Friday, November 4
In the Midwest, it is no secret that winter comes fast and stays for a long time. The temperatures drop drastically, and while we bundle up and prepare ourselves for the cold weather, we also need to prepare our air compressors & facilities.
Why is winterization so important? Well, there are numerous reasons why! First, freezing in your lines or any parts of your system can cause irreparable damage such as blockage, cracking, and bursting- which is not only a hazard to your equipment, but also your employees’ safety as well! In general, colder weather makes it harder for a compressor to perform which means more energy is used, thus higher utility bills. Ensuring your compressor is in the best shape possible will save you money and keep your compressor’s health happy. Proper preventative maintenance can only enhance your systems’ longevity, so preparing for seasonal changes is crucial.
What To Do
Inspect for Condensation & Moisture
Built up moisture in your air compressor tank or air lines can freeze when temperatures start to drop. In the winter, it is common for condensation to gather in your tanks. To properly prevent this from happening, you will want to perform a thorough inspection for moisture and condensation a few times a week. You will need to drain the moisture out immediately if found. If you notice constant excess moisture, there may be another, larger cause you need to attend to. Aside from freezing, moisture in the tanks and lines can cause rusting, corrosion, valve impairment, and clogs year-round.
Utilize Heat Trace Tape
Heat trace tape is a common tool used to help winterize outdoor equipment. It needs power supplied to it to work properly so if power shuts off, know that your tape is also not functioning. This tape is many times used alongside indoor heaters to keep your entire system, inside and out, at a proper temperature for efficiency. This tape keeps your equipment warm and helps to prevent ice buildup or freezing throughout your outdoor lines and equipment.
Your louvers help to capture heat that is escaping and recirculate it to the proper areas. While in warmer months you may redirect this heat away from the compressor due to the risk of overheating, in winter you will want to direct your louvers towards the compressor to help warm the system during the colder months. Properly adjusted louvers will also help maintain proper lubrication movement throughout your system. Utilizing your louvers in this way will also heat the surrounding environment which maintains an efficient operating area for your compressor system and keeps your heating bills under control.
Use Heaters & Insulated Areas
While we know it is not always possible to have your entire system located inside, an insulated area, especially in the Midwest, is preferred for when temperatures start to drop. Insulation, along with added heaters, helps the compressor room retain heat during our frigid Midwest winters. Keeping the ambient temperature high enough will reduce the wear and tear on your compressor and increase its lifespan and your production capabilities. In general, when you install a heater, you want to adjust it for the lowest allowable operating temperature recommended by the manufacturer. Your compressor room should ideally stay above 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
Routinely Service Drains, Valves, & Separators
Drains, valves, and separators are parts of your system that are most susceptible to moisture, and therefore put your system at a high risk during the winter. In downtimes or reduced production periods, make sure to properly clean, maintain, and replace (when necessary) your separators, drains, and valves. If a drain fails, excess moisture will be delivered to other parts of your system.
Keep Machinery Updated & Clean
In all seasons and climates, you should be regularly performing maintenance and cleaning on your machines to keep it in the best shape possible. Cleaning your machinery and the environment around it will prevent other particles, such as dust, from building up and causing other risks such as clogging and contamination. Keeping your equipment updated and maintained will also ensure that it is operating at its strongest capacity- which can be especially important with extremely high or low temperatures that we observe here in the Midwest.
Zorn is the Midwest leader of custom, engineered compressed air and vacuum solutions. We provide the best customer experience by understanding your applications and needs and offering an unparalleled commitment to customer satisfaction.
Our comprehensive product and service solutions keep you running 24/7.
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Our compressed air experts look forward to meeting you to discuss your equipment and support needs. Please contact us directly at (262) 695-7000 with any questions or to schedule service for your system moving forward.
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