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How Do I Winterise my Air Compressor?

The why, how and the help to protect your machine

In midst of our beautiful fall, some parts of the country skipped over the season and are already experiencing winter. With the following air compressor tips, your air system will be prepared with the preferred temperatures, despite the weather outside. Regardless of whether or not it actually freezes where you live, most winterisation service recommendations are also basic, solid maintenance procedures that will help extend the life and operational efficiencies of air compressors regardless of whether you live in Northern Queensland or Melbourne.

Watch for Water

The condensate in your machine contains mostly water, which means it will freeze if it gets too cold. Frozen condensate will affect the way your compressor runs, in turn blocking the drainage or causing cracks or holes. Also, keep in mind freezing weather causes moisture control to be less effective, which will lead to corrosion.

Let's get started with winterising:

  • Ice build up: Always check for ice build-up or excessive moisture before you power up the machine in the morning. Remove the ice and check to ensure there is no leak.
  • Weather stripping: Check the installation and stripping on your air compressor. This is there to protect your machine from the changing weather. If worn or torn, replace immediately.
  • New filters: Changing your filters should be done routinely, but they are especially important in winter. With the cold weather, oil thickens and does not flow easily making your compressor work harder. New filters will help counterweight the effects of thicker oil.
  • Exposed drain lines: If your drain lines run outside, you need to make sure you are protecting those from the winter weather. Outdoor drain lines will lead to frozen pipes and an air compressor that either works more slowly or may not work at all. A way to prevent frozen pipes is by applying heat trace tape on exposed drain lines outside. Heat trace tape is easy to assemble by simply wrapping the tape around the pipes working to control the temperature, eliminating frozen pipes.
  • Internal heater: If your compressor is still being affected by the winter temperatures, installing a heating cabinet or internal heater will allow you to regulate the temperature of your system.


Winter is just around the corner. Protect your air compressor from frozen pipes, blocked drainage, cracks, and corrosion by following these simple steps. Please contact [email protected] for any questions or assistance on winterising your compressor. For tech support for any Chicago Pneumatic product, please call us at 1300 555 284. We look forward to helping.


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