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Basics of Home Generators For Emergency Backup Power

We are coming out of a record-breaking month for snowfall in Arkansas. While many people enjoyed the snow days, more than 14,000 Arkansas residents were without power. Temperatures dropped down below zero and families were left without heat and nowhere to turn. Searching for emergency power whenever you are in the middle of a power outage is scary. Generators begin to sell out very quickly and technicians are tied up with house calls for repairs and maintenance. Don’t let disaster strike while you are not prepared.

Backup Power

Whenever a power outage strikes, you need electricity to be restored to your home or business. But how do you choose what generator you need?

Standby Generators

A great option for your home or business during power outages is a standby generator. Standby generators automatically turn on whenever a power outage is detected. As soon as the power outage is over, your standby generator will switch off. Standby generators are a popular choice among Northside Power customers because whether you are home or out of town, your home will be covered. 

Portable Generators

Portable generators are a popular choice for power outages, but they do have to be set up and turned on by the owner. Portable generators have to be refueled as well. They typically run on gasoline, so be sure to have fuel at all times.

Installing Your Generator

Whenever you get a generator, some inspections need to be done and permits need to be signed. You will want to call in a professional to be sure that the installation is done safely and efficiently. Plumbing is required on the gas lines to set up your standby generator. And not every gas line is capable of supplying enough gas pressure to power up a generator.

Your portable generator will come with an owner’s manual that you should familiarize yourself with so you know how to power it on whenever an outage strikes. The Northside Power technicians can walk you through how to start your portable generator as well.

Generator Power 

Some generators will only power up a few appliances, while other generators will supply power to your entire home or business. Depending on what you need to power with your generator, Northside Power can help you decide what size generator you need.

If you need a generator that can power up a few appliances in your home, you should consider looking into air-cooled generators. However, if you need the power to run an entire business during a power outage, we recommend looking into a liquid-cooled generator. Northside Power can run a power audit to help you determine what size generator you are in need of.

Maintenance on Your Generator

Like all machines and tools, regular maintenance has to be done to be sure that your home generator is working correctly. So just how often should you have to do maintenance on your generator? At Northside Power we recommend that you have it serviced once a year. Your owner’s manual will have a maintenance schedule inside of it to keep you on track and on top of your services.

You should always keep your maintenance kit handy in case a quick maintenance routine needs to be done. 

With your standby generator, check your fuel supply every 24 hours that it is running. And for your portable generator, the oil needs to be checked every time you put fuel into it. And just like you would with your vehicle, be sure to check the coolant levels and clean your valves.

Oil filters need to be changed after 100 hours of use for portable generators and 200 hours of use for standby generators. And spark plugs last about 400 hours.

As long as you take care of your generator, they will last for a long time, keeping your home or business powered on for thousands of hours. Next time you are warm and dry during a winter storm, with your family you will be grateful for your backup power. Give Northside Power a call today to discuss your generator needs.