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Preparing Your Generator For The Winter Ahead

Generators are a backup source of electricity and can be absolutely crucial to some homeowners in order to keep their basements dry, their homes warm, and their food cold. Whatever your reason for wanting a backup generator, the technicians at Current Electric can offer the perfect solution for any budget.

Types of Generators

While there are technically more than two types of generators, our clients generally choose one of the following:

  • Automatic standby, natural gas/liquid propane generators run directly on fuel that comes through available gas lines so they are lower maintenance and don’t require constant refueling as other types of generators do. Natural gas and propane are relatively clean forms of energy that start and run well in all kinds of weather. These units are permanently installed next to the home and take a footprint roughly the size of an air conditioner. In the case of a power outage, the generator will start its own engine and transfer power safely to the backup system. Within a minute, the power is restored without the homeowner needing to lift a finger, and when the utility power comes back, the generator automatically shuts itself down. Advantages to an automatic standby generator include The ability to power more things in the home, up to the entire house, minimal maintenance, reliability, and not needing to worry if you’re not home.
  • Portable gasoline/propane generators are common because of their low upfront cost. When the power goes out, the homeowner retrieves the generator from storage, runs extension cords to the house, and starts the engine. To make it simpler, we can install a plug on the outside of the home that can directly wire into the essential circuits in the home, like the refrigerator and sump pump. This is an economical way to keep the power on for homeowners that are good at staying on top of the maintenance that comes with small engines, and for people who don’t leave the home for extended periods of time.

If you already own a portable generator

  • Keep any generators within a dry, clean area. Make certain that it is in an area in which you can access it, as it can be difficult to find once the lights go out.
  • If it is a gasoline-fueled generator, add new gasoline every couple of months. Consider using a gasoline stabilizer
  • Remove any old gasoline from the tank, if necessary. Dispose of the gasoline properly. Check the fuel line for any sorts of cracks and damage. Replace as necessary.
  • Test your generator once a month in order to ensure that it is working properly
  • If it is a propane generator, call your propane supplier to refill the tank before it is half empty. You may wish to consider the installation of a larger propane tank.

If you already own a permanent standby generator

  • Be sure that you’ve partnered with a reliable and qualified contractor to perform annual maintenance visits, which include changing the engine oil and filter, replacing spark plugs, and checking the health of the battery and air filter.
  • Listen for your weekly “exercise” cycle to be sure the generator is starting and running on a regular basis, and check for any warning lights that can alert you to service needed.

Call Current Electric today for more information about generators!