Skip to content

How to Improve the Efficiency of a Compressor This Winter

Regardless of your industry, it’s essential to keep your compressor running well this winter. Now you can with these 5 tips to improve the efficiency of a compressor.

How to Improve the Efficiency of a Compressor System | KB Delta

Winterizing your compressor before cold weather hits is vital to keeping your system running efficiently the rest of the year.

However, the winterization process is much more than simply turning off the compressor when the forecast turns to cooler temperatures.

What Affects the Efficiency of a Compressor?

Most compressors run efficiently between forty and ninety-five degrees Fahrenheit.

In most areas of North America, at least four months of the year subject a compressor system to freezing temperatures.

In order to avoid several common problems, it’s important to prepare your compressor for the winter.

The range between thirty two degrees Fahrenheit (or zero degrees Celsius) are the optimal temperature range for most compressors.

In the event it’s impossible to control the environment around your compressor, there are several ways to protect it and improve the efficiency of a compressor system.

1) Be Careful With Water

If a compressor contains water in any of its components, it’s in danger of freezing. In the event your system contains condensate, your system might pay for it in low temperatures.

Should the water inside freeze, it will expand, causing cracks or even holes in vulnerable areas.

You even risk corrosion if you leave a compressor with water open to the elements: Moisture control will be less effective, and drainage capabilities may be blocked.

– How to Protect It

  • Be sure to drain it if you will shut it off at night or even entirely for the season. Morning checks for systems that stop and start should include examination for the buildup of ice or standing moisture.
  • Outdoor drain lines should be inspected as well. While the compressor itself might not be exposed to freezing temperatures, frozen pipes can lead to inefficient operation (usually requiring the services of professionals for plumbing and drain cleaning in Los Angeles to thaw it) or even a total shutdown of your system.
  • Carefully remove any ice or frost if you find any. One way to safely eliminate condensate and ice during the draining process is to place a heater near the machine. Be on guard against humidity; it can lead to additional condensate.
    • If you have drain lines which lead outdoors and are not otherwise protected, consider safeguarding them with a layer of heat trace tape. Wrapping pipes with it can assist in stabilizing the temperature of the pipes.

2) Maintain a Stable Temperature for the Entire System

Your compressor obeys the laws of thermodynamics and physics in its daily operation, so it’s not a good idea to ignore them.

Housing the compressor in a warm environment and attaching hoses to allow outdoor or unheated work is a recipe for disaster.

Because the compressor is warm and the work area is cold, condensation or frost will build where the compressor is located. As warm matter moves to cold areas, freezing can occur.

That leads to blocked air, frozen pipes, and a potentially damaged system due to expansion.

– How to Protect It

  • Allowing the compressor time to warm up on cold days is a good way to equalize temperatures between the outside air and a warm work area.
  • Draining the compressor every time it’s moved between indoors and outdoors is also a good way to avoid the buildup of condensate.

3) Care For Your Cords

The compressor, the system it works with, and pipes are not the only aspects of the machinery you should care for in colder weather.

It’s also important to look after any electrical cords that extend from the compressor. These can affect its internal environment as well.

Electrical cords, even if insulated, stand a risk of becoming brittle and stiff on their outward casings in sub-freezing temperatures.

In these cases, it is advised that electrical cords be maintained in order to avoid accidents such as electrocution and short circuits.

– How to Protect It

  • Avoid exposing them to the sudden crushing weight of vehicles. They should also not be wound tightly around system components or any other object.
  • They should be either hung from poles well above the ground and away from the compressor.
  • In the event running electrical cords outside cannot be avoided, they should be buried.

These solutions can help equalize the temperature between the cord and the compressor, protecting them from cold and allowing their internal functions to operate free of a brittle environment.

This, in turn, improves the efficiency of a compressor.

Contact Us for Compressor Parts | KB Delta

4) Preventative Maintenance

Basic care for your compressor will help to provide it with a long, efficient operating life. This is especially the case when winterizing your system.

Do you regularly replace the filters on your compressor? That’s the first step in maintaining a healthy compressor system.

However, even if this necessary preventative maintenance takes place in the warmer months, it’s especially fundamental in a freeze.

Not only does cold temperatures lead to expansion in pipes and hoses, it adversely affects the oil in your system. It will thicken.

This change in viscosity creates an increased workload for your compressor, because the oil will not flow as freely.

If your system is kept up to date with new filters, your system is better equipped to withstand more sluggish oil.

– How to Protect It

What about weather stripping and basic insulation?

Not only do these help to protect your system from the dangers of moisture, which is important in hot as well as cold temperatures, proper insulation and weather stripping can help to equalize temperatures and keep each component of your system working efficiently.

Even if your system already contains weather stripping or other insulation, age, vibration, temperature variation, and other factors can lead to erosion.

This weakens what you might have put in place to keep the system cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

  • Check your insulation or weather stripping before cold temperatures hit.
  • Repair or replace it to help your system avoid damage or inefficient operation due to freezing weather.
  • Stay on top of seasonal changes to help all facets of operation.

5) Check Your System

If preventative measures to protect your compressor from cold are already in place, it’s never enough to just “set it and forget it.”

As winter progresses, various components of your system, especially those which might be protecting it from the elements, may become fatigued during the long season.

– How to Protect It

  • Examine your system every few weeks to ensure its good health.


Preparing a compressor for winter greatly helps in improving the efficiency of a compressor and manufacturing system.

Refusing to do so can lead to costly damage, which in turn reduces your efficiency and business operations.

Do you need compressor repair parts to winterize your compressor? KB Delta can help.

Posted in
Skip to content