How To Maintain Compressed Air Systems

Compressed air systems are used in a wide variety of businesses, from automotive repair shops to hospitals. Compressed air has been compared to the fourth utility after gas, water and electricity. These systems do a lot and need to stay in tip-top shape. Keep your compressed air system functioning efficiently and avoid costly downtime by following some routine maintenance guidelines.

Clean Filters

The filters in a compressed air system collect particles such as dust, pollen and mold. These contaminants can do real harm to the system. They also cause the machine to work harder, making it run less efficiently. Donaldson compressed air filters should be changed every three to six months.

Check Drain Traps

Water will naturally enter the system with air and needs to be drained regularly. Drain traps should be cleared daily and tested weekly. Water left inside the system will wash away lubrication and collect contaminants. If cold enough, the water can freeze, reducing airflow in the pipes. This all leads to less efficiency and the possibility of damage to your tools or products.

Change Oil

The oil in an air compressor needs to be changed just like in a car. How often the oil requires changing depends on the system. Oil in an air compression system serves three important purposes. It lubricates, seals and cools the system. If the oil gets dirty and is not changed, the system will be sluggish and it could lead to engine damage.

Look for Red Flags

Despite the best effort and rigorous maintenance schedule, issues may still pop up. It is important to always be on the lookout for red flags. A lot of the time, the sooner you catch a problem the less damage it will do. Listen for unusual noises and vibrations. Check the belts to make sure they haven’t slipped. Lastly, always monitor the pressure and temperature of your system. These metrics are a great indicator of the overall health of the machine.