February 21, 2022

5 ideas to winterize your compressed air system

It’s still winter. Whether you believe in what the groundhog or woodchuck says or not (sorry, Buckeye Chuck), it seems winter will hang around a while longer. That means now is a good time to revisit what you’re doing to take care of your compressed air systems.

winterize your compressed air system
Thanks to Kaeser Compressors for the winterizing tips and image

Kaeser, the gold standard in air compressors, has great ideas. Here are five tips from them on how to winterize your compressed air system to prevent your plant or facility from costly repairs or worse … shutting down altogether.

1. Check tanks and drain them regularly

Condensation could cause serious problems for your system.

  • Keep water (condensation or moisture) from freezing in the tank
  • Use an automatic drain to maximize condensate collection for your tank
  • Check tanks – Kaeser recommends at least weekly throughout the year

2. Use heat trace tape around drain lines and bowls

What is heat trace tape? It’s tape — a flexible sticky substance — that enables you to wrap around pipes to keep them from freezing. You’ll need power though. If your facility is shutting down for any time during the winter, drain water from all lines before closing your plant.

3. Adjust louvers to minimize flashes of cold air

Flashes of cold air can hurt your compressed air system. But you can’t be out at every moment, monitoring the temperature. Automatic thermostatically controlled louvers are recommended.

4. Recirculate air and use heaters

Recover the heat from the compressor outlet by moving warm air away to heat an adjacent room or recirculating the air the equipment is too cold.

  • Use cabinet or ambient heaters to preheat and keep lubricant warm.
  • If you already have one installed, check to make sure it’s functioning and adjusted for the lowest allowable operating temperature recommended by the manufacturer.

5. Maintain separators, drains, and valves

Clean and rebuild separators, drains, and valves during the reduced production over the holidays and winter months. Separators and valves — not just drains – are susceptible to condensation.

Summary of winterizing your compressed air systems

Kaeser also has a video, making your checklist easier.

Tami Matthews
Author: Tami Matthews
Tami Matthews is the Director of Marketing. She’s spent 20+ years in marketing, focusing on digital and content marketing. Before coming to Elevated, formerly Lane Supply Company, in December 2020, she worked for a number of high-tech companies and a financial services company. Writing is one of her favorite things to do (see her Star Trek blog work). In her spare time, she volunteers for the Denver Muncipal Band and the KCAA PTO as well as hikes with her husband and begrudging daughter.
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