Image of a snowy scene

How to protect your air compressor in winter


Whether you’re dreaming of a white Christmas or walking in a winter wonderland, spare a thought for your compressor, which may be feeling a little Frosty the Snowman.
While maintaining your air compressor and ancillary equipment is important all year round, it’s particularly vital during the winter months.

Fortunately, our experienced engineers are on hand to offer expert advice on the best way to keep your compressed air and other systems running.
Read on for our top tips on protecting your compressed air system in winter.

Don’t lag behind

Your interior pipework may remain nice and cosy on the inside, but what about exterior pipework? If you want to avoid frozen pipes, you might want to think about lagging them.

Tip of the iceberg

If the ambient temperature drops below 5°C, you may notice a drop in the efficiency of your equipment. Some compressors (for example, rotary screw machines) are designed not to start up if the environment is too cold.

Now is a good time to check your compressor room temperature and seal up any draughty areas. Compressors release heat when operational, but if there’s a particularly cold snap, you may need to bring in additional heating. One cost-effective solution is to install a heat recovery system, which redirects heat generated by machinery – including your compressor(s) – into a heating system for your factory.

Keep your trap shut!

Condensate management is a year-round concern when you run a compressor system. It remains so during winter, as condensate can freeze in your system, blocking the filter. Check your draining system is fully operational and effective, and keep the drain trap shut to prevent cold air entering the system.

Oil and toil

Like condensate, oil can change viscosity in cold weather, which can reduce its ability to lubricate machinery. In the short term, you might find the pump is using up more power; in the longer term, this can cause internal damage and reduce the life of your compressor motor.

Keeping the compressor room warm will help prevent this from happening, but you may also want to consider an oil change if the damage has already been done.

Ready, steady, go

Preventative maintenance can make all the difference between your compressed air system working at optimal efficiency or limping along providing poor productivity. Our engineers are always happy to share their expertise so that your equipment will keep running, even during a big freeze.

Any questions about your compressed air system? Get in touch with our team at or call 0114 244 0764 and we’ll be happy to help. We have a range of service packages to choose from and a 24/7 call-out service, even if you’re not currently a Simm Engineering Group customer.