For many, a generator is the most practical option to supplement your solar power system instead of hooking up to traditional energy supplies. For others, you may simply have one as a backup for those times when the power goes out at your house or business. Both are viable reasons to have one, but can you run a generator overnight?
Experts across the globe all agree that a generator can be run all night. Each specific generator can run for 8, 10, or 12 hours so running overnight will not be a problem. There is a chance that the generator will stop before it can be reset, but that is what an alarm is for.
The great thing about the generators being produced today is that they will shut off automatically when they run out of fuel. This means that no damage will be done to the unit, which would have cost you some serious cash to repair. You need to be aware of some things, so read on to find out what you need to watch for and what you need to do to ensure your safety.
Running A Generator Overnight
There are many different reasons why you would want to run a generator all night long. If you have a bigger unit that runs for up to 12 hours, there will not be any issues with it turning off before you get out of bed. If the fuel-powered power-producing unit is a smaller version, an alarm would need to be set if you need it to continue working.
Let’s look at some drawbacks of running it all night and see if you can make a few adjustments to ensure your safety and offer security to the rest of your family.
Shutting Off While Still Sleeping
Depending upon the time of the year and location, the generator may be the only thing keeping you alive. Many homes that have these units installed not only rely on them in emergency situations, but they are the main backup power plants for their primary sources of energy. If the generator shuts off at night while you are still sleeping, it could negatively affect several things in your home.
- Heat –If the generator stops running at night, you could catch a cold from the lack of warmth. There is also a possibility of getting frostbite on some, or all, of your limbs. Last but not least, you could freeze to death without even knowing you were cold.
- Cold – If you live in a hot area of the world, you rely on cooling systems to keep you from getting heat stroke. The heat can affect older adults even more dramatically, leading to their demise in some instances.
- Security Systems – Security systems today are complex units that rely on the internet, and a power supply, to work correctly. A generator that shuts off during the night can stall the system, leaving the house open to criminal attacks.
The generator may be your first line of defense against the weather and other people, or it may be the backup. The main point is that if the generator’s model is not designed for prolonged usage, you will need to set the alarm to remind you when it needs to be fueled up.
Reduction Of The Generators Life
Generators can be expensive pieces of equipment. Ones that you will not want to have to repair shortly after purchasing. It is said that after 8 hours of constant running, the generator will start showing excessive wear and tear.
The reason for this is the heat that is generated internally. The hotter the components get, the faster they break down and stop working. Plus, anything that overheats can be a fire hazard in itself. The point is that using a generator overnight can cause premature wear and tear on the unit, even the bigger ones designed for constant use.
Possibility Of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Using portable generators is one of the most significant causes of carbon monoxide poisoning. These units can put off as much poisonous gas as 450 cars, which is substantial when you think about it. Not only can you poison yourself, but you can damage the environment around you.
This does not mean that you should not run the generator at night. It just means that you need to take a few precautions to improve the safety and well-being of you and the other occupants in the house.
- Carbon Monoxide Detector – Install a carbon monoxide detector in every room close to the generator and at random places throughout the home or RV.
- Generator Placement – You should not ever have the generator inside with you. Place it at least 20 feet away from your residence.
- Built-In Detector – Many newer models have carbon monoxide detectors on them. They work by triggering an automatic shut-off of the generator if the gases build up to a dangerous level.
The importance of preventing carbon monoxide poisoning cannot be stressed enough. It is easy to forget when you are trying to keep warm, especially when newer units will kick off when the levels get too high in an enclosed area. Take your time to ensure your safety and the health of your loved ones.
One of the most significant issues you will have to deal with is the noise they make, even the ones designed to be quieter. It will make it hard for you to get any rest, and your neighbors will not appreciate the sleepless night they end up with.
Many areas have a noise pollution ordinance that may come into play when you run a generator all night. If this is the case, or if you simply want to decrease the noise, place the generator inside an enclosed shed that has been soundproofed.
Running a generator all night is not a problem as long as you have taken the precautions above. More often than not, if the unit is not placed close to your room or in it, the poisonous gas will never affect you, even if it gets to dangerous levels. It will negatively affect the Earth, so installing a good-quality carbon monoxide detector is imperative.
Having a separate shed or building for your generator is your best option. If that is not possible, a make-shift lean-to can be made with a tarp, or some wood and roofing tin, just to keep it out of the weather. Overall, as long as you think “safety first,” you can safely use the generator all night without any problems.