Winter will be here before you know it. You will want to be well prepared for the coldest season of the year ahead of time so that your home will be toasty warm. However, winter storms can lead to power outages that might last for several days. The best thing you can do ahead of time in the event of such a disaster is to prepare your generator with a few winter maintenance tips.
Get a Cold Weather Kit
A cold weather kit is essential for properly maintaining your generator. In general, kits include components for both oil heaters and battery-powered portable generators. It should always include items such as replacement parts and fuel additives. However, it’s important to note that cold weather kits are tailored toward specific types of generators, so be careful in choosing the one that’s most appropriate for yours.
Get a Battery Warmer
If you have a portable generator, you will want to ensure that its battery still has juice if you have an emergency and need to use it. This is why buying a battery warmer is so important. These are controlled by a thermostat, which allows them to automatically turn on or off.
Change the Oil
One of the most important winter maintenance tips for your generator is to check the oil and change it in time for the season. You want to make sure there is enough oil to begin with, but the oil should always be changed periodically so that it can run at peak performance when you need it most. This is especially important whenever you add fuel to the generator. Make sure the oil is level and keep a few extra quarts available in case you run into an emergency.
Check Extension Cords
Carefully check the extension cords of your generator and make sure there aren’t any that are frayed, bent or generally worn out. These issues can lead to a short occurring. If you notice any of these things, you should promptly replace the cords immediately. Avoid doing so after the first snowstorm because you can run into a problem of them being sold out.
Check Replaceable Part Regularly
Take a look at all the replaceable parts on your generator, including the fuel filter, air filter and spark plug. Follow the owner’s manual that came with your generator to ensure you know what to look for. If you notice any of the components appearing worn or broken in any way, you should replace them sooner rather than later.
Run the Generator Regularly
Run your generator every few weeks to ensure that it’s functioning properly. This also helps to keep the gaskets and bearings properly lubricated so that it will work when you need it to the most. Take it outside and run it away from your house for 10 to 20 minutes. Be sure to wipe it off fully to eliminate moisture that might lead to corrosion.
These tips will ensure that your generator will be able to run smoothly throughout the coldest months of the year.