How to Maintain Your Generator This Fall
Posted by Kristopher Schwind
Did you ever hear the expression: “summer bodies are made in winter?” Well, in a sense, winter generators are “made” in the fall.
In other words, the work you put into maintaining your generator this fall will lay the groundwork for effective operation come winter. Even though we’re just nearing the beginning of September, autumn is just around the corner.
In the Northeast, fall’s moderate temperatures make it an ideal time to get your generator winter-ready. Here’s what generator maintenance you can do yourself this fall so that it can power you through winter without a hitch.
Keep Vents Clear
Although autumn is famous for its beautiful foliage, it’s not going to be such a pretty picture when it’s clogging up your generator vents.
So when you’re raking the yard this fall, pay special attention to the area immediately surrounding your generator, and take extra precaution to clear out all vents of leaves, grass, and other debris that the wind has blown around.
Clogged vents can cause your generator to overheat, leading it to shut down. And in winter, vents clogged by snow can be even more dangerous, blocking air from getting through and trapping deadly carbon monoxide in the system and forcing it into your property.
Make sure your vents are clear in all seasons so that they can supply your generator with the air it needs to operate and keep you safe.
Don’t Put Off an Oil Change
Although you may be tempted to put off changing your generator’s oil until it’s absolutely necessary, don’t fall into that trap. Just because you have some time left before the next oil change needs to happen, you’re better off being proactive and taking care of it straightaway.
After all, if you wait until winter, you’re running the risk of a bad storm or blizzard, and trust me, you don’t want to catch frost bite trying to do an oil change when there’s no power on and snow up to your midsection. Take advantage of the good weather and get it done this fall.
Not sure how to change the oil on your standby generator? We’ll meet you on-site to assess the situation—at zero cost.
Conduct a Maintenance Check
Before the winter weather sets in, you’ll want to perform a routine maintenance check to ensure your generator is working properly and ready to tackle whatever winter has to throw its way. We discussed the importance of maintaining your generator and protecting your safety in a previous post, and how regular maintenance checks can actually serve to extend the life of your generator.
So be sure to conduct a maintenance check before the cold weather sets in so you won’t run into any problems later in the season that will be much more difficult to correct.
Start Prepping for Winter
As we’ve discussed, there’s no time like the present to get your generator in tip-top shape for the impending winter, and your preparation will largely depend upon where you live.
If you’re in an especially rural area and rely on propane to run your appliances, keep an eye on your propane levels and make sure you’ll have enough to sustain your generator through the long winter months, refilling in advance when running low.
For colder climates where the temperature is known to drop below 40 degrees frequently, consider a cold weather kit. These kits are designed to keep your generator’s battery warm, and can include such components as battery heaters, oil heaters, block heaters, and alternator dryers.
If you live relatively far from someone who can deliver propane on short notice, you should consider installing a larger propane tank to help carry you through the winter with minimal effort.
Making sure your generator is well-maintained and ready to take on the most challenging season of the year may seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. You can get in touch for a free assessment with one of our expert technicians for the peace of mind and assurance that your generator will be ready to keep your home powered up, safe, and warm in the coming months.
Better yet, keep your generator up and running year-round with an annual service contract. There are countless benefits for residential, commercial, and municipal emergency power systems.
Kristopher Schwind is the proud owner of National Standby Repair.