Protect Your Investment: Maintain Your Compressed Air System in the Winter

Just like most technology, winter temperatures can cause your compressed air equipment to breakdown or function improperly. However, there are ways to prevent your compressed air system from suffering in the cold temperatures.

Why Your Compressor Dislikes The Cold

To understand how you can prevent compressor shutdowns and problems during the winter, you need to understand WHY your compressed air system experiences problems.

Many problems arise from condensation freeze and component freeze up. Imagine your car battery. Once negative temperatures hit your car, a battery can be zapped of strength and need to be jump started. Compressor equipment can experience the same thing.

Imagine how roads look after winter when everything finally melts and warms up. Many roads experience cracking and fragmenting after the constant freezing of ice in tiny cracks. Small cracks that are constantly filled with run-off that freezes and melts overtime leads to larger cracks.

Your compressed air system acts similarly. Oil can thicken from subzero temps which means a machine can’t be powered properly. Condensate can freeze in places that it is not supposed to which leads to part wear out or even shutdown.

How To Maintain Your Compressor In The Winter

Now that you understand why your compressed air system struggles in the winter months, we can give you a few tips on how to prevent that struggle.

1. Check & Replace Condensate Drains Regularly

When condensate isn’t collected correctly, the condensate can make its way to places that it doesn’t belong. This means that it can freeze on or in equipment and cause cracking or malfunction. Ensure that your condensate drains are operating correctly. In fact, we recommend that you check the drains frequently if your compressed air system is exposed to temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Check Your Inlet Air Filter Regularly

If your compressor finds itself outside, snow or ice may find its way into your inlet air filter. If your unit is housed inside, but the temperature is cold, a similar event may take place.

It is important to check your filter frequently if either scenario is the case to ensure that the filter is free of snow or ice.

3. Heat Your Pipes

Just like the pipes in your house, pipes in your compressed air system may experience freezing if temperatures are too low. Pipes exposed to the cold will require a heating source to ensure that a freeze-up does not happen. If your compressed air is exposed to lower temperatures, you may also need a regenerative dryer to prevent freeze up of your air lines and any components down stream.

4. Check For Leaks

Leaking compressed air systems can be a sign of damage done to the system by cold environments. If you notice a leak, take quick action to fix the leak and to prevent one from happening in the future. Leaking systems cause energy loss which leads to a higher energy bill.

Find out more about leak detection audits.

5. Check Your Oil Temperature

Compressor oil needs to be up to a “normal” temperature before starting your system otherwise the motor will labor. This causes a hard starting condition which can result in a motor overload trip. This may require a heated compressor room.

6. Service Your Machine Regularly

Servicing your machine regularly not only helps you keep your machine running efficiently, but it also allows you to notice the instant damage is done from cold temperatures.

7. Insulate or Add Heat To The Compressor

Compressed air systems do not like temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. We recommend housing your compressor in a location that is above this temperature. However, if this is not possible, heat lamps or other heat sources can be used to keep your compressor from cooling down too much.

Seek Help For Winter Proofing

At the end of the day, it may be hard to know how you can protect your system from the winter temperatures. If you have no idea where to start, reach out to one of our specialists via phone or email. We can help you protect your investment from winter damage.