How does heat effect air compressors?

As we head into what are generally warmer months for Victoria, it is important to understand how higher ambient temperatures can affect air compressors, to ensure you take important steps to minimise expensive equipment damage, and downtime within your business.

Hot weather has various effects on the performance of an air compressor, including:

Lower flow rates

Higher temperatures reduce the density of the ambient air, resulting in a lower volume of air being drawn through the intake.

Higher Cooling Water Temperature

High ambient temperatures mean the temperature of your cooling water increases, forcing it to work harder, reducing the efficiency of your air compressor.

More Water

The warmer ambient air can hold more water vapor, which means the filtration and drainage system of your air compressor have to work a lot harder.


More water means more drainage. The air compressors automatic drains will need to cycle more frequently to discharge the moisture removed from the system, which can very quickly lead to failures.

So, take the below steps to help avoid damaging your air compressor, and ensure your business stays up and running efficiently throughout the warmer months.

  • Ensure air compressors are regularly serviced
  • Position the air compressor in a well-ventilated room
  • Have a good-quality air-dryer running to reduce the water vapour within the air
  • Check and change your filters and drains more frequently
  • Change the oil before the warmer months, and consider changing it mid-way through the season to ensure the air compressor remains well lubricated and free from contaminants
  • Keep an eye on belts and couplings to ensure they remain undamaged