A power outage is never exactly a fun event, but when it happens during freezing cold weather, it can be even more trouble. That’s because generators, like any other type of engine, can be affected by severely cold weather. Have you ever gone out to start your car on a winter day, only to find out it won’t start? No fun, is it? The same thing can happen to your generator, and when your home’s power is depending on that generator, the experience can be incredibly frustrating.
To help make sure that doesn’t happen to your generator this winter, consider buying a winterizing kit for your generator’s brand and model. Winterizing kits usually include a few critical components to help your generator adjust to cold weather so it runs without a problem:
There are two primary types of battery warmers: the kind that require you to turn them on and thermostatically controlled warmers that turn on automatically when the weather dips below a certain temperature – typically 40° F. Few people want to remember to turn on a battery warmer; as a result, some brands offer only thermostatically controlled options, which means one less thing for you to worry about. The battery warmer either wraps around the battery like a blanket or goes under your battery, turning itself on when it’s needed so you can set it and forget it.
Your generator needs oil to act as a slippery lubricant, allowing the interior machinery to work properly without overheating that comes from too much friction. But like other liquids, oil becomes sluggish and thick during cold weather, which means it provides far less lubrication – and that means extra strain on your generator, especially during cold-weather start-ups. Most generator cold weather kits also include a heater to warm the generator’s crank case, preventing the oil from becoming too thick or viscous. Be sure to check the type of oil you’re using; some heaters require 10W oil and some require 5W oil to run properly. Most heaters also require synthetic oil, so check that too. In nearly every case, you’ll need to drain and change your oil when you install the heater, so the best time to add an oil heater is during regular maintenance before the cold weather hits.
Depending on the length and severity of your winters, you may want to add additional cold weather accessories like special equipment to keep frost from building up on the air intake or alternator. A cover is another good option – not just for cold weather, but for general storage to prevent dust and debris from entering your generator.
Is your generator ready for cold weather? Give us a call at (732) 536-0444 and ask us about our generators and what cold weather accessories you need to make sure your generator won’t let you down, no matter how cold it gets this winter.