Ontario’s winter season can be deadly if you’re not prepared. Toronto winter storms, rapidly dropping temperatures and gusting winds can wreak havoc on road conditions, make it unsafe to be outdoors and lead to the occasional power outage. In addition to having an emergency kit in your vehicle to prepare for winter storms, you should also have an emergency generator so your home doesn’t lose access to heat or electricity.
Besides helping your family stay warm, a myriad of benefits comes with having a standby generator for your home. Due to the severity of the weather in Ontario’s cold winter months, losing power may quickly result in frozen water lines, broken pipes and a busted water heater. If you don’t have one already, you should install a backup power source to protect your financial investment and those you love.
This guide reviews the benefits of a home generator and ways to ensure it will be there for you when you need it most.
Understanding the Role of a Generator in Winter
Having a new generator installed gives you peace of mind that you can keep the lights and heat on regardless of how much snow and wind you get outside. If you have a standby backup generator, it can restore your power automatically during a power outage and prevent damage to your home until the power lines are repaired.
When comparing equipment, selecting a generator that turns on automatically is more effective, regardless of Ontario’s low-temperature winters. There are two standby generators to choose from: liquid-cooled and air-cooled. Liquid-cooled generators are more complex, and you may not need one for your home unless you have a larger power demand than usual. Air-cooled generators are easier to maintain but more prone to overheating if put under greater demand.
Pre-Winter Generator Maintenance
It defeats the purpose of having an emergency generator if you don’t perform annual maintenance on it. The worst time to discover you need repairs is during power outages and when dealing with cold air. This places your house at risk and makes it more difficult to perform repairs in a timely manner.
Services you should perform each fall include:
An annual inspection and generator cleaning to identify any problems
A battery check or replacement
Fuel and oil system maintenance, including oil and fuel levels
As winter approaches, don’t forget to check all these things off of your winter preparation list.
Fuel Management Strategies for Winter
Selecting your fuel and storage location is essential leading up to winter. Keeping fuel in a location where it could get cold may degrade it and make it harder for your generator to operate. You should also use the following strategies to ensure your generator starts when needed.
Install an engine block heater to keep your starting components warm.
Use a fuel stabilizer to increase your generator’s life and make it easier for the fuel to ignite.
Perform a visual inspection of your generator ahead of any incoming winter storms.
Handling Common Winter-related Generator Problems
Even if you schedule a test and routine maintenance, your generator may break down. Common issues include:
Running out of gas for your generator due to poor planning
Clogged or worn filters
Overloaded generator due to running too many appliances
Generator not starting due to a faulty battery or starter system
Needing to replace the unit due to wear and tear
In an emergency, it’s recommended to stay warm with neighbours while calling someone to repair your unit.
Professional Maintenance Services: Finding the Right Help
Whether you’re preparing for Ontario’s winter season or need emergency maintenance during a storm, it’s important to seek professional help when an issue is beyond your knowledge or skill level. Professionals know how to identify problems quickly and have the tools needed to get the job done right away.
Time is of the essence if you lose your access to backup power during the Toronto winter months. Calling for professional help can protect your home and family from the cold in these situations.
Knowing which professional to call is also important, so you should research beforehand. The best professionals have years of experience installing and servicing generators and can show reviews from other satisfied customers.
Emergency Preparedness: Planning for the Unexpected | Plan With the Generator Experts
Platinum Electrical Contractors can help you prepare for the snow and cold. Installing a home generator is the first step in protecting your home, but you shouldn’t stop there. We can help you make sure you’re not forgetting any essential items on your winter checklist as you prepare for the months ahead.
Call us now at 1-844-443-6776 or fill out our contact form to get a quote so we can let you know how we can keep your family safe. Learn more about our service areas here.