Posts Tagged With: Generator

4 Cold Weather Basics: Winter Storm Emergencies (Part 4)

Are you ready for winter’s next storm emergency? We’re here to help you navigate all the challenges of the season with part four of a special edition on our blog, outlining the basics of cold weather preparedness. Today, we’re talking about severe winter weather readiness.

Winter storms can make the flow of every life stop short, dumping snow on roads and sidewalks over a few hours, to producing blinding blizzard conditions that last for several days. No matter where you live, you can also experience dangerously low temperatures, strong winds, ice, sleet and freezing rain during a winter storm – strong enough to knock out heat, electricity and phone service to your home, school or place of business – for days.

Winter Storm EmergenciesHome Emergency Kit

When a winter storm hits, homeowners can alleviate some of this immobilization and inconvenience by being prepared for severe winter weather in advance. Equip your home with enough emergency supplies to last four days without power or help. Include enough food and water, a first aid kit, batteries, flashlightsextension cords, battery powered clock/radio, a cellular phone, etc. Personal items such as cold-weather clothing for every family member, as well as a four-day supply of prescription medicines, blankets, toiletries and food and water for pets are also essential.

Personal Heat Supply

Make sure you have enough heating fuel in case regular fuel sources are cut off. If you have a wood stove or fireplace, store a good supply of dry, seasoned wood. Buy or rent a power generator and know how to run it safely. Read “Your First Winter Must-Have: A Portable Generator” to learn more. Rent or buy space heaters that can run by generator or an alternate power supply such as gas or propane –to heat the air in your home as well as outside, if necessary. Review our infographic, “Portable Heaters: What You Need to Know.”

Add A Humidifier

Cold, dry winter air causes a variety of conditions in your home that can promote illness, as well as destroy property. Using a humidifier can raise low humidity levels 20 to 30 percent, helping to prevent colds and flu as well as bloody noses. Air moistened with a humidifier can help soothe the throat and bronchial tubes, reduce snoring, preserve the voice and moisturize skin. Humidified air protects wood floors and furnishings from splitting or cracking and keeps indoor plants healthier.

Using a humidifier will also make your home feel warmer. Experts say air with a temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit and 10 percent humidity will feel like 67 degrees, but with 50 percent humidity, it will feel like it is 69 degrees. It will also control static electricity, with the added benefit of protecting electronic equipment from getting damaged. Humidifiers also monitor moisture levels in your home, discouraging too much moisture, which can contribute to the growth of bad organisms such as dust mites.

Expert Advice

Our expert staff is always on hand to help you with the cold weather basics of winter emergency preparedness. For all other installments in this series, check out the post about snow removal, the post about insulating your home and the post about winterizing windows, doors and vents. If you have any questions about what to choose, pricing or how-tos, don’t hesitate to contact us. Stop by our store — we’re open seven days a week.

Categories: Choosing Equipment, Featured Products, How-To's | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Your First Winter Must-Have: A Portable Generator

To celebrate winter, which begins around noon EST on December 21, we’ve put together a short list of essentials every homeowner can use to survive the season with success:

  1. Portable generators
  2. Snow blower
  3. Outdoor and indoor heaters
  4. Ice melt

In this post, we’ll explore the benefits of the portable generator.

Portable GeneratorA generator’s primary function is to provide electrical energy. For homeowners, portable generators provide emergency power when the power to your house is interrupted, during ice storms, blizzards or an extreme natural disaster like a tornado, hurricane or flood. If you live at the end of the neighborhood power grid or in an area where the power is frequently intermittent, using a generator can help save your tech devices from any power surges, keep your pipes from freezing and food from spoiling – at least for short amount of time. People also use generators for recreational purposes, bringing one along while camping, RVing, tailgating or boating.

Generators can be engine-powered, meaning they burn gasoline, diesel or propane to generate electric power, or they can use an inverter that powers the generator from an automobile battery.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Generator

1. NOISE LEVEL. A running generator can make a lot of noise. It’s a good idea to check for any noise ordinances or restrictions in your area, especially at night. Most generators are labeled with a decibel rating. For every increase in 10 decibels, the noise level is 10 times more powerful. This means that a generator running at 70 decibels is 10 times as loud as a generator that runs at 60 decibels. However, some generators are built for quiet operation and are perfect for recreational use, so if you’re thinking about using a generator for tailgating, as well as, a source of emergency power, choose a quiet generator.

2. FUEL EFFICIENCY AND RUN TIME. Look for a generator that runs on the least amount of fuel for the longest amount of time.

3. QUALITY OF POWER. To avoid shut down or damage, consistent power output is much more preferable than any fluctuations in output, both for the generator and the appliances being powered. Inverter-type generators are ideal for sensitive electronics, such as computers. Also consider using a generator with voltage regulation that is automatic (AVR), digital (DAVR) or intelligent (iAVR). Runyon carries generators made by Honda with a patented CycloConverter technology that offers the benefits of an AVR-type generator, allowing cleaner power with less weight. Honda Super-Quiet EU generators use inverter technology.

4. SIZE AND EASE OF TRANSPORT. How do you plan on moving a generator and where will you store it? Many times, you’ll benefit from compact, lightweight generators that move easily on wheels.

Tips for Operation

  • Read the owner’s manual before operating your generator.
  • Always run your generator outside and keep house doors and windows closed.
  • Allow for plenty of space around the generator for proper ventilation. Do not enclose in a box or other casing. Operate the generator under an open, canopy-like structure instead.
  • Avoid using the generator in wet conditions, such as rain or snow, or near a pool or sprinkler system.
  • Place the generator on a firm, level, dry surface.
  • Never use stale or contaminated gasoline or an oil/gas mixture. Follow manufacturer recommendations.
  • Use heavy-duty extension cords that are specifically designed for outdoor use with the generator.
  • Do not plug the generator into a wall outlet, a practice known as “backfeeding.” This is extremely dangerous and presents an electrocution risk to utility workers and neighbors served by the same utility transformer.
  • Run your generator at least once a month, so it’s ready for use when the power goes out.
  • Be sure to refuel when the engine is off and the generator is in a well-ventilated area.
  • Allow the generator to cool for 15 minutes before transporting or storing it.
  • Store your generator upright in a well-ventilated area.

Safety Considerations

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission warns that portable generators can be very hazardous when installed or used improperly. Hazards may include damaged electrical systems, carbon monoxide poisoning, electrocution and fire. If you start to feel sick, dizzy or weak in your home while using a generator, get to fresh air immediately. Do not delay, because carbon monoxide from generators can kill you in minutes. Consider installing battery-operated CO alarms or plug-in CO alarms with battery back-up on every level of your home.

About the Author

Jack Runyon is the president of Runyon Equipment Rental. He has 21 years of rental experience, as the 3rd generation son to carry on the family tradition and his grandfather’s vision. He prides the company for its devotion to ethics, quality products and customer service. Jack is known for his passion and vast expertise.

Categories: Choosing Equipment, Featured Products | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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