Winter weather creates a higher risk of power outages, meaning there’s a good chance you’ll have to rely on a generator to keep your heat and lighting on at some point. Since homeowners don’t use their generators often, they tend to overlook safety concerns with their generator systems. Work with your electrician and use the tips below to ensure that your property and family will be comfortable and safe no matter what.
How to Use Your Generator Safely This Winter
Because the generator is only used in rare emergencies, homeowners need to stay on top of its maintenance and be familiar with how to use it. The last thing you’ll want to deal with in the middle of a power outage is trying to read the manual by candlelight or using your phone’s remaining battery life to schedule last-minute repairs. Be proactive and get acquainted with your generator system by reading the manual or checking out the manufacturer’s website in advance.
Seek Professional Help
Schedule a maintenance inspection in autumn so an electrician has an opportunity to check your home wiring and generator function. For example, permanent generators need a transfer switch installed to prevent dangerous backfeed, while portable units will need to be plugged into the right type of outlet and connected by extension cord rather than directly to your appliances. Ask your electrician to show you how to turn on the generator in case of an emergency, so you’ll know exactly what to do and expect when the power goes out.
Prevent Carbon Monoxide Dangers
Generators produce carbon monoxide, an odorless, tasteless, and potentially deadly gas. You’ll need to take some preventive measures to protect your family from this byproduct. Begin by choosing a safe place for your generator. It shouldn’t be in a confined space. Keep it outdoors and at least 15 feet away from any windows or doors to the home. The location should be covered and elevated to keep it dry. Check your carbon monoxide detectors and replace the batteries if needed. If the detectors don’t need new batteries now, buy some spares to have on hand.
To prepare your generator for winter, contact Andy’s Electric. For more than 35 years, this contractor has served Orange County, NY, with electrical projects of all sizes and complexities. Whether you need a complete home rewire for your new generator or just want to check its operation, they’ll make sure you’re prepared for a safe and warm winter. They’ll provide a detailed quote upfront so there are no surprises with your budget. Contact them online or at (845) 416-6936 to schedule an electrician today.