buying and installing a generator for your home

Preparing Your Generator For Winter

by Beverly Barnes

Life in an area prone to extreme winters means preparing for the worst cold weather possible. It also means having the equipment necessary to make it through that weather without having to worry about it breaking down. Any homeowner with an emergency generator should make sure that it's winter-ready well in advance of the first snow flurry, which means tending to proper maintenance, preparations and storage in the off season.

Pre-Season Preparations

As winter nears, it's a good idea to start taking steps to ensure you're ready for the coldest conditions possible. Start by having your generator checked out by a professional small engine mechanic, many of whom have extensive experience with generators. If your generator is a fixed installation or a larger standby model, then you should call a generator contractor to service it at your location. In both cases, servicing your generator is just as important as servicing your car, but in this case it will focus on far fewer systems.

In addition to making sure your generator is mechanically sound, it's important that you make sure you're well stocked for long term operation. Check your fuel supply for your generator, and make sure that any sediment in it hasn't started to settle out. Further, make sure you have enough oil and oil filters to take care of any oil changes that might be necessary while it's running.

Post-Season Precautions

Once the threat of being snowed in without power has passed, it's important that you make sure your generator is ready to be stored. Drain any fuel from the tank to avoid deterioration of the fuel lines and sediment settling in the tank. Perform one last oil change before you put it away so that you won't have to try to remember how many hours of operation have passed since the last change. This will ensure you have the longest possible period of operation if you have to fire it up before the first snowfall for some reason.

While it's perfectly alright to perform periodic maintenance in the spring, it's more important that you address any performance issues or repairs that you couldn't deal with during the winter. That will allow you to spread the cost of maintaining your generator out over a greater timetable. For portable generators, make sure you store them in a place where they'll be safe from falling, windblown debris, such as under a fixed shelter or in your garage.

Your generator should be more than capable of providing all the power you need through the winter, but it can only do that if you're properly prepared. Stocking up and performing basic maintenance is only part of it, so make sure you're not setting yourself up for a bad night by overlooking important tasks essential to the operation of your generator. Go to website resources to learn more.