Where: Chicago’s Southland and Indiana’s Region Area
When: Almost anytime
What: Watching storm clouds move in
Who: A person who purchased a generator
Right on schedule, as predicted by the TV forecasters, the storms roll in. Thunder. Lightning. Wind. Snow. Ice. Then the power outage at your home in Steger, IL or Western Indiana. You confidently head for the generator, flip a few switches and try to start it. Hold on, why won’t it start?
Merts Heating and Air Conditioning is a big believer in the value of having a standby generator whether it’s a true backup generator to power the entire house or a portable generator to operate key circuits and appliances. However, a generator that won’t start or work properly is of little value. So let’s check out some generator tips.
Make Sure You Have A Warranty
A quality generator can last a long time after the manufacturer’s warranty expires. It is a complicated piece of equipment and an extended warranty can be a lifesaver to prevent expensive repairs.
Run The Generator Regularly
Hopefully, you are not having power outages on a regular basis, but that means you are not using the generator. It needs to be started at least once every 3 months. Run it for about 30 minutes to charge the battery.
Protect Your Generator
If your generator is outside, be sure it is covered and protected from the elements. Rain can damage the electrical components. Most backup (whole house) generators are designed to withstand rain and snow. Portable generators not so much. If you can’t store it inside, consider building a generator garage (think of it as a doghouse).
Electrical Cords Matter
When using a portable generator make sure to use heavy duty cords of the correct size. Using light gauge cords increases the draw on the generator and can lead to premature burn-out.
Keep The Gas Tank Filled
Running out of gas while the generator is under load (being used to power your house) can damage the magnetic field which generates the electricity.
Keep Oil & Filters On Hand
The last thing you want to do during a power outage is to visit the store because you need to add oil to the engine. It’s a good idea to keep all needed supplies handy. NOTE: Not all portable generator engines will have an oil filter but they will all have air filters that need to be cleaned or replaced regularly. Part of this routine should include regular generator engine tune-ups.
If you buy a generator rated for 8,000 watts and try to power devices requiring 10,000 watts, you’re going to have a problem. The life of the generator will be greatly shortened and you could damage appliances because there’s not enough “juice” available. It’s critical to match the generator output to the devices you want to power. If you need expert advice to make that decision, Merts is always here to help.
Delivering quality & honesty since 1952
Merts Heating & Air Conditioning has been making this pledge to our customers in the Chicago’s Southland and Indiana’s Region Area for more than six decades. If you want the peace of mind that comes with a backup generator call now to learn more. Be sure to like and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.