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Preparing Your Home for Winter: Do You Need a Standby Generator?

Winter may well feel like a dim and distant memory, but it is one of those things that will creep up on you before you know it. There is little worse than waking up in the mornings to a freezing cold house, with no power and realising that due to the cold wintery conditions, you have a power out.

So how can you stop this from happening and make sure that your days continue to run smoothly even in the coldest of days? A good option for you could be a standby generator!

What Is A Standby Generator?

Think of a generator like your own personal engine. It is a stand-alone unit that you can have in your garage or outside that can produce electricity. A generator will use fuel such as petrol to power your house in the event of a power out, which are common in winter due to adverse conditions.

You can have them set away from your property and in the event of a power out, get it going yourself. Or another option is having it wired in by a professional, so that if the power does go out, you won’t even notice the generator kicking in and taking over! Most average homes can be run off a generator that produces 3000 to 6500 watts comfortably. This will keep your food cold, portable heaters on and phones charged. You can read more about standby generators here

How Much Can A Standby Generator Power?

Well, like this is very much like the question of how long is a piece of string. You can buy generators in an array of sizes and specifications, but as we are looking at ones to power your house, they will create enough energy to power your basic your essential services in a power out.

By essential services, we mean lighting, TV, fridges, freezers and portable heaters! They give you enough power to continue living day to day until the power comes back on!

Why Do I Need A Standby Generator?

You may think that a power outage may not be too hard to live through, as long as you keep the fridge closed and be diligent, you will survive until the national grid get it up and running again. However, lack of power can mean that water stops coming into your home and the pipes can freeze (think of your washing machine, dishwasher and immersion heater).

When the water is turned back on again, your home is at risk of flooded if no one is there to shut off the water or if the pipes have burst and no one has noticed.

How Do I Prepare My Generator For Winter?

With mundane tasks it may seem easy to put them off and hope that it will be ok. It may also be easy to think that your trusty generator will start no matter what. Sadly, this isn’t the case, anything mechanical is always more difficult to start when it is freezing cold outside and the last thing you want to happen is to suffer a power outage and realise that your generator isn’t ticking over.

You can mitigate this by preparing your standby generator in the summer. Check all your fluid levels and they look particularly dirty, set about changing them. Run the generator and make sure that all the parts are moving correctly, that it is making the correct sounds and doesn’t cut out, if you are facing mechanical problems, best to get them sorted now than when it is freezing cold!

Start your generator once a week every week and let it run for a few minutes, this way you can be sure it will start when winter hits. Always keep fuel on hand! Generators need fuel to run, make sure that you have bought enough prior to the start of winter to keep you going in the event of a long power outage.

There would be nothing worse than a power cut occurring and then realising that you have no fuel to start the generator and keep your house lit.

Final thoughts

They may well seem like a big investment but having a standby generator can help keep you and your house warm and safe during the cold winter months. Having one will alleviate any anxiety over potential outtages and they will also protect your home from unseen damage such as frozen pipes.

Purchase a generator that has a minimum output of 3000 watts and make sure to properly maintain it and give it a good overhaul in fall to prepare it for winter! Keep fuel on hand to make sure that no matter what your generator will run! Without doubt, standby generators are one of the best investments you can make for your home, but make sure you prepare it in fall so that it will work in winter!

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