There’s never a good time to go without power at home. Portable generators might be enough for tailgating or camping, but a bigger, stationary generator is necessary to power your entire home. If you have one, then you know it’s useful in keeping your home safe and comfortable during severe weather. These workhorses can keep the electricity going for a long time, but they do need to be maintained on a regular basis. As with most machines, regular service calls keep your home generator in prime working condition so you can rely on it when you need to. One question you might have, however, is how often you should have someone come out and service your home generator.
When Should You Schedule Service for Your Home’s Generator?
A general rule of thumb for most home generators is that they need annual inspections and maintenance from service technicians. If it’s been at least a year since your last service call, then you should probably arrange for one as quickly as you can. However, this is a guideline. Your actual need for service calls might be more or less frequent.
Consult the manufacturer or your owner’s manual for specific recommendations for your particular generator. There are some models that only require service calls every two, three, or four years. Then again, that might be assuming those generators aren’t being used much. For instance, some generators need maintenance intervals after a certain number of hours of operation, be it 200 or 400. This isn’t very different from cars that need oil changes after either 3,000 miles or three months, whichever comes first. It’s just a matter of miles or time.
What Your Professional Will Do
It’s best to have a professional handle the maintenance of your generator. Even though some of the tasks could be DIY projects, it’s not likely going to be all of them. Also, since the technicians make these calls on a regular basis, they’ll be much better and faster at performing all the steps. Certain models might have warranties that would be voided without professional maintenance, as well.
Your technician is likely to have a substantial checklist of things to go through, but several steps are common to many generators. For starters, they’ll check the coolant and oil levels. If these get low, they can be responsible for your generator overheating, sputtering, or just failing completely. They’ll check the reservoirs and add more liquids as necessary.
They’ll also make sure your generator has enough operating room. They might advise you on things you need to do to keep debris away from the generator. Leaves might get into the vents and disrupt internal operations. Bushes and tree limbs need to be cut back away from your generator, and you need to clear off any winter snow. Your technician will make sure no rodents are living in the generator.
You should probably check your filter once a month. Your technician will also check it. Clean filters help generators run better, so they need to be free of grime, dust, and other debris. If you actually use your generator on a regular basis, then you need to be sure to do this often.
The technician should also clean the starting battery. The nodes need to be free of corrosion in order to ensure optimal operations. Your technician will also likely test the generator to make sure it kicks in when it’s supposed to. Fresh gas or fuel is the best thing to use whenever this testing happens since older fuel might get stagnant and deteriorate inside the system. If you’re not sure how much old fuel is still in there, and your technician can’t tell, they might just run the generator until it burns off all of the older fuel.
Your maintenance call might conclude with the technician touching up any chipped paint that they find on the unit. This can prevent the parts from corroding. They might also install base fascia to keep critters out of your generator.
Remember Why You Have a Home Generator
Sometimes, it can be hard to remember why you have a generator. The maintenance and service requirements aren’t much, but they do take some effort. Since generators are really most useful in a home when the power goes out, you hopefully don’t need yours that often. Still, that might make it hard to remember the benefits of having one in the first place.
Reliability is the primary benefit. If the local power grid fails you for any reason, then you can keep enjoying a steady supply of electricity at home. Your lights will stay on, and your food will remain chilled. Your family can run whatever appliances you need to stay healthy during a grid outage.
If you have a sump pump in your basement or crawlspace, then a generator can be truly beneficial. Most power outages in your local grid are likely to happen due to the very same storms that flood your lowest levels at home. A generator can keep your basement from getting swamped.
Most generators are very convenient to use. You can probably set yours up to kick in automatically when the power goes out. In fact, many will start supplying electricity in just a few milliseconds. People in your home might not even notice the actual transfer. When the grid power comes back on, your generator will return to standby mode and wait for the next outage.
That automation can be very handy when you’re not home to activate the generator. If the power goes out while you’re somewhere else, it can keep your home powered up. Temperature-sensitive possessions remain safe, and your pets will get to stay comfortable and healthy while you’re away.
A home generator can also add value to your property. It’s not something all potential homebuyers are looking for, but they’re likely to appreciate the inclusion of such a feature once they get familiar with it.
All of these benefits really just boil down to peace of mind. Having a whole-home generator around is calming, even if you don’t use it all that often. However, knowing the generator is there is one thing, and knowing it will run when you need it is another. Regular maintenance and upkeep are necessary to maintain confidence in your generator’s ability to serve your home when it’s necessary.
Let Experienced Professionals Handle the Work
Whether you use your generator on a regular basis or rarely have any power outages, you still need to have annual maintenance by a licensed professional. They can get under the hood and take an intensive look at belts, fans, oil filters, spark plugs, and other parts that can benefit from a trained eye. During the visit, they’ll clean, replace, and optimize everything so that you know your generator is ready to go when you need it. If you live in the Texas communities of Crandall, Kaufman, or the surrounding areas, call Accurate Home Services for generator services. Contact the professionals at Accurate Home Services for all your home’s heating, electrical, air conditioning, and indoor air quality services.