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Beat the Heat: Tips to Protect Your Compressor on Hot Summer Days


We all know that excessive heat puts increased stress and wear on equipment, and compressors are no exception. As gas is compressed, significant amounts of heat are generated. Under normal conditions, a compressor will run between 160-180 degrees. But, did you know that a compressor will run 100 to 110 degrees above the ambient temperature? That means 90 degree weather could have your compressor running at 200 degrees! Most modern rotary screw compressors shut down at 230 degrees. However, damage may already be done. Oil, even high quality synthetics, will typically have its life expectancy cut in half at temperatures in excess of 20 degrees over normal operating temperatures. Excessive heat damages expensive oil, causes excessive wear on the compressor, will pass more water into the system and to top it all off, makes your compressor far less efficient, potentially costing you money in the power bill and in lost production. So we know heat is bad, but there are steps you can take to beat the heat.

  • 1.) Keep your compressor and cooler clean and free of debris. A clean and properly sized cooler can knock oil temperature down by 30 degrees, making it a valuable component to any compressor package.
  • 2.) Proper ventilation is paramount to keeping compressor temperatures manageable. A cooler can’t do much good if there isn’t cool fresh air for it to draw in, or a place for the hot air to ventilate to. A good rule of thumb is to make sure the inlet and outlet ducting for compressor ventilation is at least the same size as the compressor’s cooler.Intake and exhaust fans may be needed to move air around as well.
  • 3.) A regular oil analysis program can help you monitor for excessive wear, high acid numbers, and loss of lubricity in your compressor oil. Oil analysis can also warn you of high water levels and several other factors, helping you keep your compressor in top operating condition.
  • 4.) Keeping up a proper maintenance program should include the steps above, as well as including the change out of air and oil filters. Plugged filters require the compressor to work harder, make it less efficient, and in turn generate more damaging heat.

If you and your compressor need help beating the heat, call ACS at 888-846-5101 today!


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