Feb 1, 2019

7 Tips to Maximize the Use of Your Generator

Using an emergency generator sounds like a self-explanatory task, but this is not the case. While it's true that many generators are built to be intuitive, there are still some ways you can be smarter about using your generator efficiently and properly. Generators don't last forever, meaning that you can save money by knowing how to conserve resources and not put strain on your device.

At Generatorplace, we understand that knowing the different ways to use your generator and what it's specifically good for can lead you to not only have your generator for longer, but also get the most out of it. To help you understand how to most efficiently use your generator, in this article we will highlight 7 Tips to Maximize the Use of Your Generator.
So, without further ado, let's get right into it:

     #1. Own a Generator With Local Service: Being able to find a generator that is a great value for your money is already hard enough, but when doing that too many people forget something: having a generator with local service. By this, we mean finding a generator that local stores will be able to service in the event of anything going wrong. It can certainly be attractive to find that one special deal online, but often it's at the cost of having to travel far to an expensive place to get it serviced. Though you might be spending more money initially, having a generator that can be serviced locally will save you money in the long run. This also means that if anything is to happen during an emergency situation, you won't have to go far to get help.
     #2. Keep Your Generator at a Distance: Emergency Generators are devices that give off some toxic fumes, such as carbon monoxide. Making sure that you have a generator that works is incredibly important, but you should also make sure that it doesn't work too well close to your house. Carbon Monoxide can be incredibly harmful to humans, potentially being the cause of blackouts and (in extreme cases) even death. The most frightening part about the mysterious gas? It can't be seen nor smelled, so you won't be able to know if it's present or not. This doesn't necessarily mean that running a generator is a huge risk, but it's important to follow the instructions to make sure no carbon monoxide gets into your house. To stay safe, make sure that your generator is 10 feet away from your house so that the fumes don't go enter into enclosed spaces.
     #3. Have Spare Oil and Filters: Even if you're using a new generator, having spare oil and filters is essential to making sure that you have enough materials necessary to use your generator continually. This is because that generators typically need their oil changed every 50 or 60 hours, though it's worth noting that new generators will need to have their oil changed after the first 25 hours or usage. To stay prepared in the event of a storm and not have to adhere to expensive urgent prices, make sure to have your oil and filters ahead of time so you're prepared.
     #4. Always Cool Your Engine Before Refilling: If you're hoping to have quick changes while refilling your generator, it's important to note that you should be mindful of the generator's temperature before making the change. This is because that generators that are re-filled while still hot can potentially start a huge fire which will be further exacerbated by you holding a can of gas. It's best to avoid a potential disaster by making sure your machine cools down entirely before you re-fill it. Though it'll take a bit of time, it will save you from some serious damage and potentially fatal consequences!
     #5. Be Wary of Backfeeding: Though many people claim that backfeeding (running your generator into your house's wiring system using an extension), this practice is highly illegal. The reason why it is illegal is that it poses a serious threat, accounting for many generator-related deaths each year. This is because someone who comes in contact with a flimsy, standard extension cable can come directly in contact with the electricity itself, causing severe and often fatal shocks. If you really do want to run something similar to extension cords around your house, it's better to invest in a transfer switch to be installed by an electrician. This way, you'll know that you're doing the right thing while also being safe about it.
     #6. Standby Generators Are More Efficient: Instead of having to get up and configure your generator whenever the power goes out, a Standby Generator will connect directly to your power system and turn on immediately after the power has gone out. Though they technically run more expensive than your standard portable generator, the amount of costs to run the latter with pricey extension cords and other configurations might make it more efficient to save yourself the time and expenses with a Standby Generator. They can also be easily installed by an electrician, saving you trouble and a complicated installation.
     #7. Keep Track of Total Harmonic Distortion: Total Harmonic Distortion (THD) is how you can measure the quality of the electricity coming from your generator. Why does this matter? This is important because lower quality generators can output some dirty amount of electricity, subsequently harming (or even destroying) the technology you're powering such as TVs and computer chargers. Knowing the THD of your device is essential to knowing which devices it will work well with—educate yourself on what your specific devices require and be sure to look for a generator that has a THD of under 5%, to be safe.

What did you think of our 7 tips? Do you have any personal favorites? Any new techniques you can't wait to try? Let us know what you think!

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