What Caused the Airflow of Screw Air Compressors to Decrease?

Understanding and addressing the problem of airflow decrease is crucial for optimizing performance and achieving operational excellence for rotary screw air compressors.

By staying proactive and implementing the necessary measures, operators can maximize the productivity and longevity of their rotary screw air compressors, ultimately benefiting their businesses and operations.

There are several common factors that can lead to a decrease in the airflow of rotary screw air compressors. Understanding these factors is crucial for maintaining optimal performance and efficiency.

In this article, we will explore some common key factors, and provide simple solutions to address these issues effectively.

Incomplete Opening of the Intake Valve

Believe it or not, one of the common causes of decreased airflow is the incomplete opening of the intake valve. This may happen due to human error, mechanical issues, or improper adjustments. 

When the intake valve is not fully opened, it restricts the amount of air that can enter the compressor, resulting in a decrease in airflow and reduced performance.

Fortunately, the solution is quite simple: ensure that the intake valve is completely opened to allow unrestricted airflow. Regularly inspect the valve and make necessary adjustments or repairs as needed to maintain optimal airflow.

Worn-out or Clogged Air Filters

Over time, the air filters in rotary screw air compressors can become clogged with dust, debris, and contaminants. This accumulation restricts the airflow, leading to a decrease in the air volume produced.

Inspect the filters periodically and clean or replace them when necessary to maintain optimal airflow and prevent a decrease in performance.

Additionally, consider using high-quality filters that are designed to efficiently remove contaminants and ensure uninterrupted airflow.

Leakage in the Air Intake System

Air leaks can occur in the intake piping, connections, or fittings, allowing compressed air to escape before it reaches the compression stage.

These leaks disrupt the air pressure balance, resulting in reduced air volume and compromised performance.

Regular inspection and maintenance are necessary to detect and address any leaks promptly. Properly sealing or replacing damaged components and ensuring tight connections will help maintain the desired airflow and optimize compressor performance.

Inadequate Lubrication

Inadequate or improper lubrication can lead to increased friction and wear within the screw compressor, resulting in reduced efficiency and decreased airflow.

Schedule regular lubrication intervals will help minimize friction, prevent excessive heat buildup, and preserve the compressor’s efficiency.

Additionally, monitor oil levels and quality to ensure adequate lubrication and replace or replenish lubricants as needed.

Worn-out or Damaged Air-end

The air-end is a critical component of a rotary screw air compressor responsible for compressing air. Over time, the continuous operation and high-pressure conditions can cause wear and tear on the air-end components.

These air end components, such as rotors, screws, or vanes, become worn-out or damaged, the sealing and compression efficiency may be compromised. It will result the compressor’s ability to deliver a consistent and sufficient airflow will decrease.

If there is excessive clearance between the rotor and bearings, it can also lead to a decrease in the efficiency and airflow of the compressor.

The air end is the core component of a screw air compressor, and when it encounters problems, it usually requires inspection and repair by the manufacturer, local distributor, or maintenance service.

Please not to dismantle it on your own without proper expertise.


What Is The Compressor Air End And How to Choose?

The compressor air end of a screw compressor is a vital component responsible for compressing and delivering air to various applications.

Understanding the air end and choosing the right one for your needs can ensure the efficiency and reliability of your compressor.

Incorrectly Worn-out Seals

Seals ensure that the compressed air is contained and properly transferred throughout the compression process.

However, if the seals are incorrectly adjusted or worn-out, they may not effectively contain the compressed air, leading to air leakage and a subsequent decrease in airflow.

Regular inspection of the seals is necessary to identify any signs of misalignment or wear. Adjusting or replacing the seals as needed will help restore the seal integrity and maintain the desired airflow.

The Oil & Air Separator is not Working Properly

Within a rotary screw air compressor, the oil and gas separator also plays an important role.

If the separator is not functioning properly, it can lead to oil carryover in the compressed air, affecting the quality and volume of the airflow. And reduce the output of air flow.

To address this issue, please check for any signs of clogging, wear, or damage. If any issues are detected, the separator should be cleaned or replaced accordingly

By maintaining the integrity and efficiency of the oil and gas separator, the airflow can be preserved, ensuring optimal performance of the screw air compressor.

Inadequate Cooling System

When the cooling system is inadequate or malfunctioning, the compressor may struggle to cool the compressed air effectively. This can result in increased temperatures within the compressor and a subsequent decrease in air volume.

Insufficient cooling can be caused by factors such as faulty cooling fans, clogged heat exchangers, or improper ventilation.

