Air compressors are used for everything from personal appliances to industrial machinery. By drawing air into a tank and pressurizing it, the unit creates energy. When the temperature drops, ambient air can impact your system, which is why it needs to be winterized. Use the following steps to ensure yours is protected and functional.

How to Prepare an Air Compressor for Winter

1. Check the Insulation

The insulating cover on your air compressor prevents thermal transfer. If heat leaks out, the unit can freeze and become ineffective. Depending on the size and use of the compressor, there should be an insulating mat, lid, casing, or box around it.

Check that there aren’t tears around zippers or seams where heat could leak out. If there are, you’ll want to either seal them or replace the cover.

2. Check for Condensation

air-compressor-maryland-heightsIf condensation from the outside air collects inside the tank, it can lead to corrosion. Check the air compressor several times each week. Any condensation lingering on the tank walls needs to be blasted out with an air hose.

Systems that use a condensation drain have to be kept warm. If leaking condensation freezes, the drain will become clogged. Add tape along the drain or drain line to prevent freezing. Ideally, keep portable units indoors when temperatures drop below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s where they’ll be safest from freezing temperatures.

3. Monitor Oil Temperature

When oil temperature swings too low or high, it can cause the air compressor to malfunction. Check the oil temperature periodically as the season sets in.

The unit should have amply ventilation and insulation, as long as it doesn’t cause the oil to heat up. If the oil is too cold, add more insulation; too hot, remove insulation. This process requires trial and error and adjustments, so work with professionals.


If you’re dealing with air compressor issues, the team at Industrial Compressor Supplies can assist. This Maryland Heights, MO, air compressor repair and parts supplier offers a wide scope of services to residential, commercial, and industrial clients. They’re backed by 25 years of experience and maintenance units of all sizes. Visit their website to learn more about their air compressor services and call (877) 426-3131 to speak with a sales associate.