Fierce winter weather has the ability to cause major power outages for long periods of time. Snow, ice, wind and freezing temperatures create dangerous conditions that lead to power failures. It is important that you take the necessary precautions when preparing your standby generator for the cold winter months ahead of us.
Standby generators are great for supplying automatic emergency backup during a power outage. However, they do need to be carefully maintained to function properly. When the time comes for a winter power outage, you should be confident in your generator’s ability to easily start and run in freezing cold temperatures.
Here are a few tips for winterizing your standby generator:
- Clear the unit and its surrounding area of any snowfall throughout the winter months to prevent ice build-up. Five feet of clearance is recommended at all times.
- While the weather is still moderate, inspect your backup generator to see if any filters or plugs need replacing, or oil and fuel need changing. Try running your generator to make sure everything is working properly. If a noise, smell or function is alarming to you, get it checked out by a professional.
- Stock up on enough oil and maintenance supplies to keep your standby generator running for a few weeks.
- Check your standby generator’s battery. When exposed to harsh temperatures, your battery may lose lifespan. Additionally, if you let the battery run too low, it may not hold a charge, even after you recharge it.
- Purchase a generator cold weather kit compatible with your specific generator. The kit includes a thermostatically-controlled battery warmer that automatically heats the battery when the temperature drops below 40 degrees.