As we brace ourselves for winter, people are keeping an eye on the weather and wondering whether they will have to use their generators this year. If you have a standby generator, you don’t have too much to worry about if you have an electrician check on it regularly. But what if you use a portable generator when the power goes out? Many homeowners in NH have a generator that they use to keep their essential appliances and systems running.
If you use a portable generator, here are some things to keep in mind so that it’s ready to use when the power goes out.
Keep it far enough away from the house.
Running your generator too close to your house puts your family at risk for carbon monoxide poisoning. Never run your generator under your eaves or in your garage—even with the door open. Carbon monoxide is odorless and can easily enter your home if the generator is too close. You should position your generator on a flat surface at least 20 feet from your house. You should also position it so the exhaust is directed away from your windows and doors.
Pay attention to your fuel.
Running your generator on stale fuel can damage it and prevent it from starting. Always put a stabilizer in your fuel to keep it from breaking down when your generator is not in use. While the generator is running, you also want to keep an eye on the fuel level. Running out of gas isn’t just inconvenient, it can damage the generator coils. Generally, that is a relatively inexpensive repair, but it will be tough to get your generator serviced in NH after a big storm. To avoid this, refuel the generator when the tank gets low. Always let the generator cool down before you refill it. If you spill gas on a hot generator it can ignite.
Consult an electrician to safely use your NH generator.
If your portable generator is a new addition to your winter preparedness, you should always consult an electrician before using it. Have an electrician install a transfer switch to easily switch to generated electricity when the power goes out. Not sure who to call? Our team at Chamberlin Electric are the NH generator experts.