Air Compressors in Cold Locations

Whether to bring your compressor inside the heated shop space, or not. June 15, 2014

I am installing a 30 or 60 gallon compressor with a cast iron pump, single stage. I can put it inside the heated shop space, or in an unheated garage space. Are there any advantages or concerns with having an air compressor in cold air? Would condensation freeze inside the tank? The temperature range in the garage is between 20-40 degrees F in the winter, but may drop to below 0 F sometimes.

Forum Responses
(Dust Collection and Safety Equipment Forum)
From contributor U:
I have had them inside and outside. Noise is a plus for going outside, as for as moisture is concerned, I really did not see a huge difference. This would have been in north Florida. I did like the ability for warmer air going through the system when it was located inside. It just seemed to help my spray equipment and the paint inside my guns to stay a little warmer. Plus my filters on the compressor intakes seemed to hold up better. The areas I was using the outside compressor for were probably not as protected as your garage would be.

From contributor O:
I have a friend who has a 5 HP 40 gallon IR in an unheated garage here in Indiana and we go down to 15 below F on occasion. We installed an automatic drain and he has had no trouble with ice. (Note: no long drain tube - it goes straight into a catchpan.) I believe he has gone to a lighter grade oil as it gets a bit hard to start when it gets really cold. We considered getting a dipstick heater for it or some sort of heater for the oil for really cold days but haven't. It has been running for ten years after replacing the original motor with a better one after the first year.