When the lights start to flicker, you typically know what that means. Chances are your power is about to go out, and in times like these, the safest solution for you and your home is none other than a whole house generator! A whole house generator is capable of keeping more than the lights on - you can operate essential appliances like CPAP machines, refrigerators, and other household items that keep your family comfortable for an extended period.
However, while a whole house generator is essential for protecting your home and loved one’s from the trials of power outages, there are a few things to keep in mind regarding the safety of generators. Whole house generators are designed to keep us secure. Still, when a generator is in use, several factors are significant regarding generator safety and operation. Today, we’re taking a closer look at the safety precautions when using a whole house generator or a portable generator so that you can have peace of mind for yourself and your loved ones.
Whole house generators are known for their ability to power most of your home, which is very reassuring when you have at-home essentials you can’t afford to lose! But, before you let your generator get to work, there are a few things to keep in mind regarding the safe operation of your generator.
Unlike portable generators, whole house generators have a permanent installation site outside your home, which helps eliminate most generator safety concerns. However, if you’re about to install a whole house generator, we have some recommendations that will help keep you, your family, and your generator safe during times of need.
- Pick the Best Installation Spot
- Because whole house generators are considerably larger than portable generators, they require more installation space. While you want your generator to be accessible to your home's electrical system, keep in mind that your generator needs plenty of space. After installation, it can run at peak performance capabilities. During generator installation, please discuss the best installation site with your generator technician. As seasoned experts, they can help you find the safest location for your generator, so you can count on the lights coming back on during the middle of a power outage.
- At Swaim Electric, we’re incredibly thorough in our generator installation services, taking the time to find the unit size and capacity that’s right for your home. Investing in a generator that’s too large could pose problems during installation. Based on your home needs, budget, and the installation site, we’ll help you find the right Generac generator for your home that keeps you and your family safe during those emergencies.
- Consider Propane vs. Natural Gas
- Both propane and natural gas are used to fuel whole house generators, depending on the type of model you select. However, natural gas generators can be connected to a pre-existing gas line running through your house, which is far more efficient and safer for your home. Accounting for propane tanks is important, given the fact they can consume more space, and it’s good to keep some moderate distance between your generator and your propane tanks.
- Both of these resources are incredibly flammable, so keep your propane tanks or natural gas connection in a secure location away from other potential risks.
- Don’t Overload Your Generator
- A generator is just like any other device - overworking it can lead to a less responsive generator or lead to malfunction. During a whole home generator’s installation, your technicians will tell you the capacity of your generator, so be sure to follow the necessary precautions when running your generator.
- Be Alert for Maintenance
- Most whole house generator models run weekly maintenance inspections to help prevent problems or potential safety hazards. However, it’s important to be aware of potential maintenance issues and schedule annual service so you can avoid malfunctions with your generator.
- At Swaim Electric, we offer annual maintenance contracts to all our customers so that we can run annual diagnostics on your generator. During this time, we can fix minor repairs and other problems during your service appointment. We offer generator maintenance in Winston-Salem, Greensboro, Climax, and Pittsboro, NC.
Wondering what generator is best for your family? Our latest guide, Best Types of Home Generators, can help you find the right generator model for powering your home!
Generator Safety Tips for Portable Generators
While whole house generators are ideal for powering your entire home, this type of power is sometimes unnecessary. If you’re looking for a smaller, portable method of backup power, a portable generator might be the right choice for you. However, portable generators tend to release a more substantial amount of carbon monoxide, which is incredibly dangerous in high quantities. While whole house generators have a designated location outside of your home, eliminating the risk of carbon monoxide, you’ll have to take additional precautions when using your portable generator.
- Keep a Safe Distance
- Because carbon monoxide poisoning is incredibly dangerous, it’s best to have your portable generator in an open garage away from family, but where it can still help power your home. Or, place it near open windows, so your home still has plenty of airflow.
- Have Enough Fuel
- The last thing anyone wants is to run out of fuel during a power outage! Plus, a generator running on low fumes can be less efficient and is more likely to have a problem during operation. Keep extra fuel stored in a safe location, away from high sources of heat.
- Keep your Generator Dry and Grounded
- Your generator operates best in a dry environment, so be sure to keep it in a safe, dry place where there are fewer risks of malfunctions. Also, grounding your generator helps prevent the risk of shocks or electrocution.
- Conduct Regular Maintenance
- Just like a whole house generator, it’s essential to conduct regular checks and inspections on your portable generator to avoid malfunctions and safety risks!
Have questions about backup generators and how they benefit you during summer? Learn more about why generators are a summertime essential in one of our favorite blog posts!
How to Keep Your Whole House Generator Secure Year Round
Overall, it’s relatively simple to care for your generator and keep it running smoothly - it’s all about taking preventive maintenance to keep things safe! If you have a whole house generator or portable generator, it’s essential to perform annual maintenance checks and inspections on your generator.
At Swaim Electric, we take the comfort and safety of our customers very seriously. We not only perform incredibly thorough generator installation services - but we also provide annual maintenance as well! If you’re experiencing a problem with your generator, our team will be there to assist in no time. We’re also very responsive to customer questions, so if you need further assistance with your generator, feel free to contact us through our website or give us a call!
Does a generator sound like the best investment for your home? If you’re still unsure, download our free guide, Benefits of Generac Generators, to learn more about how Generac can help your home!