Air Compressor Maintenance Checklist

Air compressor maintenance has been a crucial area for industries since the industrial revolution. Maintaining your air compressor at optimal performance requires a set of practices that need to be performed regularly at periodic intervals. You must routinely inspect the key elements of your compressor system and service them. Failing to do so might lead you to an early repair or replacement of your compressor system.

Rotary screw air compressor maintenance is especially important because of the high-powered tools that are dependent on such machines. For example, cylinders and actuators are reliant on screw compressors at production sites, and the failure of one such compressor results in a blunder for the company.

When you start considering how these minor problems can grow into something heavily detrimental, you will realize the importance of timely maintenance and servicing of your compressed air systems.

Don’t worry, we’re here to help you with your air compressor maintenance needs with a simple laid-down checklist.

Benefits of a well-maintained air compressor system

There are various benefits of air compressor maintenance. Compressed air systems that are regularly and properly maintained usually give a highly efficient and optimal output. They result in lower emergency issues and give peak performance as compared to the ill-maintained ones. With so much at stake the appropriate personnel must remember the points for air compressor maintenance and our checklist helps you with simple yet effective steps to do so.

Let’s take a look at the air compressor maintenance checklist!


Air compressor maintenance checklist


1. Read the user manual

It is highly recommended that you read the user manual before you take any further steps to clean or change your air compressor parts. Some of the most common problems with an air compressor are easy to solve with the help of the user manual. You might be at an advantage if you read the user manual once before making a distress call about your air compressor not functioning properly. For instance, if there is an issue with one of the connections or inlets that you can’t place a finger on. A mistake that is often committed by an operator is to tinker with things manually in the hope of fixing the problem. However, you should never try to fix anything on your air compressor without first reading through the user manual. Failure to follow this step could cost you down the line. If you purchased the compressor fairly recently, an improper adjustment could render the warranty null and void.


2. Regular inspections

Air compressor systems have a series of processes that rely on one another to provide the desired performance. It comprises various components which must be maintained to ensure consistent proper functioning. It is considered best practice if you maintain a timely schedule for regular periodic inspections of your compressor to ensure that all its components are in optimal condition.


3. Tighten all fasteners

An air compressor that undergoes daily continuous use is bound to have loosened nuts and bolts over time. These fasteners are the pivotal points for the seamless functioning of the compressed air system. The machine vibrates while in use results in loose nuts and bolts over a long period. Loose fasteners are not something that would support your air compressor for smooth-functioning. It is best if you manually check each fastener to see if they’re loose. If you find any loose nuts and bolts tighten them with the help of a wrench, and you’re good to go.


4. Clean intake valves

Air compressors functioning at full capacity require clean intake valves. As the compressor is in continuous use through weeks, dust particles and other air-bound elements get sucked into these valves. It is important to clean these valves regularly. This avoids problems caused due to clogged intake valves that result in lower performance.

For example, pneumatic woodcutters and sanders will inevitably produce hard dust particles that can accumulate within an air vent pretty quickly. Intake valves can also become dirty in working environments with various air-bound particles. Regardless of the working environment, it is advisable to clean the intake valves at least once every year to ensure the purity of the outgoing air.


5. Inspect the hoses

The air compressor assembly consists of various components of which the hoses are the most vulnerable. These hoses transfer the compressed air between the machine and a given endpoint. Hoses perform a paradoxical function of being strong and tight and yet loose and flexible. They hold a lot of responsibility and can show strain from time to time based on the requirement and uptime.

It is a given to keep your hoses clean and inapt condition all the time to maintain a consistent flow of air pressure. You must ensure inspecting hoses on your compressed air system periodically so as to observe any wear and tear.


6. Drain the air receiver tank

Compressed air moisture is an inevitable byproduct that accumulates inside the air receiver tank in the form of condensate. The moisture tank inside the air compressor is designed to suck the water out of the outgoing air. The presence of moisture results in compressed air output is dangerous as it may result in water damage.

Moisture also degrades the quality of output of industrial applications that the compressed air system is being used for. You need to make sure that you drain the air receiver tanks properly and from time to time for ensuring optimal performance and avoiding any damage.


7. Change the air filters

The filter in an air compressor traps a lot of junk particles throughout the usage cycles. Air filters are designed to have a heavy load of particles, but it eventually reaches their peak. To keep a clean filter is to ensure that your air compressor performance does not degrade over a period of time. It is a good practice to keep a consistent check over the air filters and change them annually or if sandstorm conditions occur before the annual change.


8. Change the lubricant

Oil-based air compressors need to be tended with care and the lubricant must be changed periodically. The oil needs to remain fresh and full to provide efficient functioning and maximal performance. The lubricant ensures smooth-functioning and saves on the cost of performance.


9. Change the separator elements

Oil-lubricated air compressors rely on oil mist that helps smooth functioning. The compressors disperse oil within the machine in tandem with the air. However, before final delivery, the oil gets extracted from the air with an oil separator. Over continuous use and delivery, the air can get contaminated with oil if the oil-separator starts malfunctioning. It is imperative that you regularly inspect and change if required the separator elements for an optimally performing air compressor.



Depending on the size and complexity of a given air compressor model, certain types of maintenance might be tedious for the in-house staff and it’s recommended that they’d be performed by expert professionals. Nonetheless, knowing these maintenance tips and tricks at the back of your hands always comes in handy. We hope this article has given you an in-depth insight on why having a well-maintained air compressor system is a must and how to go about keeping the healthiest air compressors by providing timely maintenance checks.

Source: Atlas Copco

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