HEAT! Is The #1 Reason For Air Compressor Failure
HEAT!! The #1 Reason For Air Compressor Failure
As we near those long summer days, heat and humidity will become a factor in the performance and longevity of your aeration equipment. Although moisture, dust, lack of proper maintenance all play a role in the overall performance of your air compressor, In our experience heat is the #1 contributing factor when air compressors fail. So what to do? Some air compressors like the diaphragm air compressors used on our genAIR™ line of small pond aerators are designed to sit out in the elements. We do not encourage or recommend that they be placed in a structure of any kind. Why? to keep them cool. With no exposed windings along with the overall design of this type of air compressor, we are able to let them sit outside and thus they tend to stay much cooler than if placed under a Faux [fake] rock or put in Rover's old dog house. Thus, these compressors tend to last a very long time with some simple periodic maintenance.
TIP: Place these diaphragm compressors under a tree or bush and they'll last even longer.
Now, piston and vane type air compressors. They're another animal. We love them, don’t get me wrong, they are very effective, reasonably priced, relatively quiet to operate, have exceptional amp draws for the most part and have a long track record in this industry. BUT! they tend to run hot, especially the vane compressors. And all air compressors operate at even hotter temperatures when under pressure. So, if you take one of these air compressors house them in an inadequately vented cabinet and then place them out in the sun you just can’t expect the compressors to perform flawlessly on those 100-degree days and 80-degree dew-points. Its basically like placing your air compressor in an oven and asking it to perform at its best under extreme conditions. Here's a secret, it’s just these kinds of days that will take years off the life of your air compressor. Yep, just a day or two, or worse yet a week or two, of really excessive heat and humidity and your compressor will lose a lot of its useful life.
TIP: Place your aeration systems cabinet under a tree or in a shaded area and they'll last even longer. Proper air flow around the cabinet is very important to the longevity of your air compressors inside.
So, what can be done? All our piston and vane air compressors must be housed in either a cabinet or structure such as a barn or the like. But for the sake of this post, we'll focus on those units placed in a cabinet. And so the design of the cabinet is the key component. Our brand, XTREMEAIR® utilizes fans to blow or "exhaust" hot air out of the cabinet. This works well but on those really, really hot days even our fans have a hard time keeping up with the heat that builds up inside the cabinet. Well, that was until our XTREMEAIR® cabinet came along. Our patented compressor cabinet design allows convection to naturally aid cooling for the air compressors housed in our patented proprietary cabinet. Fans are designed into the cabinet as a supplement only. What does this mean? Longer compressor life, plain and simple. Our XTREMEAIR® pond and lake aeration systems have been used for years and the longevity of the RELIANCE™ air compressors inside have performed flawlessly. Why? They stay cooler, its that simple.
Although heat is the #1 reason that air compressors fail. Other concerns such as site locations or poor maintenance can exacerbate the issue. For instance, DUST. We can’t tell you how many customers just don’t understand how important it is to regularly clean and or replace the air compressors filter. I mean they’re cheap and simple to replace, so why wouldn't you?. A good analogy my be: ask two long distance runners to run a 10k on a really hot day in August. One runner performs with no air restrictions. The second runner is asked to run with a dirty clogged face mask on over his/her mouth and nose while they run. So, who will likely perform at an optimal level? You get the point. A clean air filter can double the life of your air compressor and enhance the performance greatly.
Finally, a couple “nice to know” issues that you cant necessarily change but should be aware of and do what you can to mitigate the effects of. That is, high altitudes and thin air. Just know that that mountainous areas or just high altitudes in general, air compressors tend to perform at slightly less than optimal levels like they would at sea level where the air is denser. In a nutshell, it just shortens the life of many air compressors. Taking the steps noted above however will reduce these effects.
Take care of your air compressor and they will take care of you.
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