Time to get your air compressor running like clockwork?

Energy saving is a priority for every operator in the current climate – especially when it comes to the cost-efficient operation of compressed air systems. Long running hours and harsh operating conditions can all contribute to higher costs – and greater wear and tear.

With this in mind, we continue to recommend that businesses are prioritising the importance of an effective compressed air maintenance regime. Maintaining your system correctly will guarantee reliable operation, whilst also ensuring improved energy performance.

Our team of BCAS members are always on hand to maintain compressors, downstream and ancillary equipment to ensure your system is running as smoothly as possible. These can be as part of a planned, proactive or predictive maintenance plan to improve the energy efficiency of your air compressor.

Alongside professional checks from our BCAS members, there are also ways you can help to improve your compressed air system maintenance regime and reduce your energy costs. Read our latest blog post for our top tips and a step by step guide on improved compressor maintenance.

Step 1 – Location is key

We would always recommend positioning your compressors in a dry, clean and cool location. It is essential for this to be in a space that is well-ventilated, and you could also consider investing in extra ventilation too. This will ensure that the compressor room is as close to ambient temperature as possible.

More energy is required to compress warm air, but some compressor plant rooms will run at temperatures as high as 30°C. When temperatures hit this level, it can result in more frequent compressor downtime, alongside higher energy consumption, leading to a less efficient system.

Step 2 – It’s all in the system

Although a compressed air system is a sophisticated piece of engineering, in its basic form it is a ‘system’. All systems in any form require regular maintenance to help ensure performance is maximised.

We would recommend you are regularly inspecting your system for air leaks in the pipework, as even the smallest leak can lead to significant energy loss. It’s essential that you have plans in place to fix this issue if it does occur.

It’s also important to check inlet filters and replace routinely to avoid pressure drops.

And don’t forget, it’s also essential that you check and maintain any ancillary equipment including dryers, filters, pipework and air receivers.

Step 3 – Maintain your maintenance

And our final step is to ensure you regularly maintain your system to run at optimum efficiency. It’s about being ‘proactive’ rather than ‘reactive’ in regards to a machine breakdown, identifying potential problems before they become major concerns.

A routine maintenance programme will be sure to save you time, energy and money in the long term. Our BCAS members offer a range of maintained services to allow for your system to run to the best of its ability.

BCAS’ top tips

We would always recommend using genuine spare parts for your system. These will be designed based on your specific air compressor, so will offer the best performance over other alternatives. Not using genuine spare parts could see you unintentionally downgrading your system.

Choosing genuine spare parts will also help to save time and money, as other less high quality parts could lead to equipment failure and increased energy consumption.

And it’s important to also not forget about ‘leak detection’. As expanded on in ‘step 2’ of this guide, a tiny leak in your system can cause a huge amount of energy to be wasted. Ensure you are adding this to your weekly maintenance regime for improved functionality.

The benefits

The benefits of a full and effective maintenance regime are many and varied. Your system should function much more efficiently, and you will likely avoid unplanned outages and downtime.

And of course, by putting a maintenance plan in place, you can avoid unnecessary energy loss through poorly performing equipment, helping combat rising energy costs. And what’s more, you can also be reassured that your air compressor is performing to the best of its ability, freeing up more time to prioritise other energy saving measures.

For more information, please speak to a BCAS member who can assist in this area by emailing enquiries@bcas.org.uk. And to download a free copy of the maintenance guide, please click here.