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Standby Generator Maintenance

Roanoke Home Generator MaintenanceHaving a standby generator for your home can provide great peace of mind. When the power goes out, the generator automatically kicks in to provide uninterrupted power to light your home, run appliances like refrigerators, air conditioners and more. However, like all power equipment a generator has an engine that requires regular maintenance to ensure it's ready to turn on and operate reliably at a moment's notice when the power to your home goes out. Preventive maintenance and service on standby generators is typically done on a schedule based upon engine hours and/or time periods. The generator will keep itself in shape throughout the year with weekly low-speed run cycles.

Here are some simple maintenance steps you can perform yourself.
  1. Keep the generator clean. Use a shop vac to clean the intake and exhaust louvers on the enclosure. Clear away any vegetation or debris that is near the unit.
  2. Inspect the generator components for corrosion. Rust can be prevented by keeping your generator clear of moisture from downspouts, sprinklers, etc. If you find excessive corrosion, have Ostrom inspect the unit.
  3. Clean and tighten battery terminals. Have the voltage tested to ensure the battery is able to hold a sufficient charge.
  4. Check the oil level to make sure it is full. If it needs to be refilled, refer to your manual for the correct type of oil. Keep a spare bottle of oil ready in case of extended outages.
Generator maintenance kits can also be purchased and include an air filter, spark plug, oil filter, funnel, and oil for routine repairs. 

Important: Before performing any maintenance on your home generator always read and follow the manufacturer's instructions and follow all safety precautions.

Professional Generator Maintenance

From routine maintenance to generator repairs and more comprehensive inspections and maintenance, Ostrom can help ensure that your standby generator is running safely and reliably. We have over 12 years of experience installing and maintaining generators throughout the Roanoke area.

Have questions about maintaining your standby generator? Call Ostrom Electrical, Plumbing, Heating and Air.

New Water Heater Technology That Provides More Hot Water While Saving Energy

Roanoke hot water heatersWhen you think of water heaters, the first thing that may come to mind is the conventional tank storage water heater. Tank water heaters store between 20 to 80 gallons of hot water and are relatively inexpensive to purchase and install. However, because they must maintain a set temperature for a large volume of water, they can be more costly to operate. In addition, if the tank is not sized to meet the needs of the household, you may run out of hot water when demand exceeds the tank's capacity.

Newer water heater technology is designed to address some of the shortcomings of the traditional tank-style water heater.

Tankless Water Heaters

Tankless, or demand-type water heaters heat water directly without the use of a storage tank. A gas burner or electric element heats the cold water as it passes through the water heater. Households that require a lot of hot water can benefit the from a virtually endless supply of hot water. One downside to tankless water heaters is they typically cost more to purchase and install, although they can last longer than conventional tank water heaters when properly maintained. Another disadvantage of tankless water heaters is they can take longer to heat the water initially when the tap is first turned on.

Hybrid Water Heaters

Hybrid water heaters are designed to combine the benefits of a conventional water heater tank with a tankless water heater's on-demand efficiency. They have a small attached storage tank that provides an initial supply of hot water, then switch to an on-demand heating system to maintain a continuous supply of hot water.

Heat Pump Water Heaters

Heat pump water heaters distribute heat from one place to another instead of generating heat directly to providing hot water.

Solar Water Heaters

Solar water heaters use the sun's heat to heat water. A roof-mounted solar collector absorbs the sun's heat and stores it in a special fluid that circulates in a closed-loop system that heats water in a tank.

Have questions about which water heater is right for your home? Call Ostrom, we can help match the best hot water solution to your household's needs.
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