VMAC recently conducted a poll on our website, asking 975 people how many hours per day they use their air compressors. While most respondents use their air compressor for less than 3 hours a day, another 20% of respondents use compressed air for 8 or more hours each day.
Regardless of whether you’re a heavy or light air compressor user, it’s important to stick to the routine maintenance schedule prescribed by the manufacturer. However, you may also need to take extra maintenance precautions to ensure your air compressor is ready to work when you are and is with you for the long haul.
If you are one of the 40% of people who use their air compressor for less than one hour a day, you need to take additional preventative maintenance steps. Running your air compressor for short jobs every day or two is a beneficial start, but you also need to run the air compressor at full operating temperature on a regular basis to keep it properly lubricated and in good working order.
In addition, you’ll need to maintain your air compressor based on the time that has passed, not the hours used. Even if your air compressor only has a few total hours on it, it still needs to be serviced every 6 months to remain in peak condition.
By contrast, if you’re in the group of operators that use compressed air for 8 or more hours per day, you’ll need to service your air compressor based on hours. Your hours will build up quickly, degrading the oil and filters at a faster rate, which means you should be prepared to service your air compressor more often than every 6 months.
Heavy air users can also benefit from specific accessories, which help protect the longevity of your air compressor. For example, a Filter Regulator Lubricator (FRL) can help prevent damage to downstream equipment, while an air receiver tank can help your air compressor keep up with high duty-cycle tasks.
If you fall somewhere in between heavy and light use, using an air compressor for approximately 4 to 7 hours per day, it’s important to keep an eye on both hours and time between services. You’ll need to service your air compressor when you reach the recommended hours or the recommended timeframe—whichever comes first.
To learn more about air compressor maintenance, check out VMAC’s Rotary Screw Air Compressor Maintenance Schedule here.