Fall Generator Maintenance & Winter Preparation Tips
Posted by Kristopher Schwind
As you start to prepare your home for winter by cleaning the gutters, inspecting your roof, and sealing any cracks around your property, don’t forget to prepare your generator as well.
We’ve discussed the importance of maintaining your generator before, but it’s especially important to do so before the cold sets in. Cold weather can make it more difficult to properly maintain your generator, not to mention the loss of heat and electricity in a snowstorm.
So let’s discuss how you keep your generator well-maintained this fall so that it can safely power you through the winter and beyond.
Clear Leaves & Debris
When you’re raking leaves this fall, don’t forget to clear any leaves, twigs, and other debris from around your generator. While a few leaves and sticks may not seem like much of a concern, they can actually obstruct airflow into and out of the exhaust if they accumulate. Both scenarios create a dangerous outcome; once airflow is obstructed, the generator can overheat and shut down entirely, cutting you off from necessary power. But by keeping up with this simple maintenance, you’ll ensure your generator has the airflow for proper operation.
Even if you’re fortunate enough to have steady power without running your generator, you should still run it every couple of months to make sure everything works properly.
Start by checking your oil levels, because without sufficient oil, your generator won’t run. If you have enough oil, be sure to check it anyway; oil can accumulate buildup over time, so if it’s been a few months since you’ve had a look, it likely needs to be changed. A general rule of thumb is 50-hour intervals between oil changes, and 100-hour intervals for the filter.
Stock up on Maintenance Supplies
Now is the best time to stock up on your maintenance supplies for winter. That’s not to say you need to make a mad dash like supermarket shoppers before a hurricane warning, but you’re far better off having the supplies you need now, before winter weather conditions make it much more challenging to get around. Even if there is nothing actively wrong with your generator, you should perform a routine maintenance check before the weather gets colder.
If you live in an area where the temperature frequently drops below 40 degrees, you may want to consider purchasing a cold weather kit for your generator for added security. These kits help the engine start up by keeping the inside of the generator warm, and can include a combination of battery heaters, oil heaters, and alternator & air breather dryers.
If you rely on propane to run your appliances, make sure you have enough propane on hand to keep your generator tank fueled up as well. The winter may be harsh, but you can do everything in your power to be ready for it.
Keep Your Eyes & Ears Open
If you see or hear anything abnormal with your generator (such as screeching during startup), don’t assume that everything is fine. The last thing you want is to be stuck outside in the middle of a snowstorm trying to diagnose your generator issues.
Instead, contact one of our certified generator technicians for a free assessment and the peace of mind that your generator will power you through the long winter months ahead. When it comes to your safety, you can never be too prepared.
Kristopher Schwind is the proud owner of National Standby Repair.