Understanding Air Compressor Intercooler Maintenance

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Your air compressors may experience some damage when the weather heats. Fortunately, air compressor maintenance fundamentals are straightforward but crucial. As usual, do as the industrial compressor manufacturers instruct regarding maintenance.

Remember, too, that equipment longevity rather than energy efficiency is the foundation for these recommendations. Frequent maintenance of air compressors will improve performance and reduce running costs.


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Heat Is hazardous

Heat leads to the breakdown of lubricants, bearings, and motors. For the same amount of compressed air, it also means that the compressor has to work harder. Approximately 95% of the energy used by an air compressor is rejected to the environment as heat, making them devices that reject heat. It’s important to remember that warmer summer air can retain more moisture, which harms our compressed air systems and necessitates air compressor repair.


Ensure That The Air Compressor Intercooler Is Clean

By cooling the air in between stages, intercoolers improve the machine’s compression efficiency. Higher efficiency is correlated with more cooling. Because hot air requires more energy to compress than cold air, dirty intercoolers result in increased power usage. Performance depends heavily on maintaining this intercooler spotless since weather-related temperature increases in the compressor are inevitable.


Avoid Using An Aftercooler For Air Compressor

You guessed it aftercoolers are used once compression is finished. The heated air that was just compressed is cooled by the aftercooler. The air’s moisture content condenses out significantly as a result of this cooling, which lessens the moisture burden on the dryer.

Air discharged from aftercoolers should be around 20 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than the surrounding air. Lower temperatures are preferable since they require less water to be removed by the dryer. As the weather becomes warmer, maintaining the aftercooler’s cleanliness becomes more crucial.


Verify That The Air Compressor Oil Cooler Is Functional

Compressor oil is kept below 190°f (preferably, 180–185°f) using oil coolers. As the oil accumulates tannins.  The oil life starts to drastically diminish (by 25%) above 190–195 degrees Fahrenheit. The oil life is further shortened by higher oil temperatures. Oil’s usable life is halved at 200°f compared to 180°f. High oil temperatures cause the oil channels to get coated with extremely harmful varnish, which deteriorates performance and is expensive to clean.

On the other hand, colder oil (below 180) will start to absorb water. This results in early air end-bearing failure, decreased oil lubricity, reduced heat rejection, and premature failure of other compressor oil-lubricated components. To detect low or high oil temperatures early, many car air compressor manufacturers suggest keeping the oil cooler clean. And keep an eye on the compressor oil temperature while making your daily rounds.


Compressor Oil Test

Frequent testing of the aging compressor oil will reveal oil degradation before it becomes an issue. A TAN (Total Acid Number) test kit test kit which is referred to by oil free compressor manufacturers can be used to perform this predictive testing on-site at a very low cost. Additionally, sending oil to be tested at a lab on a regular basis is advised. This enables you to search for signs of other severe issues that a TAN kit is unable to detect. For complimentary oil sample kits or TAN test kits, get in touch with us.



Any maintenance operation should prioritize safety, and it is crucial to heed the advice and cautions found in the owner’s manual.