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When to Change My Compressor Filter?

How to know when it's time to change your filter & the benefits of keeping them clean.

An air compressor is a big purchase for any business. It is visibly important to properly maintain the air compressor and filter elements to protect that investment. Air intake filters are installed in an air compressor to remove any dust or debris the compress may suck in. Dust will cause wear to the compressor element, valves, filters, compressor oil and any moving parts.

Neglect your air compressor and you will pay the price.

An unclean air or oil filter causes the compressor to run less efficiently. That costs more money to run and the compressor will need to be replaced sooner.

Filters for your Rotary Screw Compressor

All Rotary Screw air compressor have three filters; an oil filter, an air inlet filter, and an air/oil separator. Like changing the oil in your machine, replacing the filters will prevent your compressor’s parts from failing prematurely and avoid the oil from becoming contaminated. Replacing both the air filters and oil filters every 2000 hours of use, at a minimum, is typical. In dirtier environments, the filters may need to be changed more frequently. Separators are typically manufactured to be used for 8000 hours. But there are some machines that require the separator to be changed more frequently. This is outlined in your service manual.

How to know it's time to change your compressor?

dirty air filter
Change your air compressor filters twice a year. Who's heard that? Don't just take that advice, but actually look for yourself. How's your filter looking? A filthy air filter is only hurting your air compressor by allowing dirty air from the outside in, plus forcing it to work harder to intake air. If the oil filter gets heavily covered in oily residue before that time, replace it sooner. As dirt and dust collect on the air filters, impurities move through the system and degrade the quality of compressed air. Moreover, dirty air filters obstruct the systems performance and force the system to exert more energy just to perform basic functions. If the problem persists, dirty air filters can lead to excess energy consumption, costly maintenance and downtime. Rotary screw air compressor overheating is also sometimes the result of clogged air filters.

Remember, not all air filters are the same.

Oil can damage the quality of the air if it passes through the machine. That oil can get carried to the end of an application. Some of the most affected processes would include pneumatic spray painters, air cleaners and anything else where oil could corrupt the surface. It’s vital to ensure that if oil is present in the system, it is removed from the compressed air before the air leaves the machine.

Please contact [email protected] to place your next filter oil or for any questions. For tech support for any Chicago Pneumatic product, please call us at (877)861-2722, opt 1. Or email us directly at [email protected] . We look forward to helping.

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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CP service technician in fron t of CP compressor
Whether you have questions about which compressor is right for you, or if you’re ready to improve your operations and start saving on expenses. Chicago Pneumatic has been around for over 100 years because we offer reliable and hardworking air compressors, as well as expert advice and support.

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