Jan 27, 2023

In bad weather, good advice

Winter is here, and with it the low temperatures and the dangers that this can pose to our air compressor, dryer and compressed air system.

There are considerations to be taken into account regarding the maintenance and operation of air compressors at low temperatures, since if it falls below freezing point (or even above), it can cause very serious problems. Both the compressors and the attached equipment have working limitations both at minimum and maximum temperatures, which are identified by the manufacturer.

Tips to protect your compressor from the cold

It is well known that compressed air systems generate condensate that can freeze, cracking and/or damaging many components. But how can low temperatures affect us in particular, and what recommendations do we give to protect our air compressors from the cold?


If temperatures drop, oils become thicker, reducing their lubricating capacity and potentially leading to breakdowns and blockages. This condition will reduce the service life of our equipment.

Drain valves

Freezing water can crack valves and other components, so check them frequently for blockages.

Compressed air filter

Ice in the filter will cause insufficient flow, resulting in poor airflow. The ice build-up can rupture the filter canister, this will cause significant pressure reductions or even the detachment of debris that can end up inside the compressor causing major damage.

Knowing these possible failures, what can we do to prevent them?

  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for each compressor. Depending on the model, they have minimum and maximum temperature recommendations, although the optimum temperature for a compressor is 20ºC.

  • Ensure that all systems are insulated. If possible, waterproof the room where the compressor is located. Maintaining a temperature above 7 °C will help the compressor to function properly during the winter. If the pneumatic network circulates in locations below this temperature, a preventive option may be to protect it with insulation.

  • Check the compressor and drainage systems daily for ice blockage.

  • In many industries it is advisable to consider installing a heat recovery system. The heat generated by the compressors can be used for other processes within the installation.

  • Hablando de calor, sobre todo en los compresores de tornillo cuando generan calor eliminan la condensación generada por el frío y la humedad. Si el compresor no trabaja o trabaja poco, esta condensación se puede quedar dentro y oxidar el sistema.

  • Mantenimientos habituales. Los purgadores automáticos mantienen los recipientes sin condensados que se puedan congelar y los filtros de aire nos permiten alcanzar la calidad del aire deseada. Revisiones periódicas nos ahorrarán muchos disgustos y nos ayudarán a detectar problemas causados por el frío.