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Why a Standby Generator Will Be Your Saving Grace This Winter

Why a Standby Generator Will Be Your Saving Grace This Winter

  • Generators

It’s never too early to think about the winter months. Staying warm, however, shouldn’t be your only concern once the snow starts to fall. The winter season is a harsh time of year that puts strain on your home, plumbing, and electrical system. Heavy snow and ice can weigh down power lines or knock a tree over, which can cause major power outages. No homeowner wants to deal with a power outage, especially in the dead of winter. When you come to rely on your furnace to stay warm and prevent your plumbing from freezing, and to ensure your sump pump prevents a flooded basement, you’ll need something to make sure your home stays powered throughout the holiday season.

How a Standby Generator Can Help You

It’s always a good idea to have a backup, especially when you’re not sure when the power will come back. A standby generator works by detecting when your home has a power outage and starts generating power. If well maintained, a standby will be able to operate consistently throughout a power outage and even the most severe winter weather until the power comes back. If you’re unsure about investing in a standby generator, here’s how installing one can benefit you.

  • It ensures you stay warm and comfortable. Installing a standby generator ensures that your furnace stays on and continues heating your home. If it’s below freezing outside, it won’t take long for your home to drop to frigid temperatures. Fireplaces provide ambiance and some warmth, but it can’t keep your entire house heated. A standby generator not only keeps your furnace running, it keeps you and your household warm and comfortable.
  • It keeps the essential appliances running. Some appliances should always be running, like your refrigerator and sump pump. The food inside your refrigerator is sensitive to temperatures, and when the power goes out, the clock starts ticking until you have an entire fridge full of spoiled food. Your sump pump also requires constant power to prevent a flooded basement. A standby generator can potentially save a life if you live with someone who has a medical condition and relies on medical equipment.
  • It protects your plumbing. Your plumbing is already susceptible to the frigid temperatures, but when the power goes out; your pipes are at risk of bursting. When the inside of your home isn’t properly heated, your pipes can freeze, and the ice inside the pipes expands until the pipe bursts. Not only will you deal with malfunctioning plumbing, but a pipe flooding thousands of gallons of water inside your home. A standby ensures your plumbing is protected and functioning.
  • It turns on automatically. Unlike some power backup generators that need to be manually started, a standby backup generator will automatically turn on when the power goes out. This is particularly helpful if you’re away from home or out of town when the power goes out.

How to Maintain Your Standby Generator

A standby generator can protect your home, plumbing, and comfort this winter, but like any other appliance, it requires routine maintenance. Generally a standby generator can last up to 10,000 – 30,000 hours, depending on how well maintained the generator is and the number of power outages. If you don’t anticipate too many power outages a year, your standby generator can last up to 20-30 years. Whether your standby generator lasts a few years or 30 years, it needs routine maintenance to function effectively and live out its lifespan. To make sure you stay warm this winter, here’s a few ways you can maintain your standby generator.

  • Routinely inspect your standby generator. Your generator is complicated, and ideally should be inspected annually. Throughout most of the year, your standby generator will sit unused and is prone to damages. An annual inspection ensures it functions properly when there’s a power outage.
  • Keep your generator clean and clear of debris. A standby generator needs proper ventilation in order to function. Keeping your standby generator clear of grass clipping, leaves, and other debris, ensures it won’t overheat and work effectively.
  • Give your generator a test run. It’s a good idea to give your standby generator a test run before the winter season to ensure its working. A good test run also determines fuel quantity and quality.
  • Invest in a cold weather kit. Depending on where you live, you might need a cold weather kit before you can even rely on your standby generator. Cold weather kits work to keep the battery and other essential generator parts warm so that the engine can start.
  • Replace old batteries. On top of keeping your standby battery warm, it’s also important to replace an old battery in need of replacement. Even when it is not in use, it’s a good idea to periodically check the battery.
  • Change the oil. Dirty or clogged oil can be detrimental to your standby generator as it doesn’t lubricate properly. Colder temperatures usually require a lower viscosity while hotter temperatures require a higher viscosity, or depending on the product, you might be able to use dual viscosity oil.

Don’t Delay; Call Us Today

No homeowner wants to deal with a power outage, especially during the dead of winter. Luckily with the help of a standby generator, you stay warm and protect your home and plumbing. If you’re ready to prepare your home this winter season, a licensed electrician can help get you started. Don’t wait until the lights go out, call an electrician today.

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