Good compressor maintenance is your most important tool in extending the service life of your unit.
Compressor maintenance makes it less likely that there will be a sudden and unexpected failure of equipment. You get more control over the timing of compressor replacement and can sustain higher efficiency levels for your existing equipment over a longer timeframe.
While most modern compressors will last somewhere between eight and ten years, it is possible to get even better results when you factor compressor maintenance into the equation. At Compressors Unlimited, we’ve recently encountered units that lasted close to 20 years.
The difference between these compressors and the ones that fail sooner is compressor maintenance!
That raises the question, what should you include in your commercial compressor maintenance plan?
A Documented Commercial Compressor Maintenance Plan Saves You Time and Money
By keeping good compressor maintenance documentation, you could end up saving thousands of dollars over time. That’s because you’ll recognize when there’s a pattern of problems with a compressor. You can ensure you have the right compressor spare parts on hand and get to the root cause of any issue.
True, most of today’s commercial compressors aren’t designed for heavy-duty field replacements. You might find yourself only replacing basic parts like o-rings and/or gaskets. But that can still make a big difference in any compressor’s performance, especially over the years. The key is having a structured compressor maintenance plan.
In general, it’s easiest to plan compressor maintenance around daily, weekly, monthly, and longer timeframes.
Let’s take a closer look:
Daily Commercial Compressor Maintenance
Naturally, daily compressor maintenance is the least intensive of the bunch. Just remember to perform a simple daily inspection, check oil levels, and monitor the compressor temperature and pressure readings. Most issues with compressors come from simple problems like low refrigerant levels you can discover with a quick check.
Weekly Commercial Compressor Maintenance
The most important part of weekly compressor maintenance is to inspect the air filters. Filters must be replaced or cleaned to prevent blockages. Check the compressor’s belt tension and alignment to save wear and tear on the compressor motor. Take a few minutes to listen for unusual noises and check for vibrations.
Monthly Commercial Compressor Maintenance
Monthly compressor maintenance tasks are a little bit more intensive, so be sure you’ve set aside enough time to get it all done. Drain any moisture from the tanks to safeguard against corrosion. Verify that all of the safety release valves are working as expected and inspect the hoses for signs of leakage.
Quarterly Commercial Compressor Maintenance
Most commercial compressors will need oil replacement every quarter, but this can differ based on the make, model, and usage. Most air filters will also last about this long and require replacement. Finally, calibrate your pressure gauges so you can be confident of accurate readings for the coming quarter.
Semi-Annual Commercial Compressor Maintenance
On a semi-annual basis, there are a few optional compressor maintenance tasks you can do if your equipment needs them. Closely examine belts and replace them if you notice wear and tear. Use a soap solution or a leak detector to check for air leaks. Last but not least, inspect and tighten electrical connections.
Annual Commercial Compressor Maintenance
Annual compressor maintenance is your way of getting your compressor off to the best start for the new year. This is the time to schedule an intensive compressor inspection by a qualified commercial compressor expert. Replace any worn-out valves, rings, and gaskets, and deep clean the compressor and its surroundings.
Commercial Compressor Maintenance Recordkeeping
Whenever you perform any form of commercial compressor maintenance, be sure to note down what you did and any issues you encountered or corrected. These records help you keep track of your spare compressor parts inventory so you’re never short of the items you need when you need them.
Commercial Compressor Maintenance Safety Precautions
Naturally, you should always disconnect the compressor from the power before performing any maintenance other than a simple visual inspection. Ensure that anyone performing compressor maintenance is properly trained in safety and knows how to document and escalate problems as necessary.
All in all, compressor maintenance adds up to only a few workdays throughout the whole year. But that modest effort is worth it because it helps protect your commercial refrigeration or HVAC system. Maintenance is also a winning strategy for recognizing when your commercial compressor should be replaced.
When it’s time for commercial compressor replacement, consider a remanufactured commercial compressor.
With a remanufactured commercial compressor, you’ll get a unit that meets or exceeds all the original OEM performance and environmental standards, often at a fraction of the time and lower cost. Plus, you’ll have a direct line to a remanufacturer who can advise you on your compressor maintenance in the future.