How to Protect Air Compressors in Winter
September 17, 2020
It’s never too early to be prepared for cold winter months that could wreak havoc on your air compressors! When the time comes that we delve into temperatures below 5°C or even 0°C, your air compressor performance is at risk.
Compressor oil can thicken, and condensation can freeze which can lead to many problems and even costly repairs. Here are some ways you can protect your compressed air system this winter to ensure it doesn’t get damaged.
Winter Protection for Air Compressors
Air Compressor Ambient Temperature is Key
The air compressor ambient temperature is different from the outside temperature; the air compressor ambient temperature always needs to be above 5°C as this could lead to your system being unable to start. To maintain the ambient temperature above 5°C, you need to make sure the environment your air compressor is stored in is warm enough.
You can do this by identifying and blocking any draughts but be careful to leave the ventilation. You can also use a small heater to provide additional warmth, especially when the air compressor isn’t in use, to maintain a consistent temperature.
In addition to your air compressor, the external piping and equipment needs protection in the winter months too. If any of your air compressor pipes pass through cold or outdoor areas, trace heating can help prevent freezing during the cold winters.
Daily Draining of Compressor Condensate
Drains are vital to any condensate management system, so you need to make sure these are effectively draining every day in order to ensure leftover condensate doesn’t freeze. Frozen condensate can lead to burst, blocked or damaged pipes, which will obviously cost you money to get repaired.
You can manually drain your air compressor daily or install an automatic drain system, so you can avoid this potential issue. If you do fit an automatic system, still make sure you check it is draining efficiently as part of your daily compressor checks. Both of these options will save you money in the long term and protect your air compressor in winter.
Conducting Regular Maintenance Checks
As always, air compressor maintenance is essential to keep your system working efficiently, but it is even more vital during the colder months. Procedures like checking your oil and water levels are vital to see if colder temperatures are thickening the oil or freezing the water.
Checking Dryers and Filters
Checking your dryers and filters should also be included in your regular maintenance checks. This is because they are used to remove water from your system so it’s important to check the condition of them during these colder months in order to avoid downstream freezing.
In particular, refrigerated dryers will not work as effectively if they are working in temperatures below 5°C. So, make sure you keep the ambient temperature consistently higher than this and always check that the dryer is still working efficiently.
Identifying and Repairing Any Leaks
While you’re running your usual checks, make sure you keep an eye out for any leaks so you can locate them and repair them as quickly as possible. Leak detection monitoring systems are extremely reliable when it comes to finding leaks as many are too small to detect by just walking around.
By investing in this equipment and making sure you always do your checks, this will ensure that your compressed air system is operating efficiently and effectively during the winter. Also, it will save you money in the long run.
Air Compressor Maintenance & Servicing from Air Power East
Make sure you look after your air compressors all year round with our maintenance and servicing packages. Whether you require one-off services or preventative maintenance agreements, replacing air filters and motor belts or changing the oil, we can do it all.
Contact us today for more information.