Air Compressor Maintenance Guide

Just like any piece of kit, your air compressor needs a bit of looking after and tender loving care. We cannot expect it to perform in such a high standard way without us looking after it. An air compressor does not require a lot of human intervention but does need a few, fairly common sense elements so that its life expectancy can be increased, expensive repairs can be avoided and for safety to be kept paramount on every use.

To get the best out of your air compressor, Best of Machinery have brought to you a special list of all of the best things to do for your compressor. Look after your air compressor and, in turn, it will look after you, aiding you to get any job done to an impressive standard.

Read up

Be sure to read the user manual before you use your air compressor and consult it when you have any form of query. You often will not be the only person who has every queried a particularly little something and more often than not, the answer to your problem will be lurking within the manual pages. Don’t throw away the manual once you have assembled the compressor, store it somewhere within easy access and don’t be afraid to look at it as often as you require.


Make sure that you keep your air compressor in a dry, clean place so that you do not need to replace parts and this will also elongate the lifespan of your compressor. Don’t let the compressor get too hot or it will overheat when in use. Adequate ventilation is very important.


So that the air compressor can give out good, clean air at high pressure, the inlet air filter must be clean and free from dirt, dust, and debris. This will need to be cleaned regularly, so make it part of your routine from the get-go. If the filter gets clogged, it can damage your air compressor, decrease the efficiency of your machine and will increase the amount of electricity that your compressor requires to function even at the lowest level of power. Using an air compressor with a dirty filter will cause damage and repairs could be costly.

Preliminary Checks

Be sure to check that the air compressor and the motor are aligned correctly before you use it, this applies more so to belt driven compressor and flexible couple compressors. Learn what your air compressor sounds like when it is healthy so that you can recognize when it may sound like it needs assistance. Take note of how much your compressor vibrates. You will then, again, be able to see if it requires your attention or if something is wrong.


Every air compressor vibrates which means that nuts and bolts can be shaken loose. Make sure you check all nuts and bolts regularly and make sure that they are tight enough to remain safe.

Top up

Air compressors usually have a water cooling system or aftercooler. You must keep the levels of water sufficient and clean for the compressor to work efficiently and so that you can maintain a steady electricity bill. Remember that if you put water into the compressor that is too cold, you could do more harm than good. You do not want to cause cracks to the head of the compressor. Similarly, if water is added which is too hot, it cannot be cooled well enough for the compressor to do its job properly. The recommended levels and temperatures will be in your user manual.


Generous lubrication is required for your compressor to run at its optimum rate. If there is not enough lubricant wear will occur quickly, your compressor will break down, and parts may need to be replaced which can be both timely and costly. Frequently check the levels of oil within your compressor and their clarity. It should not be sludge like or thick. Stated in your user manual will be the intervals of time at which you are to have a complete oil change to maintain your air compressor and increase its life expectancy.


One of the most frequently required jobs for you to do when you are in use of an air compressor is to drain the receiver. Let out the air pressure first. If you are working in a humid climate, this could be a job that needs doing very frequently.


To protect you and your compressor, make sure that all of the inbuilt safety features are working correctly. Your compressor should turn itself off automatically when it recognizes a problem before it becomes a safety issue. Examples of this could be to let you know that the oil pressure is incorrect, the compressor is too hot, the pressure is too high, or the current is too much. If your air compressor does not respond to the inbuilt safety feature of an automatic shutdown but it should, then it is unsafe and should not be used.


Periodically it will be necessary for you to clean the heat exchangers. This is necessary so that the air temperature can be decreased. The heat exchangers get too hot when they get scaled up from cooling water. The descaling of your air compressor is advised so that the operating temperature remains safe, your machine is protected, and the expected lifespan of the compressor remains good.

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