An image of an Atlas Copco air compressor on the beach

Too Hot to Handle: Why Your Air Compressor Needs a Summer Service


The problem with hot weather in the UK is that we’re not always geared up for it; that extends to keeping our air compressors at the right temperature!

An overheated air compressor will not be operating at its optimum efficiency, wasting energy and money. If it shuts down completely, it can cost you thousands in production downtime.

The solution is an air compressor summer service – a comprehensive check of your air and oil filters, dryers and gas levels, and an oil and cooler clean. Simm Engineering Group offer such a service, and all of our air compressor engineers are hugely experienced.

What is the ideal ambient temperature for an air compressor?

Air compressors can withstand quite a lot of variation in heat, from around 5°C up to 40°C.

Understandably, you might think “it never hits 40°C in the UK”! You’d be right, but that’s outside temperature. In an enclosed room, packed with heat-generating machinery and equipment, it’s easier than you might think to reach such high numbers. High humidity can make the problem even worse.

But our air compressors have cooling fans…

All air compressors are fitted with cooling fans, but these can easily become blocked or clogged up with dust or dirt. As part of your summer service, our engineer will check the operation of the cooling fan.

What about air compressor oil?

An overheated room can also affect the quality of your air compressor oil, with the possibility of element failure. This is something else the engineer would check, along with the oil filters. You may need to get your oil topped up or change the type of oil you are using to ensure your air compressor is running at optimum capacity.

Will they also check the refrigeration dryer?

Yes – dryers can be less efficient when the temperatures get too high. If the dew point is affected, your pipework could end up being clogged up with condensate.

Hot and humid weather will also increase the amount of condensate produced by an air compressor, so it’s also important to have the drains checked to ensure that condensate is being removed from the system.

What else will air compressor maintenance help with?

The dew point of compressed air is highly susceptible to changes in ambient temperature; this can be checked and remedial action taken where required.

Leaky pipework will mean your air compressor has to work harder – this is another issue that can be identified and fixed during your summer service.

Would additional room ventilation help?

A 45kW air compressor can give off up to 35kW of heat, which has to go somewhere. It’s worth checking that the current room ventilation isn’t blocked by dirt or plants growing outside.

If you think the ambient temperature of the room is still too high, you can then look at adding further ventilation or duct work to transport hot air from the compressor to the outside.


It’s easy to be unaware you have a problem until your air compressor shuts down completely, requiring costly emergency repairs and potential downtime that could have been avoided.

By ensuring that your air compressor is regularly serviced all year round – and receives special attention when the temperatures soar – you will save yourself time, money and heartache in the long run.

To find out more about summer servicing, regular service packages and 24/7 call outs, contact Simm Engineering via our online form, call us on 0114 244 0764, or email