Generator preparation is a vital measure to take, especially as winter nears. Every season poses a unique strain on your home’s electrical system, but no homeowner wants to be stuck in the dead of winter without power. The winter season, unfortunately, brings with it, ice, snow, wind, and frigid temperatures that can cause power outages. A harsh winter can provide hazardous working conditions, meaning there’s no guarantee when exactly your home’s power will be restored. That’s why it’s important to prepare your generator, especially prior to a generator emergency.
How Generator Preparation Can Help You for the Winter Season
Summer poses its own electrical threats, whether it’s heavy rain, lightning, or fallen debris, but a power outage during the summer season can be much more manageable than the winter season. Fall and winter, however, pose other hazardous threats such as hurricanes and snow storms. A home without power during the festive holidays poses more than just the risk of cold, uncomfortable, and potentially life-taking temperatures. A power outage during the winter season also puts your home at risk of some serious water damage such as ice dams and flooded basements. The fall season is the perfect time to inspect, maintain, and repair, especially since it’s harder to maintain your generator during the winter season. To make sure you stay nice and toasty, here’s how you can prepare your generator.
- Clean your generator. Similar to an air conditioner, it’s important to keep the space around your generator clear and free of debris. A generator clear of leaves, twigs, and other debris helps keep it properly ventilated. A generator with proper air flow prevents it from overheating and provides it the air it needs to operate.
- Have a cold weather kit. It never hurts to be over-prepared, especially if you live somewhere where it consistently drops below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. A cold kit helps to start the generator’s engine by keeping the battery and other parts warm. If your generator is properly prepared, it should start without a problem, but a cold kit adds a little insurance to make sure it runs.
- Keep your generator properly fueled. The goal is to use the generator as little as possible, which means it sits unused in your garage or basement for long periods of time. Fuel, however, should never sit in your generator unless you have a fuel stabilizer which helps to remove any harmful deposits that can form inside the fuel. If you don’t have any fuel stabilizers, then you’ll need to replace the old fuel with new fuel.
- Replace spark plugs. Spark plugs are a crucial part of what makes your generator run, and they generally last for years. They can get finicky, however, and suddenly stop working for no apparent reason. Having some spark plugs readily available and replacing old spark plugs if need be is another important task to ensure your generator runs.
- Check oil and lubricants. Like any motorized appliance, your generator needs to be properly oiled and lubricated to function. Before the first snow falls, make sure to top your generator off with the right oil and lubricants.
- Insulate your generator. It’s a good idea to invest in a cover for your generator. A cover not only provides an extra layer of insulation, but it keeps out dust, debris, and insects that could otherwise clog your generator and interrupt its air flow. There are other accessories that help keep your generator clean and insulated, such as frost prevention devices which work to keep ice from forming around the alternator and intake.
- Make sure it runs. It sounds obvious, but if your house never loses power, it’s easy to ignore your generator. It’s important, however, to test run your generator just to make sure it’s working. A good test run is another effective way to inspect for any unseen damages. If for example, you turn it on and you’re greeted with a loud screeching sound, something definitely needs repairing.
- Inspect for visible damages. Take some time to thoroughly inspect your generator. Check for any rust, corrosion, frayed wires, or anything that looks unusual. The best way to maintain your generator is to catch problems early.
- Inspect the air filter. In order to run, your generator needs to ventilate, otherwise, it overheats. Over time its air filter collects dust and debris. It’s important to check your generator’s air filter for dirt, damage, or wear, in case it needs to be replaced.
Don’t Wait for the Power to Go Out
Power outages are inevitable as they are frustrating, that’s why it’s important to be prepared, especially for the harsher seasons. Routine cleaning and maintenance help prevent your generator from breaking down, but it’s also important to have it thoroughly inspected. If you want to be prepared for the next winter season, then it’s time to contact the professionals. They can save you the trouble by inspecting your generator and offering solutions that work best for you. Don’t wait until it’s too late, generator preparation is vital for you this winter.
Call the electricians at Jones Services today for more information on generator preparation!