Surprisingly, air compressors hate the cold and often won't start up or won't operate at optimal efficiency when temperatures drop below 5 degrees Celsius. Trying to start or run an air compressor when the weather is cold can result in the emergence of many different issues within the compressed air system. Getting the results you desire and need can become tricky and difficult. If you want to use a rental air compressor during colder months with little to no problem, consider implementing these 3 tips.
Let the Lubrication and Fluids Warm Up
The primary reason that air compressors refuse to start when the weather becomes cold lies in the compressor oil. As the temperatures drop, the compressor oil inside the air compressors becomes thicker and more viscous. This also means that the oil moves in a more sluggish manner, and cannot circulate within the air compressor system as easily. If you try to force the rental air compressor to start, the lack of oil circulation may blow the compressor's internal fuse. In most situations, the rental company will hold you responsible for repairing the air compressor. This can result with you being responsible for a hefty bill. With that said, even if the air compressor is labelled as non-lube, low temperatures will still affect the other fluids circulating within its system.
If you find that your air compressor is underperforming in the cold, the best solution is to simply warm it up. Bring the air compressor indoors and let it sit for sometime. Let the fluids inside the air compressor warm to room temperature before plugging the air compressor into an outlet and trying to start it up again.
Switch to Rubber Air Hoses
If the air compressor is running but underperforming, the problem may not lie with the air compressor system, but with the hose where the compressed air is being released from. When the weather gets cold, switch from PVC or polyurethane air hoses to rubber ones instead. Rubber air hoses are made of both synthetic rubber and braided or spiraled yarn rubber.
Rubber air hoses should be used when the weather gets cold because they are more resistant to elemental changes and are abrasion and ozone resistant. Because of this, they are less likely to break down and will not kink up. They also remain flexible in cold temperatures and are extremely durable. Rubber air hoses are also compatible with a wide range of tools that are commonly fitted to air compressor systems. Most rental companies will either include rubber air hoses with your rental for free or will allow you to rent rubber air hoses compatible with the air compressor.
Install Low-Power Heater to Compressor Cabinet
In the event that you reside in an area that is unusually cold, leaving the air compressor indoors may not be enough to warm up the fluids inside. In these situations, you might benefit from renting an air compressor that has a low-power heater installed to the compressor cabinet of the air compressor. The heater will warm up the compressor in no time.
You should also consider installing the heater if you know that you will be using the air compressor regularly and simply do not have time to wait around until the compressor warms up. If the rental air compressor does not come equipped with a low-power heater, you can usually rent this device separately and install it yourself. These heaters are relatively easy to install, and they're cost-efficient, considering the amount of time you save from not having to wait for the compressor to warm up.
When renting air compressors, the rental company will generally give you some special instructions as to how to operate the air compressors in cold weather. They might also recommend that you try certain models that are better equipped to handle the cold. For more information on air compressor rentals, contact a company like Summit Tool Rentals Division Of Wirtz Rentals.