Summer in South Florida continues to bring extreme high temperatures to most compressor rooms. These temperatures can affect the performance of equipment as well as cause shutdowns. Most compressor manufacturers rate their equipment at 60° F inlet and 60° F ambient room conditions. Compressors are designed to operate effectively at 95° F ambient in the room. Any temperatures above 95° F will start affecting your compressor’s reliability. What can you do about it?
Summers in South Florida can be especially hard on your air compressors. Here’s why:
- The coolers are not cleaned
- The inlet filter has not been changed
- The compressor has not had an oil filter change in the past year
- The condensers on the refrigerated air dryers are dirty
You might have already experienced operating problems and even a shutdown when outside temperatures are 95°F. If not, consider yourself lucky.
Here are some things you should consider doing now to your compressor:
- Make sure your equipment is ready for the hot weather by reading your operator’s manual and perform the indicated services
- Put a $10 thermometer in your compressor room to monitor the operating temperatures
- Take a look at current room temperatures and compare it to the operating temperatures of the compressor as well as the refrigerated air dryer
- Normal rotary screw operating temperature in a 70°F room should be no more than 190°F and the normal operating temperature of a refrigerated dryer should be between 38° F – 42°F. If you are above 210° F on your rotary compressor temperature gauge, you’re headed for trouble
- Check the room ventilation to make sure that your compressor room temperature is close to the outside air temperature—even in the hottest weather
If your system is inside, then ventilation is critical to keeping the room cool. A 20′ x 12′ room with a 12′ ceiling should have a 3000 CFM fan bringing in outside air with an appropriate outlet louver that is sized for the same flow with no more than .25 inches of water back pressure. If your system is outside, make sure that it is not in direct sunlight at any time in the day.
If you are not performing routine maintenance and cleaning on your compressor, then you are creating future issues for your system. On top of that, the high temperatures can affect the service life of the equipment as much as 20% to 30%. Remember, a compressor is supposed to last at least 15 years.
If you are having issues with your compressor – take care of it now because it will only get worse as we continue with the hot South Florida weather.