With colder months and winter weather looming, many will begin preparing for possible hazardous situations that could leave them in the dark, literally. To prevent shivering situations, a portable generator can come in handy and keep the lights on when it matters the most.

What generator will I need?

To determine the right generator size to buy, some calculations should be done. A generator’s wattage is supposed to be larger than all of the loads plugging into it. Therefore, it is important to know what appliances you will be running from a generator. The combined wattage of the appliances should be calculated in order to determine what generator size will be needed. Most dealers will be able to assist with this if you don’t want to crunch the numbers yourself.

Using a generator at home

When using a generator at home, there are a few things to keep in mind:

Portable generators should not be used within a house or garage. These appliances produce carbon monoxide, which is odorless and colorless, but is also deadly, even when in a well-ventilated area or near a window. A general rule of thumb is to keep generators at least 10 feet from your home.

If the generator is equipped with an electric start, make sure that the battery is charged ahead of time and keep a supply of fresh gasoline available. Perform a dry run to test your generator before you actually need it to make sure you are familiar with how to operate it. When storing, make sure that the generator has had time to cool off. Keep the appliance covered and in a convenient location for easy access when needed.

Already have a generator and getting it ready for the coldest winter nights? Be sure to check the tires.