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How Can I Prevent my Air Compressor from Overheating?

If compressed air is integral to your company’s daily operations, downtime can be catastrophic. If your air compressor overheats, it can stop working and need to be repaired or completely replaced. While overheating can happen, there are some steps you can take to prevent common causes of overheating. 

Ambient Temperature

The most common cause of an overheating compressor is the surrounding temperature and environment that it is in. Is your air compressor near windows in the middle of summer? Is it next to other very hot equipment? Is it in a non-insulated room that is very small? All of these are preventable issues to keep the surrounding environment at a lower temperature. Keep your compressor away from windows, especially in hot climates, and do not let your compressor sit next to other operational equipment that can become very hot.

Oil Levels

Another common cause of overheating is your compressor not having enough oil. Always regularly check the oil levels and change out your compressors oil on a regular basis. If you don’t add or change the oil, the oil can become varnished, causing too much friction, which can lead to overheating or a potential fire.


In addition to not only having a room large enough for your compressor to cool, you must make sure that the compressor is venting properly. If the air vents become clogged or are pushed up against a wall, the compressor will become overheated over time. Make sure during installation that your compressor is placed in a proper location and regularly clean the compressor’s air vents over time.

Thermal Valve

If a thermal valve starts to fail, overheating can occur. It is always advised to keep a spare thermal valve on hand in case of an emergency and to avoid any downtime for your business. The spare valve can also be used for comparison to see if your current valve is in good, working shape or if it needs to be replaced as a preventative maintenance measure.

If you have questions on how to prevent your compressor from overheating, or what to do if your compressor does overheat, please contact us at [email protected] .

Jim Phillis

You ask, we answer. Visit our Expert Corner for every #CPTechThursday to find answers to common industry questions and highlights of CP's high-quality compressors. We love providing our customers with answers to their technical questions.

Jim Phillis , Technical Support Chicago Pneumatic

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