How To Prevent An Air Compressor From Overheating?

How To Prevent An Air Compressor From Overheating?

Whether you use an air compressor at home or work, you know that they can be a big help but, if your air compressor overheats, it can lead to a lot of problems and can even cause the air compressor to burst.

So in this article, I will explain what causes it to overheat and how you can prevent your air compressor from overheating so without wasting any further time let's take a look at it.

How Do I Know That My Air Compressor Is Overheating?

If your air compressor is running hotter than usual, there could be a problem as overheating can damage your compressor as well as shorten its lifespan. Here are four signs that your air compressor is overheating which are:

The Compressor Won't Turn On:

If your air compressor is overheating, then it will fail at start-up as normal and it will take longer for it to get into full operational mode. The reason for this is that the air compressor internal components are designed to cool themselves down and if they are damaged or are not working properly will cause the air compressor to overheat as the internal parts are taking a lot of time to cool down.

Compressor Making Creaking Noise Or It Emits Burnt Oil Smell:

An air compressor that emits a burnt oil smell or makes a creaking noise is likely suffering from insufficient lubrication or poor oil quality. Overheating is the most common cause of these problems, and it can be damaging to both the compressor and the equipment it powers. To prevent overheating, make sure to regularly check the compressor's oil level and quality.

Circuit Breaker Tripping:

If your air compressor is overheating, then the circuit breaker will be acting irregularly or may trip at random moments and this is because the current flow is regulated by the circuit breaker, and when it overheats, it can't regulate the current properly. This can cause the circuit breaker to trip, which will interrupt the power to your air compressor and this is done to prevent any damage to the air compressor. If it keeps on doing it then it means there is something wrong with the internals of your compressor.

It Starts To Wear And Tear At An Accelerated Pace:

If your air compressor starts to wear and tear at an accelerated pace and can't handle basic tasks, then it may have overheating issues. Overheating is the number one cause of air compressor failure, so it's important to keep an eye on your unit's temperature and if you notice that your air compressor is running way too hot, then shut it down immediately.

What Causes The Air Compressor To Overheat:

Air compressors are commonly used in a variety of settings, from industrial to home garages but what causes an air compressor to overheat below are some things that lead to overheating.

Frequency of Use:

If an air compressor is used frequently, it can lead to wear and tear and this is especially true if the compressor is old or used every day. When a compressor starts to show signs of wear, it's important to have it serviced by a professional otherwise, the compressor could break down and need to be replaced.

Ambient Temperature:

An air compressor is a mechanical device that converts power into potential energy stored in pressurized air and by compressing the air, the temperature of the air increases. If the air compressor is used in an environment where the ambient temperature is already high, this can cause the air compressor to overheat.

Using The Wrong Type of Air Compressor:

When using an air compressor, it is important to choose the right type for the job. Different types of air compressors have different specifications, and using the wrong type can cause the compressor to overheat.

For example, a small air compressor is not designed to be used on heavy-duty tools and will overheat if used for jobs that require high pressure or continuous operation. If you are not sure which type of air compressor to use, consult a professional before starting your project.

Low Suction Pressure:

A high compression ratio in an air compressor can cause the unit to overheat and this is typically caused by low suction pressure. When the suction pressure is too low, the compressor has to work harder to draw in air, which causes the unit to overheat, and below is something that causes low suction pressure.

Excess Discharge Pressure:

If you notice your air compressor is overheating, it could be due to excess discharge pressure so you should check the condensing components for any signs of issues. The most common cause of excess discharge pressure is due to:

Is In A Place Where There Is Poor Ventilation:

If your air compressor is placed in an area with poor ventilation, it can overheat and cause damage. There are a few things you can do to prevent this from happening. First, make sure the compressor is not placed against a wall or in a corner as this will block the vents and prevent the air from circulating properly. Second, check the intake and exhaust vents to make sure they are clear and not blocked by dust or debris. Third, if possible, place the compressor in an area where there is good air circulation.

If The Parts Get Old or Clogged:

If the air compressor parts get old or the interior becomes clogged then it causes the air compressor to start overheating and the main cause of an overheated air compressor is the lack of maintenance and not replacing the parts when they need to be replaced. If you don't maintain your air compressor, then it will overheat and eventually break down.

Eroded Oil:

As air compressors age, the oil inside them can become eroded or hardened and this causes the compressor to have to work harder, which in turn causes it to overheat. When oil becomes eroded or hardened, it can no longer lubricate the moving parts inside the compressor and this causes the compressor to work harder, which in turn generates more heat.

