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Understanding Your Air Compressor’s Temperature Range

During winter’s cold streaks and summer’s heat waves, we field a lot of emergency calls about an air compressor’s temperature range. If temperatures get too hot, they overheat. If temperatures get too cold, they freeze. Finding a happy medium is difficult.

But a system breakdown doesn’t need to happen. Here’s a guide to understanding your air compressor’s temperature range and some tips on how to keep it running efficiently in various temperatures.

What Is My Air Compressor’s Ideal Temperature?

Oddly enough, air compressors are a little bit like us humans in terms of temperature. If you’re hot and sweaty, your air compressor probably is too. If you’re stiff and shivering from the cold, your air compressor probably is too.

That being said, your air compressor’s ideal operating temperature is between 50-85 degrees Fahrenheit. Within this range, the mechanical components can run without risk of overheating or freezing.

Most manufacturers design their machines to work at temperatures up to 105 degrees Fahrenheit, but that’s usually a bit of a risk. Sticking to that optimal range will ensure you’re running your air compressor with optimal safety and efficiency.

Can I Use My Air Compressor In Hot and Cold Weather?

Yes, but use caution. 

Extreme heat or cold can cause some serious damage to your compressor. However, we understand that weather conditions are uncontrollable, and that your facility doesn’t always have the flexibility to turn things off on a hot or cold day.

For this reason, we’ll outline a few best practices for you to employ so that your equipment can run smoothly in most conditions.

Using Your Air Compressor in Hot Weather

If your air compressor hits a temperature above its ideal temperature range, it’s at risk for overheating. Overheating can cause slower operation and equipment damage, which can in turn cause downtime waiting on shutdowns and maintenance.

If you’re using your air compressor in hot temperatures, try the following best practices to keep it as cool as possible:

  • Consider purchasing a larger (or secondary) cooler
  • Increase ventilation around the compressor wherever possible
  • Check and clean moisture drains frequently, especially if there is high humidity

Using Your Air Compressor in Cold Weather

If your air compressor’s temperature falls below 50 degrees, it’s at risk for multiple problems. Internal condensation can form and crack the air cooler, oil can thicken and cause lubrication issues, and rubber hoses and belts can lose flexibility and snap.

If you’re using your air compressor in cold temperatures, try the following best practices to keep it from freezing up:

  • Use oil that is a suitable grade for low-temperature applications
  • Insulate any condensate traps and water lines
  • Check and replace stiff hoses and belts
  • Check and clean condensate traps frequently

Still Can’t Beat the Heat or Cold? Consider a Climate-Controlled Space for Your Air Compressor

If you’re worried about purchasing another air compressor because you don’t have space for it on the factory floor, there is another solution that keeps you from having to store it outside in unpredictable weather: building a climate-controlled space.

At TMI, we often work with our clients to create a custom space to house their new air compressor — offering you all the space you need, without the worry of putting such an expensive piece of machinery outdoors. These spaces are equipped with climate-control and proper ventilation to ensure the compressor stays within its recommended temperature range and operates without trouble. And the best part? Our partnerships with high-quality modular construction experts ensure we can keep installation quick and prices low.

Having trouble with an air compressor in extreme temperatures? Let the team at TMI help. Specializing in serving Michigan, we understand extreme temperature ranges. With 24/7 emergency service, we can come out to service your compressor at any time, and help you get your equipment back up and running.


Contact TMI Air Compressors