Severe cold weather can affect your air system, leaving you with a costly repair bill and could disrupt your processes. With some straightforward maintenance you can keep your air system running smoothly through periods of cold weather. We’ve put together our top tips for protecting your equipment during this cold period.
Many compressors are rated for operation in an ambient temperature of above +5°C. Fitting a simple cabinet heater inside your compressor cabinet or compressor room will keep the temperature above this, ensuring that compressor will operate correctly. It will reduce the risk of it malfunctioning, especially if the plant is shut down overnight or at weekends during periods of cold weather.
Make sure your compressor has been serviced regularly
Many issues can arise if a compressor is not serviced regularly. Water can build-up within the lubricating oil within the compressor, which can cause substantial damage if it freezes, potentially causing motor failure due to the air compressor hydraulically locking up.
Drain the condensate from your compressor system
This should be carried out regularly as part of the overall daily maintenance of your compressed air system. In cold weather the condensate can freeze, blocking or damaging the compressor or pipework from within. An auto-drain carries this out automatically, and should be considered if your system is at risk of low temperatures.
Use pipe lagging and trace heating on condensate lines
Pipes can freeze and potentially crack if they are run outside exposed to external weather conditions. Trace heating and lagging on the pipes can stop the condensate from freezing inside the pipes. Where possible, all pipework should be routed inside buildings to protect them from the colder external temperatures.
Check your dryers and filters
Refrigerant dryers only work effectively in temperatures above +5°C, so we recommend that they are housed in a room above this temperature. Pipe lagging and trace heating should be used on any of your dryers pipework that will be exposed to ambient temperatures less than +3°C. It is important to look after your dryers and filters, as it is their function to remove water from the compressed air, stopping water from freezing downstream in your pipes and other equipment.
If you think that your compressed air system has been affected by the cold weather, or for more information please call us on 01992 940498 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.