How Often Should I Service My Industrial Air Compressor?

How Often Should I Service My Industrial Air Compressor?

Apr 28, 2022, 2:58:53 PM Life and Styles

Industrial air compressors have many incredible uses. They can power automotive tools, aid in the packaging of medicine, and serve a number of functions in food production.

If your business relies on an air compressor system, you can't afford unexpected downtime. You need to keep your compressor in working order to maximize your productivity.

Maintenance goes a long way toward keeping your air compressor up and running, but when should you service it? 

Read on to learn all about industrial air compressor maintenance and what signs indicate that your compressor needs service.

The Different Kinds of Maintenance

Regular maintenance keeps your industrial air compressor in operation and ensures that your business keeps moving. There are two kinds of maintenance: reactive maintenance and preventative maintenance.

Reactive maintenance is performed after you've noticed lower performance from your compressed air equipment or when it breaks down. This kind of maintenance is typically very costly, as you'll lose production time in addition to needing to pay for repair services. You'll likely have to contract outside help and source new parts for your defective machine.

Preventative maintenance is proactive. Rather than waiting to respond to a breakdown, you're actively considering issues that could crop up. This can prevent compressor failure, saving you money by reducing downtime and lowering the cost of repairs. 

You can even perform air compressor preventative maintenance on your machine if you know what to look for and develop a maintenance schedule.

Basic Parts and Service Intervals

Industrial air compressors contain many moving parts that work together. Each part needs attention, and the failure of one component will affect the functionality of your entire system.

Air Filter

Your compressor's air filter is perhaps its most important component. Without it, the air from your machine would not be pure, which can affect the performance of the mechanisms you use your compressor to power.

Checking your air filter is the obvious first step in preventative compressor maintenance. If you notice an accumulation of dirt and grime, clean it off right away. 

Maintenance Interval

Check on the status of your air filter daily and remove any dirt accumulation. Most air filters need to be changed after 2,000 hours of use, but you might need to change them more frequently if you work in a particularly dirty environment.

Air Intake

Like a clean air filter, a clear air intake ensures that the air coming out of your compressed air equipment is pure. If you allow grime to build up around the intake, it can get pulled into the machine.

This forces your air filter to work even harder. In cases where excessive residue has built up on the intake, the filter won't be able to purify the air.

Maintenance Interval

Make checking on the cleanliness of your air intake a weekly task. Clean it as often as needed.

Oil Filter

Oil filters ensure that your compressed air system is free of damage-causing impurities and keeps oil from mixing with the compressed air. If yours appears dirty, you'll need to change the filter.

Maintenance Interval

Take stock of your oil filter on a weekly basis. After 4,000 hours of use, most oil filters need to be changed.


The motors that power industrial air compressors need lubricant to protect their internal components from corrosion. Without lubrication, these parts experience friction and develop rust, which essentially rots the machine from the inside.

Maintenance Interval

Lubricant is vital to the health of your air compressor, so you'll need to check it daily. You'll apply fresh lubricant and change the separator every three months.

Motor Bearings

The bearings allow your air compressor's motor to function. They help stabilize the rotor and reduce the friction generated between two spinning metal components. Grease helps prevent the accumulation of rust on the bearings and further reduces friction.

Maintenance Interval

Every three months, take a look at your bearings to make sure they have an appropriate amount of grease. Apply more grease after 4,000 hours of operation.


The motor in your air compressor system is powered by a series of belts and pulleys. Over time, these belts will show signs of wear and begin to deteriorate. Worn belts won't maintain tension and could break while your compressor is running.

Maintenance Interval

Take stock of the status of your belts once a week. If you notice wear and tear developing, swap the old belt for a new one.

Signs Your Compressor Needs Service

Preventative maintenance will help prolong the life of your air compressor and reduce the likelihood of a breakdown occurring, but you'll still need reactive maintenance from time to time.

These are the signs your machinery is facing more serious issues and needs professional air compressor servicing that you can find at this link:

Loss of Pressure

Occasionally, air compressor systems lose air pressure. It could be due to an error within the machine's warning system or an issue with the motor. Either way, containing to operate a compressor with low pressure is a waste of energy and puts stress on the machine's internal components.

Excess Noise

Many air compressors feature noise dampeners for quieter operation. If your compressor is louder than usual, it's likely due to a loose motor component. You need to shut it off and have it serviced.

Tripping Circuit Breakers

Check your circuit breaker's status if your compressor is consistently tripping fuses. The problem could lie with the breaker itself. Once you've ruled out breaker troubles, you can be sure that the issue has to do with the compressor. 

This is a sign that your air compressor is drawing too much amperage, and continuing to operate it puts the machine at risk.

Preventative Maintenance for an Industrial Air Compressor

Industrial air compressors power many pneumatic devices across a wide array of industries.

To keep your operation running smoothly, you need to know what parts of an air compressor need preventative maintenance and when to perform it. Neglecting to perform this maintenance could result in the failure of your industrial air compressor and lead to hefty repair bills.

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