Be Ready for Power Outages with a Whole Home Generator
Forecasters predict that the US will experience an above average hurricane season this summer for the eastern seaboard, including Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania . Don’t wait until the first storms hit. Power outages can lead to spoiled food, busted pipes, and no way to charge your computers or phones. Start preparing for power outages now with these easy tips that will help you live normally until electricity is restored.
Be Prepared for the Next Power Outage
Check Your Generator:
If you own a generator, now is the time to make sure it works. Be sure to check for signs of wear and tear, clean away any dust or debris and replace dirty filters. Portable generators can be easily checked by simply turning them on to make sure they start. Larger stationary home generators will alert you when they need professional service, which is generally on an annual basis. Ongoing maintenance will ensure performance and extend the life of the generator.
Plan For Outages:
Power that comes from a generator is as safe as normal electricity. If you’re in the market for a new generator, it is helpful to make a list of things that must stay on during an outage (like refrigerators, computers, sump pumps and lights). Since generators are sold by power output, add up the higher surge watts of your must-haves to develop a baseline for generator power.
- Small portables can power refrigerators, microwaves, TVs and a few lights
- Midsize portables go beyond that, powering heating systems, computers, secondary pumps and more lights
- Additionally, larger models can power small water heaters, central air conditioners, electric ranges, washing machines or electric dryers.
- With the ability to power your whole house, standby generators are permanent fixtures that units self-diagnose and alert you when they need maintenance. As the most expensive option, they must be installed by a professional due to more complex functionality, neighborhood permitting and noise requirements. They run on your choice of fuel and automatically start during an outage, cutting down on the time between the outage and when your home is back up and running – a big plus.
Stock Up on Oil:
Some generators can be damaged by running out of gas and most require frequent oil changes, so be sure to stock up on oil and filters to last you a few days when running. When purchasing, look for generators with a fuel gauge and low-oil shutoff option.
You should only use fresh gas each time you use your generator and never refuel when it’s running. Once storm season is over, empty the fuel tank and carburetor and remove the electrical load to prevent future start problems.
Maintain a Safe Distance:
When storing a generator, make sure it has three to four feet of clear space on all sides for adequate ventilation. Generators produce a large amount of carbon monoxide, so place it at least 15 feet from your home and make sure the exhaust is pointing away when running. They must also remain dry and cool. An outdoor shelter may be the best option to keep it away from inclement weather with easy access for maintenance.
For portables, use long, heavy-duty extension cords to maintain the maximum distance between the generator and your appliances while keeping the noisy unit far enough away to allow you to sleep comfortably. Never use a generator indoors or in an enclosed space.
Don’t get left in the dark. Learn more about our Honeywell whole home generators, the top-of-the-line solution for your home standby needs.