Follow these simple storage steps that mitigate wear and promote energy efficiency to ensure that your industrial air compressor runs as good as new when you take it out of storage.

shutterstock_378590050Whether you need to store your compressed air system for a few weeks or a whole season, it’s crucial to know how to care for your machine in the meantime. Improper storage can lead to rusted or damaged parts and can diminished the overall performance of your compressor.

To ensure your machine operates with the same effectiveness and efficiency when you’re ready to turn it back on, follow these tips from industry experts on proper air compressor storage.  

  1. Plan ahead and prepare your space.

Before moving your compressed air system into storage, ensure you’ve prepared an adequate storage space. Find a clean, dry location to store your compressor where you can maximize space efficiency. You should almost always opt to store your compressor indoors, unless you can guarantee your compressor is stored in an outdoor area with a stable, regulated temperature and proper insulation. Basements are generally not recommended, as they are at risk of flooding, and storage sheds must be sufficiently insulated from harsh outdoor conditions that could lead to rusting.

Within your storage space, prepare a pallet to serve as a raised platform for your compressor to protect it from moisture damage from groundwater or condensation that may collect on the ground. If you need to transport your compressor to its designated storage location, make arrangements to rent a cart or hire a helping hand if need be.

  1. Prep your air compressor.

To prepare your air compressor for storage, begin by switching it off. Reduce your machine’s air pressure with the regulator knob until it hits zero, then unplug the compressor from the wall. Alternatively, if your compressor operates on a battery, turn off your compressor and remove the battery— which should be kept in a similarly dry, clean storage space and ideally stored with a 40 percent remaining charge.

Once your air compressor is unplugged or your battery is removed for storage, remove any pneumatic tools or hoses attached to your air compressor. Since dust and particulate can stick to lubricants and wear your compressor’s motor, ensure you dust and clean your air compressor before storing it.

Finally, it’s crucial to drain your air compressor of any residual liquids which, if left inside the compressor, can cause rusting. Place a drainage pan beneath your compressor’s valve. Ensure the valve is positioned downward to allow any liquid to gather near the valve’s entrance. With the help of an assistant to hold the pan, open the valve part-way to release the liquid. Ensure that assistants are wearing protective gloves and keeping their hands away from the direct path of the valve, as residual air may exit at high pressure.

  1. Have your compressor inspected.

Preparing your air compressor for storage offers an ideal opportunity for a professional audit. A professional servicer can identify any operational flaws or pre-existing wear to your compressor so that you have a comprehensive record of your machine’s state before it goes into storage. Evaluating your compressor’s energy efficiency, pressure performance, and all of its working parts — including valves, filters, and piping — guarantees that it will run smoothly whenever you decide to remove it from storage.

  1. Regulate your storage space.

Finally, it’s necessary to monitor your storage space throughout the storage period to ensure that it remains clean and properly ventilated. Keep the area dry and out of direct sunlight. Your storage area should be kept at an ambient temperature of around 59 degrees Fahrenheit, and if you are storing a battery, ensure it is never stored in freezing temperatures or in conditions where temperatures exceed 100 degrees. Regularly sweep and dust the storage space to ensure grime and particulate cannot find their way into your compressor’s filters or openings.

Topics: Air Compressor, best practices


Additional Resources

Rotary Vane vs. Rotary Screw Compressors Download Infographic
Benefits of Rotary Vane Air Compressors Download eBook
Fact Vs. Fiction Guide Download Guide