To resolve this trouble, it is essential to conduct regular inspections and maintenance of the cooling system.

You should go cleaning or replacing air filters, checking fan operation, and ensuring proper airflow in the compressor room.

In some cases, upgrading the cooling system or optimizing the compressor’s location for better ventilation may be necessary.

By improving the cooling efficiency, the compressor can maintain optimal temperatures and ensure consistent airflow.

Increased Back Pressure

Back pressure occurs when there is resistance to the flow of compressed air within the system.

This can be caused by various factors, including restrictions in the discharge piping, clogged filters, or inadequate ventilation. Increased back pressure leads to a decrease in air volume as the compressed air encounters obstacles that impede its flow.

To alleviate back pressure, it is important to regularly inspect and clean the discharge piping and air filters.

Any obstructions or blockages should be cleared to ensure smooth airflow. Additionally, ensuring proper ventilation in the compressor room can help maintain optimal operating conditions.

Regular maintenance and monitoring of the system’s pressure levels can also help identify and address any issues that contribute to increased back pressure.

Incorrectly Set or Malfunctioning Pressure Regulator

If the pressure regulator is incorrectly set or malfunctioning, it can result in pressure fluctuations and an inconsistent air volume output. Then will directly impact the overall performance and efficiency of the compressor, leading to a decrease in airflow.

Ensure that the pressure regulator is properly calibrated and adjusted according to the manufacturer’s specifications. Regular inspections should be conducted to identify any potential malfunctions or deviations from the desired pressure settings.

If any issues are detected, the pressure regulator should be repaired or replaced by a qualified technician to restore proper operation and maintain consistent airflow.

Belt Slippage

Belt-driven rotary screw air compressors can encounter the issue of belt slippage.

This occurs when the belt fails to maintain proper tension or loses its grip on the pulleys due to wear or insufficient traction.

Belt slippage can result in a decrease in airflow since the compressor’s power transmission becomes compromised. It leads to reduced rotational speed and, consequently, a decrease in the volume of air produced.

If signs of wear or improper tension are detected, the belts should be adjusted or replaced accordingly.

In contrast, direct drive rotary screw air compressors are beltless. At present, the mainstream air compressors are gradually phasing out the belt drive, although its cost is lower.
Click here to learn about Airpressa’s direct drive air compressors.

Leakage in Air Tool Connections

Leakage in the air tool connections of rotary screw air compressors can significantly impact airflow. When air leaks occur at the connections or fittings, the compressed air is lost before it reaches the intended destination, resulting in reduced airflow.

Any signs of leaks, such as hissing sounds or noticeable air loss, should be addressed promptly. Tightening connections or replacing faulty components can help restore optimal airflow and prevent energy wastage.

Excessive Ambient Temperature

In the world of screw air compressors, ambient temperature plays a significant role in determining their performance.

When the surrounding temperature rises beyond the recommended range, the cooling efficiency of the compressor can be compromised. As a result, the compressor may struggle to maintain optimal operating temperatures, leading to a decrease in the airflow. This is due to the reduced cooling capacity in high-temperature environments.

To solve this problem,, operator should provide proper ventilation and cooling measures in the compressor room. This can include installing fans, improving airflow, or implementing air conditioning systems.

By controlling the ambient temperature within the recommended range, the compressor’s cooling efficiency can be restored, ensuring optimal airflow and performance.

Last but not least.

Maintenance Neglect

Regular maintenance is a vital aspect of ensuring optimal performance and longevity of rotary screw air compressors. Neglecting routine maintenance tasks can result in decreased airflow and various performance issues.

Failure to perform tasks such as lubrication, filter cleaning or replacement, and component inspections can lead to the accumulation of contaminants, increased friction, and overall inefficiency in the compressor’s operation.


Air Compressor Maintenance Checklist: The Ultimate Manual

Neglecting air compressor maintenance can lead to costly breakdowns, reduced productivity, and potential safety hazards.

So this manual is designed to equip you with the knowledge and skills necessary to implement a comprehensive maintenance program.


There are many factors that can reduce the airflow of the screw air compressor, and there are other unexpected situations.

Regular inspections, lubrication, filter cleaning or replacement, and component inspections are crucial maintenance tasks that should not be overlooked.

It is important for operators and maintenance personnel to prioritize these factors and take appropriate actions to mitigate any issues that arise. And also contribute to the longevity of the compressor. It can ensure that their rotary screw air compressors operate at their full potential, providing reliable and efficient airflow for their intended purposes.

By maintaining consistent and efficient airflow, rotary screw air compressors can deliver reliable performance and meet the demands of various industrial applications.

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