Written on: August 7, 2023
You probably don’t think about your standby generator very often—and that’s the idea. You hope you don’t ever need it, but when you do, you want to know it will switch on to keep your lights and appliances running and your family comfortable and safe. That’s why it’s important to give your generator regular maintenance. What that maintenance entails—and how often you need to perform it—depends on what type of generator you’re using.
The general rule for a propane-powered standby generator is to perform a tune-up every two to four years, or after every 200 to 400 hours of use. So, if you haven’t experienced an outage in a couple years and you haven’t changed the oil in your generator, you should put that at the top of your to-do list.
Generally, maintenance entails changing the oil (be sure you follow manufacturers’ specifications for the type of oil), changing or cleaning filters and spark plugs, checking battery levels. Touching up chipped paint can help protect against corrosion. You also want to make sure small animals haven’t created a nest underneath the unit. (Ask your dealer about installing a barrier to help prevent critters from moving in.) A confident DIY-er can handle most of the tasks, but you may want to call a pro.
A portable generator requires a little more frequent attention. You should change the oil and change the spark plug every year, or after every 100 hours of use. For every 200 hours of operation, you should clean or change the air filters, and you need to check the oil level before each use.
Here in the Hudson Valley, a bad thunderstorm can down lines and knock out electricity, and a winter storm can leave you without power for days. The flooding in our area last month took extreme weather to a new level for our area. It’s more important than ever to be prepared. A backup propane generator comes on within seconds of a power failure to keep your lights on and your refrigerator, furnace and a/c running until the utilities get the lines back up. It will also keep security systems on—giving you peace of mind, especially if the power fails while you’re away.
Propane generators are quiet, extremely efficient and clean-burning, with low emissions, plus, they are less expensive (and less stinky) to run than gas-powered options.
There are a wide variety of size options, from “essential power” models that will power key equipment such as your refrigerator, heat, and lights, to true whole-house generators that can manage the demands of most extra-large homes, even during extended outages. Downey sells and installs Generac generators, and our pros can answer all your questions and help asses your needs to make sure you get the right size and type of generator for your home and your needs.
Contact us today for more information about how a generator can help protect your home—and even help lower your insurance costs!