If you already have a generator installed for your home or business, that’s a very wise decision. Whether you have a built-in standby generator or a portable one, generators have proven to be a smart investment. Our lives are literally powered by electricity, and the Global Covid-19 Pandemic has made us even more dependent on it. Without electricity, you’d be stuck figuring out how to get back online or rushing to a place with working electricity. Either way, you’ll be going through a confusing, panicky situation.
With a generator ready to power your place up, you can easily avoid such situations. In fact, it’s probably exactly why you got a generator in the first place.
Unfortunately, even the best generators can’t last forever. Like any other appliance, you are going to have to upgrade your generator at some point. However, the reasons for that can be several. If you’re wondering when it’s a good time to replace your generator, here are a few things to look for that can help you make an informed decision.
Your Generator Is Old
Most generators are rated to offer between 1000-10,000 hours of operation, depending on different factors such as manufacturer, individual specifications and regular maintenance.
When you buy a generator, its expected lifespan is always mentioned. You can check the owner’s manual for more information. If you’ve misplaced your manual (it’s okay, we’ve all been there), you can find your generator’s model number/serial number and Google the information.
Starting the Generator is a Process
When a generator starts to wear out, the starter is usually the first thing that is impacted. If you’ve invested in a system where the generator is supposed to automatically power up when the electricity goes out, it doesn’t make sense for you to have to go out and go through the cumbersome process of manually starting it up.
Problems with the starter don’t happen at once. Slowly, you’ll notice that as time passes, your generator takes longer to start up, experiencing delays and hiccups. If this happens rarely, your generator might be in need of a simple fix. However, if this is a constant problem, your generator might be asking for a replacement.
Fuel Costs Are Increasing
Generators can have different fuel sources, ranging from gasoline, propane and natural gas. As they age, a generator’s mechanical components start to wear down. You may notice things like belts and gears becoming stubborn and no longer running as smoothly as they used to.
As a result, generators lose their overall efficiency. You’ll find yourself refilling the generator’s fuel much more frequently. Soon enough, the fuel costs will start piling up.
This is when you should call in a professional to take a look at your generator. The idea is to see if the fuel, repairing, and maintenance costs outweigh the cost of replacing your generator. If that’s the case, it’s time to hit the market, folks.
Your Generator is Becoming Unreliable
A good generator guarantees smooth, consistent power to your home. So, naturally, you expect exactly that. If you start noticing irregularities in your generator’s performance, that’s a direct signal that your generator’s losing its reliability. You may experience power flickers despite using the same appliances and devices that you always have.
Look closely at high-power consumption appliances, such as stoves and refrigerators. If adequate power is not delivered, such appliances will frequently cut in and out. Not only is this quite dangerous, but this can also damage your appliances. They’re not designed to deal with sudden, frequent power cuts, which can damage the electrical and mechanical components of major appliances.
An Increase in Pollution and Carbon Monoxide Emission
Okay, so it’s normal for a generator to emit some level of carbon monoxide. That is why it is recommended to place generators outside of the home so carbon monoxide can be dispelled into the atmosphere harmlessly.
It’s a smart idea to track your generator’s carbon monoxide levels over time. If you see an increase in the levels, it’s a sign that your generator’s performance has diminished and more gases are being released with its exhaust.
In fact, very high levels of carbon monoxide mean that your generator’s breathing its last, and it is posing a danger for you and those around you, including pets and wildlife. While we’re on the topic, we’d like to highlight how it’s necessary you don’t spend too much time around an active generator, and how a generator should NEVER be run inside any enclosed spaces.
The Generator Needs Regular Repairs
This one’s quite obvious. Any electronic appliance that seems to need repairs way too frequently is practically begging to be put down.
Don’t get us wrong; it’s not uncommon for generators to undergo regular maintenance. In fact, it’s actually encouraged. But if you see that your generator gives out every time you try to use it, then something seems to be wrong.
It might come to a point where the generator repairs end up costing way more than the generator’s worth over time, particularly if the warranty period has ended. In cases like these, switching to a new generator is actually a cost-effective solution.
Your Demand is Increasing
This one doesn’t come to mind, but it’s actually a common one. Perhaps at the time of purchase, your requirements for the generator were relatively less; a few basic things like the stove, perhaps the fridge or limited lighting. Perhaps you bought the generator when you were just a couple.
Add two, or maybe even more, kids to the equation and you’ll realize that your power usage will increase dramatically. You’ll need to cater to more emergency situations, for instance needing more light or needing to use certain appliances – such as laptops if the power outage happens during an important class.
Let’s say you’re moving to a new home, one that’s larger than your current one. This actually may make it impossible for you to use your old generator properly. For instance, you might have a window AC unit at your current home and the new home comes with central air conditioning. Chances are that your old generator won’t have enough power to keep your central A/C system going.
So basically, there are some major life events that will require you to upgrade your generator and go for one that’s bigger in size, power, and tank size.
Know When to Replace Your Generator and Enjoy Life!
Whether you need a generator for essentials such as lights and air conditioning during a power outage, or as a backup in hospitals, or simply to carry with you when you’re touring the country in your RV, it’s absolutely necessary to have a generator that you can rely on. If your generator breaks down on you when you need it most, then there’s no point in having one.
This is exactly why you should keep an eye out for any of the signs we talked about and replace your generator before it becomes too late. Regular maintenance can help you do that. This is why we, at All American Electric, offer 24/7 support and reliable maintenance services. If you’re due for a new generator, our team will help inform you and guide you into taking the next step forward. A small investment in a new generator can be worth it, and All American Electric will be there to make sure you choose the one that suits your needs best!