Fluid leaks are not the only kind to occur. Air leaks may also be present. By checking for both fluid and air leaks regularly, you can find them when they are small and before they grow into larger, more extensive repairs.

Oil Sampling

An oil sample should be taken on a regular basis (at least once per year). While you should be checking your oil to see if it needs to be replaced, it is also important to check for contaminants within the oil. By keeping tabs on the condition of oil samples, you can determine if there are larger problems happening within your machine. During your spring-cleaning routine is a fine time to do so.

Check Intake Vents

While intake vents should be checked frequently, it is a good idea to add this task to your spring-cleaning checklist. Contaminants can find their way into intake vents causing greater problems for your system.

Check Your Air Filter

Air filters perform a very important role—preventing contaminants from impacting the rest of your compressed air system. In addition, filters help maintain the purity of compressed air produced by your system. If your filters malfunction, contamination will quickly occur.

Be sure to check your air filter to see if it needs to be cleaned. You can also check to see if it is time for it to be replaced. The frequency at which filters will need to be replaced depends on the specific compressed air system you are using and the place in which your system is housed. If you aren’t sure whether it’s time for a replacement, consult your owner’s manual or reach out to a compressed air specialist.

Preparing Your Air Compressor for Spring

Spring and summer humidity can be hard on your compressed air system. While performing other cleaning tasks, it can be helpful to ensure that your system will weather the summer temperatures. One step to take is to monitor your air compressor system to check for overheating. If your system is overheating, this may be a sign that the heat exchanger needs cleaning. Heat is a result of compression, and the heat exchangers job is to remove that heat. If the heat exchanger is dirty, it cannot perform properly, and the result is shorter oil life and possible shutdowns.

Another step is to check that the room housing your air compressor is well ventilated with cooling capabilities. Elevated temperatures may cause your air compressor to overheat, negatively impacting internal mechanisms.

The compressor may also be equipped with a thermal mixing valve. If it fails, the compressor could run too hot or too cold. Your local compressor service expert can troubleshoot and repair this issue and keep your system in peak performance.

Visually inspect the oil, it should not appear white or milky looking or foamy. These are all signs of oil that is not in good shape. Contact your servicing distributor for expert help with this.

Finally, be sure to keep up with maintenance tasks such as checking fluid levels. Low oil levels will result in elevated oil temperatures.  

Contact Us for Your Compressed Air Maintenance Needs

Spring cleaning coupled with regular maintenance can lower the likelihood of a costly repair springing up in your near future. Costly repairs not only cost you money, but they may cause downtime which is expensive for your company’s profitability. Following the guidelines above should place you on the right path for a healthy compressed air system. An added benefit of these tasks may be improved compressor efficiency and reliability from a smoothly operating machine.

If you have questions on how to create a regular maintenance schedule or perform spring cleaning on your system, our compressed air specialists are ready to help. Contact one of our JHFOSTER specialists.