Cold Weather and Compressed Air Systems – A Proactive Approach

It seems like September is a little early to be thinking about colder weather especially here in the South, but that’s exactly what we should be doing. Now is a great time to be proactive and get your compressed air system prepared for what is coming. My favorite definition of “Proactive” is acting before a situation becomes a source of confrontation or crisis. When cold weather hits, compressed air systems can struggle, and a variety of problems can arise.  Slow starting, line freeze problems, sensor malfunctions and equipment failure are all things our service department sees every winter. By taking a proactive approach and preparing your equipment for freezing temperatures you’ll be protecting yourself and your compressed air system from having to deal with a cold weather “crisis”.  Of course, you could just sit back, wait and take the reactive approach which usually consists of emergency service calls, air freighting parts and sometimes a rental compressor…

Here is a basic cold weather checklist:

  • If your equipment is outside, make sure you can air compressor winter tipsprotect it from the wind and use floodlights or heat lamps to keep your controls from freezing.
  • Check insulated areas and make sure the heat is staying inside and the cold is staying outside.
  • Also, check any weather stripping and replace areas that are worn out and not working properly.
  • Check condensate drains throughout your system for proper operation. Excess water in your lines and freezing temperatures are not a good mix. Install heat tape on anything that is exposed.
  • Check the intake for your air compressor. If it’s exposed to the outside elements, your inlet air filter can be damaged from ice and snow.
  • Compressed air receivers should be protected as well. If condensate collects at the bottom of the tank it can freeze.  Insulate any outside pipes feeding the tank as well as the condensate drain for the tank and make sure the drain is working properly.
  • Kind of a no-brainer here, but make sure your compressed air dryer and compressed air filters have been serviced and are operating correctly. Their job is to remove the condensate from your compressed air system.  The less condensate in the system the less there is to freeze and cause problems.

Contact us today if you need any help with addressing your cold weather vulnerabilities. Taking these proactive steps now, can help prevent some major problems once it turns cold outside.