Will my Standby Generator Work During the Winter?

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Don’t be left in the cold this winter! Keep reading to learn how to keep your standby generator running during cold winter months.

A standby generator is meant to keep your home or business running smoothly when you encounter a power outage in your area. Once installed, standby generators are permanent and powered by either natural gas or a propane tank. They also have the ability to continually run for days running all of your appliances, lighting, and heating or cooling for your home.

During the winter months, standby generators need proper maintenance and grooming in order to operate properly and efficiently. Leaves, sub-freezing temperatures, snow, and ice can all damage your standby generator if not properly maintained and can prevent your standby generator from starting and running during a winter power outage.

Tips to Protect Your Standby Generator During the Winter

In order to ensure your standby generator turns on and runs properly during the winter, we suggest the following tips:

Exercise Your Standby Generator

Just like letting your car run for a few minutes during winter, a standby generator needs to be exercised or run for approximately 10 minutes during long periods of inactivity during cold temperatures. Without this exercise your standby generator may not automatically turn on or operate correctly in temperatures lower than 40 degrees Fahrenheit. To prevent your generator from not turning on when you need it most, let it run for approximately 10 minutes, once per week. Doing so lubricates all moving parts and maintains important seals within your generator.

Clear the Area Around Your Standby Generator

Your standby generator contains important vents on its cabinet exterior to properly ventilate. During the winter, it is vital to clear the area around your generator of all leaves, snow, and other debris to allow your generator to breathe. It is also important to make sure all leaves, snow, and debris are not directly covering any vents on your generator cabinet.

Make a Path to Easily Access Your Standby Generator

Shovel or snow blow a path to your standby generator and keep it clear! in order to easily access and quickly troubleshoot during the winter. This also makes it easier for your local generator technician to perform any repairs, maintenance, or emergency service!

We also recommend clearing a path from your standby generator to its inlet plug located on the exterior of your home for easy access.

Buy a Cold Weather Kit

Did you know that you can buy a cold weather kit to help your standby generator run more efficiently during the winter time? A cold weather kit from GENERAC ® typically includes:

  • Controlled battery warmers – when exposed to cold temperatures batteries lose lifespan and do not operate as efficient as in warm temperatures. A controlled battery warmer automatically keeps your battery warm in temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Crank case heater a crank case heater will prevent your oil from coagulating in sub-freezing temperatures, allowing your standby generator to operate smoothly in cold temperatures.
  • SAE 5W-30 motor oil SAE 5W-30 motor oil helps your standby generator start more easily during the winter months than other generator oil.

Standby Generator Services Offered by American Mechanical

American Mechanical is a GENERAC ® distributor and provides the following standby generator services in the Virginia Beach, VA area:

Contact us today to schedule generator service from American Mechanical, or to learn about how you can save with our annual Generator Maintenance Service Plan.

Click here for more information on GENERAC ® generators.