Or if your air compressor emits a burnt oil smell, it means the oil has become hardened and this can happen for a number of reasons, including extended periods of use or exposure to extreme temperatures. If the oil is not properly lubricated, it can cause friction and heat up, leading to a burnt smell.

The Thermal Valve Is Faulty:

If your air compressor has been having issues with overheating, then it is important to check the thermal valve and the thermal valve is a safety feature that helps to regulate the temperature of the compressor. If the thermal valve is faulty, it can cause the compressor to overheat and if you suspect that your thermal valve is faulty, then it is important to have it replaced as soon as possible by a qualified technician.

Things You Can Do To Prevent Your Air Compressor From Overheating:

When using an air compressor, it is important to take measures to prevent the unit from overheating as it can cause damage to the compressor and reduce its lifespan. There are a few things you can do to help keep your air compressor from overheating.

Improving Air Compressor Internal and External Ventilation:

An air compressor is a vital piece of machinery in many industries, and as such, it is important to keep it operating properly and overheating is one of the leading causes of air compressor failure, so it is important to improve the internal and external ventilation of your air compressor to prevent overheating.

There are a few simple steps you can take to improve the ventilation of your air compressor. First, make sure that the intake, as well as exhaust vents, are clear and unobstructed, and second, check the filters regularly and clean or replace them as needed. Finally, consider installing an aftercooler or intercooler to help cool the compressed air before it enters the storage tank, and try to place an air compressor in a place where there is proper ventilation and the temperature of that area is properly maintained.

Keep the Compressor Parts Up-To-Date:

Compressors are tools that use air to perform various tasks, such as powering air tools or inflating tires and air compressors have many parts that work together to compress air. These parts can wear out over time, which can cause the compressor to overheat, and to prevent your air compressor from overheating, keep the compressor parts up-to-date.

Check the manufacturer's website or owner's manual for recommended replacement intervals and you should also let an expert check its parts. Replacing worn-out parts will help ensure that your compressor runs cooler and lasts longer.

Monitor Ventilation and Ducting:

As hot weather approaches, it's important to take measures to prevent your air compressor from overheating and one way to do this is by monitoring ventilation and ducting. Proper ventilation is key to preventing overheating. Make sure your air compressor is in a well-ventilated area and that nothing is blocking the vents and you should also check the ductwork to ensure it is clear and not blocked by debris so that the hot air can escape from the unit and if the ducts are blocked, the heat will build up inside the unit and cause it to overheat.

In addition to proper ventilation, another way to prevent overheating is by monitoring the temperature of the air compressor and if the temperature gets too high, it can cause the compressor to overheat or shut down. To avoid this, be sure to check the temperature regularly and take steps to cool down the compressor if necessary.

Try To Inspect The Oil Levels and Filters Daily:

One of the most important things you can do to prevent your air compressor from overheating is to check the oil level and filter routinely. If the oil level gets too low and thin or watery, then it can cause the compressor to overheat and another way to help prevent your air compressor from overheating is to check the filters regularly as clogged or dirty filters can cause the compressor to overheat by restricting airflow.

By taking some simple steps like inspecting the oil levels and filters daily, you can help prevent your air compressor from overheating.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

Is It Normal For An Air Compressor To Get Hot?

When it comes to your air compressor, is it normal for it to get hot? Many people believe that their air compressors are working harder than usual when they start to feel the heat emanating from the machine. However, in most cases, this is perfectly normal as air compressors work by pressurizing air and then releasing it into whatever system requires it and this process requires a lot of energy, which inevitably produces heat.

So, if you notice your air compressor getting hot, there's no need to panic, just make sure that you're taking proper care of your machine and monitoring its temperature.

How To Cool Down An Overheated Air Compressor?

An air compressor is a handy tool to have around the house, but it can overheat if it's not used properly. Here are some tips to keep your air compressor cool:

  1. Use an air compressor that's the right size for the job as a small air compressor can't handle big jobs, and will overheat trying to keep up.
  2. Don't use your air compressor for long periods of time without giving it a break as it will take time to cool down and after cooling down it works more efficiently.
  3. Keep the area around your air compressor clear of debris or dust. And a clean work area will help your air compressor run more efficiently and prevent overheating.


Above are a few ways to prevent your air compressor from overheating and by following these tips, you can extend the life of your air compressor and avoid any costly repairs. Regular maintenance is key to keeping your air compressor in good working condition and by taking the time to clean and inspect your air compressor on a regular basis, you can avoid many potential problems. I hope that you found this article helpful if it was then kindly share it with others and have a great day.

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