For the best efficiency (and longest life) of your oil injected air compressor it needs proper lubrication in the piston chambers. Cast iron oil injected versions of compressors tend to have the longest life-span of all compressors, but they still need looking after - and that, like looking after your car, involves regular servicing and oil top ups to prevent seizing.
Do you find you have a sluggish oil injected compressor in the Winter or during cold snaps? Again, like cars, compressors have oils which are best for them and it isn't always the case that one oil fits all. Compressors require an oil with a high flash point (around 205 degrees C closed) and a low pour point (at least around 11 degrees C, preferably higher). In rotary screw applications a synthetic oil can be more beneficial than a mineral one, both preventing corrosion and reducing wear on the bearings and gears. A synthetic-based oil also leads to a cleaner compressor which in turn enhances its performance.
Your compressor's oil is invaluable in keeping the unit cool, as a result, specialist, high temp oil has to be used (and an oil designed specifically not to foam). Poorly maintained compressors can see efficiencies fall and parts seize due to low lubricant levels and loss of viscosity in old oil. Oil should be changed as part of your standard maintenance schedule (which should also include changing the air filters and draining moisture from the tanks) but how often should it ideally be done? It depends on what type of compressor you have, how often you use the machine and how old it is. A hard-working industrial compressor should be checked daily and drained and refilled every 2000 hours (rotary vane compressors) - 4000 hours (screw compressors). If your compressor regularly experiences high temperatures changes to maintain oil viscosity will be required more frequently (if, for example, your ambient temp is above 35 degrees C or the bulk oil temp exceeds 90 degrees C). Older compressors may need daily topping up and more frequent oil changes. However, even compressors which experience only moderate use should be drained & serviced annually.
Contact us on 0141 812 3222 to find out more about air compressor servicing and parts & labour warranties, or see more about our air compressor service contracts.