How to Get the Most Out of Your Air Compressor

Air compressors are a critical component in many industrial settings, and it’s not unusual to find them in hobbyist workshops as well. They provide a highly efficient and reliable power source while not taking up much space.

Because they are so critical to your operation, it is important you take the appropriate steps to maintain that equipment so you can maximize its usable lifespan.

Here are a few air compressor longevity tips for you to keep in mind to help you ensure proper preventative maintenance and ongoing usage of your equipment.

Remember to engage in basic maintenance

There are simple tasks that all owners and operators of air compressors should be aware of and perform on a regular basis. Regularly inspect your air compressor to look for possible air leaks. You can do this using an ultrasonic leak detector for greater accuracy. When leaks occur, the system could start to compress more air than needed, increasing operating costs and possibly causing a safety issue.

You should also inspect all components such as screws, nuts and bolts, as they can come loose during the vibrations of normal operation. Set aside some time every now and then to check them all and tighten as needed.

Avoid moisture at all costs

This is one of the most critical air compressor tips to remember—moisture is the natural enemy of an air compressor. Air discharged from compressors often gets cooled down in after-coolers, which could potentially cause condensation and other forms of moisture forming inside the air distribution system. You’ll need to use dryers to remove that moisture.

Perform regular inspections to ensure dry air and uncover sources of moisture. Ensuring dry air keeps your system functioning well and allows you to maintain good pressure.

Keep the system lubricated

Find the proper lubricant formula for your conditions and make sure you keep the equipment lubricated at all times. Any lubrication you use should be suitable for the temperature range at which your equipment is most likely to operate.

Only operate in optimal temperature ranges

Air compressors frequently are tasked with working in high-temperature environments in industrial facilities. If temperatures become abnormally high, this could increase the risk of an explosion or fire.

You can avoid some of these temperature-related challenges by keeping water temperatures at 10 degrees Fahrenheit above inlet air temperatures, which will prevent moisture from forming inside the water-cooled compressor cylinders. Cooling water outlet temperatures should stay at 120 degrees Fahrenheit or below. Never start up the compressor if you have cooling water flowing, and stop the flow when the compressor shuts down.

These air compressor longevity tips will help you keep your machinery in good operating condition for its entire expected lifespan. For more information about the air compressor tips you should know when operating this type of equipment, get in touch with the team at Central Equipment Company. We’d be happy to share our expertise in air compressors and other industrial equipment to help you make informed maintenance and purchase decisions.

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