Factories and industries use air compressors for heavy-duty and time-consuming tasks. The reliance on compressors to accomplish difficult tasks can often put a strain on the performance of the machine. Usually, performance issues can often be traced to air compressor overheating. If this problem persists, it may lead to machine failure, disrupting your company’s operations.
Air compressors overheat due to either internal or external factors; sometimes, both. During the process, it is normal for the machine or air discharge to become hot, but it should quickly cool down after use. However, if the air becomes too hot to handle, you need to have your air compressor checked as soon as possible.
Causes of Air Compressor Overheating
Pinpointing what causes an air compressor to overheat may not be an easy task. Various conditions affect the performance of the machine. Understanding what these are can help you swiftly troubleshoot the machine. Some of the most common causes of overheating include:
Low Suction Pressure
Low suction pressure typically results in a high compression ratio. When the compression ratio increases, it means that a certain volume of air and fuel in the cylinder is being squeezed into a much smaller space, creating higher discharge temperatures.
The following issues contribute to low suction:
– Loose components
– Defective metering devices
– Insufficient refrigerant
– Clogged Filter
– Drop in pressure
To ensure that your air compressor maintains high suction, it is important that you consistently check any signs of these issues.
High Discharge Pressure
Extremely high discharge pressure is an indicator that there is not enough refrigerant in the system. Without an adequate amount of refrigerant, there is no substance to cool your machine, resulting in overheating.
Excess discharge pressure may stem from either one or more of the following:
– Blockage of condenser air
– Dirty condenser coils
– Inconsistent condenser fan
– Ill-fitted discharge line
Keep an eye on your condensing parts for signs of any problems. Issues can go undetected, even for systems with built-in monitoring, until they begin to affect other parts of the air compressor.
High Ambient Room Temperature
Rotary screw compressors can run from 100 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit above the ambient temperature. If your room temperature is already at 100 degrees, your air compressor could be in big trouble. Warm areas make it difficult for the machine to adjust to desired levels of coolness. Additionally, the room temperature can affect the internal processes of the air compressor, resulting in less efficient operations. Moisture can also build-up and condense inside the machine, which can impact the compressor’s functions negatively.
Another concern that needs to be checked immediately is the amount of ventilation available for the air compressor. If there isn’t proper ventilation, then the compressor will not be able to cool down itself. Check if the vents are blocked or cramped. Avoid placing the machine where their vents face against a wall. Do not put it near windows and direct sunlight to keep the air compressor cool. Likewise, the room temperature is maintained accordingly.
Age of the Compressor
Components of the air compressor can wear with age. The machine itself will be forced to exert more energy to make up for the inefficiency of these components. An older air compressor may not be able to achieve industrial demands.
Frequency of Use
Given that air compressors are commonly used for heavy tasks, frequent use for a long time can affect the machine’s ability to function under the desired temperature. You must often check its efficiency level and replace parts when necessary.
Level and Condition of Oil
Both the level and quality of oil have essential roles in making sure that the air compressor maintains an efficient working temperature. It keeps various parts of the machine well-lubricated, reducing the friction that causes overheating. If the oil level or quality is too low, expect the compressor’s temperature to increase significantly. If you smell burning oil, it’s a sign that you need to check your oil. Additionally, if air compressors used frequently, should be monitored and changed regularly.
Failing Thermal Valve
The thermal valve opens once the oil gets hot to let the compressor oil flow through the cooler or radiator. As a result, a failing thermal valve can directly contribute to the heating issues. It is essential to always have a replacement valve on hand in case your machine needs a change. This way, you don’t have to wait for days before the new one arrives. Additionally, you can also compare the new valve with your pre-existing one to see if it is the actual source of the issue.
Type of Air Compressor
Different tasks require different air compressors. If you are working with heavy-duty machinery round the clock using a small air compressor, you are at risk of overloading the machine. Likewise, it is best to gauge the age of your compressor. If it is already more than 20 years old, then it could be time for a replacement. When acquiring an air compressor for your company, always consider its size and capacity in relation to the demands at hand.
Lack of Maintenance
Your air compressor must undergo regular check-ups. If your compressor lacks the proper maintenance it needs, dirt and dust can accumulate, blocking interior components. You may also overlook aging and broken parts, which could lead to overheating.
Tips to Prevent Air Compressor From Overheating
Overheating badly affects the capability of your air compressor to perform well. This can ultimately impact your production line and profits. To mitigate the causes and effects of heating issues, here are a few tips to cool down an overheated compressor.
Regularly Inspect Oil Levels and Filters
Oil level and filters must be inspected on a regular basis to ensure that your air compressor can still keep up with your production line’s demands. Keep them clean and remove any blockages. Lubrication prevents friction and acts as a coolant, so always monitor your oil levels frequently. Consider also its density, a watery and thin oil could mean that there’s excess heat in the system.
Improve Internal and External Ventilation
The causes of the overheating may not only be internal but also external. It is also important to check on your compressor’s vents and environment. If necessary, modify the layout of the room or relocate the air compressor to a more suitable space for ventilation. Ensure that vents and ducts flow properly.
Keep Air Compressor Parts Up-to-date
The state of your air compressor inevitably declines as operation increases. Strain and wear mount the longer and the more frequently you use the machine, leading to overheating. To prevent this from happening, consider updating your air compressor’s parts. Have your machine and surroundings evaluated by a service specialist and heed advice for upgrades that could bring your air compressor system back to efficient capacity.
Always check and clean your machine. Schedule a time and date when to conduct it so that you will not disrupt your facility’s operation. Hire a reliable and licensed service provider to inspect your air compressor and perform any necessary adjustments periodically. They can also provide you with advice on how to best use the machine to avoid any complications in the future.
If you are looking for quality air compressor products and services, call Commercial Air Compressor via our toll-free number: 1-800-853-8249. We provide 24-hour inspection and maintenance service to guarantee that your air compressor keeps its optimal working temperature.
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