In our previous article we looked at how cold weather affects compressed air and touched on how air compressor dryers can be affected in winter as the lower ambient temperature makes it more likely that vapour inside your compressor will drop below the dew point and form condensates.
This is worth looking at in more detail, as it’s a little more complicated than that – for example, unsettled weather conditions notwithstanding, the ambient humidity in winter is often lower than in the warm and humid summer months.
As a result, you might detect lower levels of vapour and condensates inside your compressed air pipework, but this is only a temporary alleviation of an ongoing humidity problem, which will return in the spring and summer as more consistent higher levels of humidity set in.
But if you wait until summer to install air compressor dryers, you will be working from a much higher dew point, which could lead you to install a substantially smaller air dryer.
While this could be capable of drying the warm air of summer, it leaves you at risk of having insufficient drying capability to deal with the much lower dew point of winter, even taking into account the lower ambient humidity.
For this reason it’s important to calculate the size of your air compressor dryers during the winter, when you can set them against the most challenging dew point they will face all year round.
You should also consider where your air compressor is located – whether indoors or outdoors, in a heated room or left to adjust to the ambient temperature outside – and whether any of the supply lines from the compressor to the point of usage run outside too.
Naturally an indoor air compressor operating at room temperature will need less sizeable dryers than one operating outdoors or supplying compressed air via outdoor pipework, and this should be factored into your decision as well.