5 Preventative Maintenance Tips to Protect Your Air System
Air compressors are a big investment for any company, which is why preventative maintenance is crucial in protecting your equipment. To keep your compressed air system running efficiently, we created a basic maintenance checklist that will help extend your equipment’s service life and minimize downtime.
- Change the oil filter every 2,000 run hours
Oil filters are meant to keep dirt and abrasives out of the lubricant. When left unchanged for too long, it will cause damage to your air compressor. An oil filter is inexpensive to replace and should be changed on a regular basis. Doing so will help extend the life of lubricant, minimize wear on the machine, and will protect the air/oil separator on rotary screw compressors. Changing the filter every 2,000 run hours is standard practice, however we recommend checking the manual for appropriate maintenance intervals as some compressors will utilize a long-life filter.
- Check your air filter weekly
The air filter is responsible for protecting both the air compressor and its lubricant. When the filter gets dirty, it will clog up, and the air compressor will likely experience a decrease in efficiency and shorter lubricant life. However, when kept clean, the air compressor runs cooler and requires less energy to operate. How often an air filter needs changed depends on the environment it’s in, however, it is best to check it on a weekly basis.
- Test your oil every 2,000 hours
Have the oil analyzed every 2,000 hours is crucial in preventing issues in your air compressor. Synthetic lubricants are made to protect air compressors and hold up in harsh environments. However, much like other components of an air compressor, they only last so long. As these lubricants break down, they can cause corrosion and varnish. Staying on top of your oil analysis’ helps prevent these issues and saves you both money and downtime.
- Keep your aftercooler/oil cooler clean
Aftercoolers and oil coolers collect dirt and particulates over time. This type of debris can slowly ruin coolers, diminishing their ability to effectively dispel heat. These increased temperatures can cause damage to the air compressor and reduce the life of the lubricant. It’s important to regularly check your aftercoolers and oil coolers for dirt and buildup to avoid unnecessary damage to the machinery.
- Change your air/oil separator every 4,000 hours or annually
In oil-flooded rotary screw air compressors, air/oil separators are what removes the last bit of oil from the air stream. Overtime, these components experience a buildup of contaminants and particulates, causing an increase in pressure drop across the separator. In general, every 2 PSIG increase in pressure drop will increase BHP (brake horsepower) use by 1%. Changing the air/oil separator every 4,000 hours, or annually, keeps oil carryover and lubricant consumption low.
It’s not uncommon that we see air compressor maintenance getting put off or forgotten about entirely. In these instances, lack of preventative maintenance can lead to timely and costly reactive maintenance down the road. Fluid Flow’s team of highly trained service technicians can provide any maintenance your equipment requires whenever it’s required. Learn more about how our team is equipped to better support you.