If you are using a portable generator to provide backup power during a blackout, the chances are that you will be powering a select number of appliances as well as other devices while others remain dark. In this situation there are three essential steps to take to stay safe and protect the appliances that are not hooked up to your generator.
1) Unplug the appliances and devices that aren’t being powered by your portable generator – If the power returns with a burst, anything that is plugged in while being in the “on” position runs the risk of being damaged.
2) Minimize the amount of work that your refrigerator has to do to keep food cold – Of all the appliances that will be hooked up to your portable generator during a power outage, your refrigerator will require the most amount of wattage while burning the most amount of fuel in your generator’s tank. By keeping your refrigerator and freezer doors closed you’ll be able to minimize the energy that is required to keep perishables at safe temperatures and preserve your generator’s fuel at the same time.
3) Insulate your home if temperatures are hitting extremes – If temperatures are hitting highs close the shades on windows where sun can shine in the home. If it’s sub-freezing outside, block drafts between doors and the threshold as well as windows that can’t be tightly sealed.
Depending on specific circumstances, there is a wide variety of steps that can be taken when using a portable generator for backup power. The steps mentioned above, however, will apply to most situations and will keep you safe while maximizing the performance of your generator.