Effects of moisture on your air compressor

moisture-2Air and moisture generally go together. You rarely have one without the other and that’s all fine and good unless you’re operating an air compressor and want as little moisture as you can manage. Knowing about moisture and its effects on your compressor can save you money.

Water can shorten the life of your compressor in a worst-case scenario, and best case: it can shorten the life and effectiveness of the filters, bearings and other parts inside the compressor. Bearings by the way, are the most expensive to repair.

Moisture can shorten the life and effectiveness of your compressor’s oil – air lines can rust.

Have we established that water is bad for your system? It not only shortens the life if the unit, it can cause expensive repairs.

So how do we keep moisture from invading your compressor?

SCIENCE ALERT: Cool air is dryer than warm air.

We need to keep the air in your compressor cool. There are several ways we can do that.

Professional shops with large compressors will want to employ an air “after-cooler.” This performs effectively the same task as your car radiator, passing air through it and cooling it on the way- condensing the moisture out of the air on the fly.

Smaller compressors tend to run more often, making the unit hotter and making the air hotter. Make sure your compressor is the right size for your shop so it only runs when it has to. This alone will prevent a lot of moisture from forming.

Something as simple as keeping the compressor unit in a dry room can help. Don’t place your unit in a basement, and consider a de-humidifier if you have to make your compressor live in a humid room.

Some regular maintenance tasks can help, too.  Make a point to drain the compressor tank. Water gathered in that tank over time will find its way into your compressed air.

Questions?  We’ve got experts who know more about moisture and its effects on your compressor than anyone else. Drop us a line.

About Trey Carter

Trey Carter

Trey has been with Air Components since 1999, selling and servicing air compressors since then. He now visits customer sites and assists in aftermarket sales and services. Trey can answer any of your compressor questions at treycarter@air-components.com.