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A Guide to Air Compressor Maintenance

Performing regular scheduled service on your compressor system is a vital key to your compressors longevity, performance level and “uptime” with your production. Regular maintenance will ensure clean, dry air and like your car, your air compressors need to be serviced regularly. 

Regular service helps to ensure your machine and all in line equipment are running at maximum efficiency.  Your business is important, if your air compressor shuts down, so does your business.   Regular service will also help to identify and head off any potential issues before they cause longterm damage to your air compressor. 

Each compressor type i.e.; Rotary Screw, Piston, Oilless Scroll has a unique service schedule, and each manufacturer has a specific schedule and maintenance kit they recommend to do proper service. Here are a few generic standards for service, you should follow your recommended service schedule outline in your compressor manual.

Rotary Screw Air Compressor Schedule


  • Replace Oil Filter element
  • Oil top off
  • Inspect and Tighten Electrical Connections
  • Inspect the Air Filter Element
  • Sample Lubricant
  • Inspect the after cooler


  • Replace Oil filter, Air filter & Separator elements
  • Complete Oil change
  • Check Belts – Tighten as needed or replace from wear
  • Inspect and Tighten Electrical Connections
  • Clean the after cooler from debris and dust

Piston (Two-Stage) Compressors


  • Inspect and Tighten Electrical Connections
  • Change Air Filter Element
  • Change Lubricant
  • Tighten and Inspect Belts

Oilless Scroll Compressors


  • Inspect Air filter elements
  • Grease Motor
  • Check Belts – Tighten as needed or replace from wear
  • Replace Tip Seals (Every 7-10,000 hours)


Air Compressors are only one piece of the air system.  Other pieces of equipment in line also need regular maintenance.

Air Dryers

  • Desiccant Air Dryers
    • Inspect and replace the desiccant when needed.  It is recommended to replace the desiccant every 3 to 5 years
  • Refrigerated Air Dryers (High-Temperature, Cycling)
    • Blow out the exchanger, inspect the drain and check the ambient and inlet air temperature to ensure the dryer is working properly
  • Membrane Air Dryers
    • Inspect and check the dew point.  Change the membrane every 3 to 5 years

In-Line Filtration

  • Coalescing, Fine Coalescing, Particulate & Active Carbon Filters
    • Replace the element annually
  • Pre & Post Filtration
    • Replace the element annually

Oil/Water Separators

  • Annual replacement of the internal media is recommended

Air Tanks

  • Condensation can build up inside the tank, daily drainage should be performed either by a manual tank drain, or continuous with an automatic tank drain.

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