5 Tips For Prepping Your Generator This Winter
Winter weather is unpredictable at times, so preparing your home for the seasonal unknown is extremely valuable. Winter snow and ice storms can leave families without power for days, therefore having a generator readily available can be a lifesaver. Owning a generator alone won’t guarantee that you’ll withstand mother nature’s winter fury. You must make sure that your generator is maintained properly and is winter ready. So to ensure your family has peace of mind, here are five tips for prepping your generator this winter.
- Stock up on fuel: If your generator runs on natural gas or propane, you should certainly stock as much as needed. Propane and natural gas won’t expire so you won’t have to worry about freshness. On the other hand, if your generator runs on gasoline, you’ll need to stock what you plan to use within 30 days. Another option is to stabilize your fuel, this will keep your gasoline fresher for a longer period of time. While you are at it, stock up on oil also.
- Change your generator oil: Just as your vehicle needs clean and proper oil in order to run, so does your generator. Regular oil changes not only allow your generator to perform when needed, and can dramatically lengthen the lifespan of your generator. Old oil causes buildup which can quickly snowball into major generator repairs. It’s suggested you change your oil every 50 hours of usage just to be safe. Also be sure to keep an eye on your generator’s overall oil level. Many modern generators are equipped with devices that automatically shut down generators when oil levels are too low. Which avoids completely ruining the engine.
- Test and exercise your generator: Have you ever sat in one place for too long, then you get up to a feeling of stiffness, maybe tiredness, and even discomfort? What our bodies and generators share in common is they both need exercise in order to perform adequately. You should run your generator for approximately 10 minutes a day, once a week. This ensures all necessary parts are lubricated, and function properly. If not you have adequate time to contact a professional. Testing your generator will also help to familiarize yourself with your equipment, so in times of distress you can respond confidently.
- Install a transfer switch: Consider installing a generator transfer switch for an added level of safety this winter. Transfers witches provide a safe connection between your generator and the electrical devices and appliances within your home. After installation, a transfer switch prevents your generator power and your utility power from sharing the same home circuits simultaneously. They are pretty much electricity’s security, they won’t allow power to travel in the wrong direction. Transfer switches are installed next to your electrical panel, and can be either manually or automatically controlled. Though this tip should only be carried out by a trusted and professional electrician.
- Routine Maintenance: When it comes to most equipment, the father of all prevention is regular maintenance. Whether it’s our car, bodies, or generators; consistent upkeep is the key. Do not wait until you need your generator, to use your generator. Schedule a routine date so that you can check oil levels, change oil, change filters, listen for any odd noises, etc. The more you familiarize yourself with your equipment, the more room for error that you and your family might have. If time is a concern, contact a local professional. They will curate a generator maintenance routine that fits your schedule. Remember, a dog is a man’s best friend, his generator is second.