Air compressors have been around for over a century, which means they must be doing something right. And with the flexibility, reliability and durability they offer to all industries, it’s safe to say they are. Just as there is a seemingly growing number of uses for the air compressor, there are more and more styles and sizes entering the industry. For many, the hard part isn’t deciding if you need a compressor, but which kind?

These are two of the most common types of air compressors:

Rotary air compressor: 

Because they operate at much higher capacities, rotary air compressors are typically used in industrial and commercial settings. Because they are so high-functioning, this can also mean a higher cost, but for the businesses operating these machines, it’s worth it.

Reciprocating air compressor:

These are the most common and are also incredibly powerful machines. On top of that, they’re used worldwide and sold by a variety of retailers.

Thankfully, because they’ve been around for so many decades, air compressors have revolutionized to a point that maintenance is, for the most part, pretty straightforward. Even so, they are machines, which means that moderate maintenance will need to be performed to make sure your compressor is usable at all times.

Here are a few of our best tips for using and maintaining your compressor:

Drain the tanks.

Over time–and especially if stored in humid climates–compressor tanks can fill with condensed water. Every couple of months, be sure to drain the tanks by using the stop at the bottom.

Detect leaks.

Outside of the obvious signs, if your compressor starts running, and you aren’t using it, this is a dead giveaway that there’s a leak.

[Pro-tip: Spray soapy water on joints, and if bubbles form, you’ll know where your leak is.]

Turn it off.

Though most of our customers use their compressors daily, some are seasonal. If this is the case for you, remember to discharge all air and turn the unit off when you aren’t using it for an extended amount of time. Otherwise, condensation could build, which would lead to rust and corrosion.

Check the oil.

Check the oil on a regular basis, depending on how often you use your compressor, and remember to change it once or twice a year.

Clean the air filter.

Especially if your work environment is dusty, be sure to check and clean your compressor air filter on a regular basis. Things like dust and sawdust can creep in and create clogs almost unnoticed, so it’s important to keep a close eye out!