Preparing Your Air Compression System for the Summer
Air compressors can be used for a wide variety of industries and tasks. Whether you use an air compression system for chemical production or general manufacturing, air compressors can make the job easier and safer. And, like all your equipment and materials, you want to make sure your air compressor is well maintained.
With the sunny skies of summer comes the unmistakable surge of warmth, and since air compression systems can generate a lot of heat, you might be concerned that the rising temperatures will negatively affect your trusty air compressor.
To prevent your air compressor from suffering through the heat or other summer-related issues, read on to learn what areas should be checked before and during the summer months.
Oil and Air Filters
Clogged filters can negatively affect the efficiency of a compressor. Dirty filters can lower the pressure within the system and cause the machine to work harder to make up for it. This can lead to higher system temperatures and excess energy costs. So, to save money and protect your machine, regularly check and change the oil and air filters.
If you don’t use your compressor often, you can check the filters semiannually. Otherwise, check your filters frequently on a regular schedule to avoid an overabundance of dust and dirt in your filters.
Summer often comes with more humidity, and the extra moisture can lead to increased condensate drainage from your compressor. If the moisture isn’t properly drained from the system, it can get into the air lines and affect the compressor’s efficiency.
Regularly examine your drains and clear out any blockages or debris, and ensure the drains can handle the extra water flow. If you have timed drains, be sure to adjust the drain times to best accommodate the additional moisture.
Since heat is a main concern, it’s imperative that your compressor room has adequate ventilation. For the summer, hot air coming from the machine should be routed outdoors or away from the room entirely. This can be effectively done with the use of ducts and vents.
Also, the inlet vent should be large enough to provide cool air to the compressor, and it should be placed in an area that won’t suck in warm air coming from the exhaust ducts.
To check what size your inlet vent should be, consult the equipment manual or call the original manufacturer. It’s also a good idea to have automatic louvers on the inlet vent that open and close according to the temperature of room.
If you have something like refrigerated dryers in your compressed air system, you may also need exhaust fans to better facilitate air flow.
Dirty coolers in an air compression system can inhibit effective system cooling and lead to overheating. In the hot days of summer, consistently cleaning and maintaining the coolers is extremely important for adequate cooling. Well-maintained coolers can also help the dryers work more efficiently.
Belts and Couplings
The hotter the belts and couplings are, the faster they’ll wear out. During the hotter months, keep an eye on all the belts and couplings to ensure they’re in good shape. If they start to crack or are otherwise damaged and worn, replace them immediately. It might be a good idea to keep extras on hand just in case.
Additional heat can drastically reduce the lifespan of the system’s oil. For the summer, check the oil on a regular schedule to ensure it’s still effective, and change it when necessary. Keeping up with oil maintenance can keep the system clear of acids, moisture, and small debris. It also helps the system stay properly lubricated throughout the warmer months.
For any compression systems that use water to cool the machine, carefully maintain the pressure, flow, quality, and temperature of the water used in the cooler. Failing to do so can lead to higher operating temperatures, which can lead to more frequent oil changes and possible overheating.
Of course, it’s always important to properly maintain your air compression system, but don’t let the summer throw you for a loop. Keep an eye on all the components and substances, and keep a careful eye out for any problems.
If your compressor room is feeling a little too toasty, you may need to adjust your ventilation or check the water cooling system or coolers. If it seems like the compressor is working too hard, check the filters and oil. But when your system is a little too warm and you aren’t sure what to do, be sure to check the equipment manual or call the original manufacturer.
You can also call a dependable repair service or air compressor specialist, such as Compressor-Pump & Service, Inc. They can take a look at your air compressor and determine any issues the system has as well as what other maintenance tasks may need to be done.