What would happen if a major storm knocked out your power supply? Are you and your family prepared in the event of an emergency? A standby generator is a great way to make sure that, when disaster strikes, your home will remain powered. But before purchasing and installing a generator, there are important steps that need to be taken. In this blog post, we will discuss how to properly prepare for an emergency backup generator so that it can provide you and your family with essential electricity during times of crisis.
Determine Your Power Needs
When investing in an emergency backup generator for your home, determining your home’s power needs is the most important factor. Prioritizing which items need generator power, such as medical equipment or communication devices, will help you decide on your desired generator size. Remember other necessary appliances and electronics that might require electricity during an emergency, such as preserving food in refrigerators or ensuring you’ll have lights available if the power goes out. You can hire a generator services expert to assess your needs and do the calculations to ensure you don’t go overboard or undershoot your generator size needs.
Select the Appropriate Generator
Once you understand the power requirements for your home, you can narrow down your choices significantly and begin looking into the top types of generators. Whether you choose a portable unit, an inverter generator, or a standby model, ensure that it meets your power needs and has the necessary features to keep your home running in an emergency. Consider these factors when selecting your backup generator:
Noise Level – Choose a generator with the lowest noise output for your comfort.
Fuel Source – Make sure that you have easy access to the fuel source needed for the generator.
Safety Features – Look for generators with built-in safety features, like overload protection and low oil alert systems.
Choose the Right Installation Location
Selecting the right location for an emergency backup generator in your home is paramount to optimal functioning. Ensure you’ve chosen a convenient spot yet far enough away from your living areas, such as the garage, shed, or patio. In addition, it must be somewhere with adequate ventilation and protection from wind, rain, and snow. When choosing the generator’s location, consider the accessibility to fuel and installation components such as a transfer switch, battery cable, or conduit.
For safety purposes, ensure it’s at least 10 feet from windows or doors to avoid accidental carbon monoxide poisoning in case of a malfunction. Consider these points when deciding where to put your backup generator so you can have peace of mind during emergencies. When you involve a generator installation company, they will have the experience and expertise to locate your generator in the best spot for proper functionality.
Transfer Switch Installation
A transfer switch is key for properly connecting a generator to your home’s power system. This switch allows the safe connection of your backup generator to your home’s electrical system. It prevents back-feeding, which can be dangerous and damage appliances or even cause a fire. Depending on your unit’s size and needs, you may need to install an automatic or manual transfer switch. This is part of the process where working with a professional generator services company is especially important. They’ll properly install the transfer switch per local codes and regulations.
Stock Up on Fuel
A backup generator is only useful if it has fuel to run it, so make sure you’re always stocked with the right type and enough of it. Generally speaking, portable generators tend to use gasoline or diesel fuel, while standby models typically require natural gas or propane. As a best practice, keep at least 1-2 weeks’ worth of fuel on hand in case of a prolonged emergency. This way, you’ll have plenty to keep your generator running until the power is restored.
Store the fuel in a safe, well-ventilated area away from heat sources to avoid a potential fire hazard. In addition, monitor the expiration dates of your fuel and change your supplies regularly. Using old fuel can damage your generator, so it’s best to be prepared with fresh fuel.
It’s also important to consider the logistics of refueling your backup generator. Depending on the size, you may need to manually add fuel or use an external tank that can be topped off with a hose. For large diesel standby generators, you may need to arrange fuel delivery services to ensure that your generator never runs out of fuel in an emergency.
Have a Maintenance Plan
Like any other appliance or system, a backup generator needs regular maintenance to ensure it works properly in an emergency. Depending on the type of generator, you may need to monitor the oil level, coolant levels, fuel lines, air filters, and spark plugs. Generally, you should conduct basic maintenance on your generator every 3-4 months and a professional inspection annually. Replace any broken parts immediately to avoid potential malfunctions during an emergency. Contact a certified generator technician when possible for repairs and maintenance instead of attempting DIY fixes that can potentially be dangerous.
Need Help Preparing Your Home for a Standby Generator Installation? Call Us Today
Installing a standby generator is no small feat, and it can be difficult to manage on your own. That’s why it’s best to have an experienced professional handle the job for you. Mister Sparky Generators is your go-to source for generator installation and maintenance. Our technicians are certified and highly trained to provide quality services you can count on. We offer 24/7 emergency services, and our customer service is top-notch. We can help you choose the right type, size, and placement for your home’s needs and properly install the transfer switch and fuel system.
Contact us today to get started on your standby generator installation project and have peace of mind that your home is prepared for the next power outage.
See our previous blog on this topic here.