The Importance of Performing Maintenance on Your Standby Generator

If you’ve had a standby generator installed at your home or place of business, you’ve already taken the first really important step to ensure your power stays on in the aftermath of a storm or natural disaster. Are you maintaining your generator properly to ensure it functions at its best when you need it most?

It’s possible that your investment will last decades—20 or 30 years—if well maintained (after all, it’s not working all the time and top-quality generators are built to run for tens of thousands of hours over their lifetime). To protect that investment and your home, preventive maintenance is necessary and should be done by a certified technician. If you are in a severe environment or have experienced numerous power outages, more frequent service may be needed.

As we shared in a video earlier this year, you as the owner, can perform a visual inspection every month or have your contractor do so, especially if the generator has been running for any extended period of time. You’ll first want to make sure the area is clean of debris and that no critters have set up house inside an enclosed unit. When the unit is not running, check the oil level and maintain the level as close to full as possible. Do not overfill it.

NOTE: if the generator has been running, wait 10 minutes after it shuts down so all of the oil in the engine can drain back into the sump.

What the generator technician will check semi-annually or annually

Make sure the company you call for maintenance follows this general systems and parts inspection list, which are key to your generator’s performance:

  • Air system (combustion and cooling air) – air filters should be replaced.
  • Starters (batteries and charger)
  • Transfer switch

These last two items are often overlooked so be sure your HVAC/generator contractor is checking these, as they help power the unit.

Other routine maintenance services are to replace, clean and/or perform a visual inspection of the following:

  • Oil & oil filter
  • Spark plugs & spark wires
  • Battery terminals & cables
  • Air intake & exhaust system
  • Engine starting system
  • Fuel lines & hoses
  • Voltage input & electrical connections
  • Vibration & insulation conditions
  • Control board operation
  • Transfer switch operation & controls

This is not a complete list of standby generator maintenance points, and there may be other preventive maintenance actions required for your particular unit; your installer or your new maintenance contractor should review these with you. Of course, having a preventive maintenance contract will ensure the inspections are done right, done on time, and that proper actions are taken without out having to think about them. Want to know more? Contact Bloomfield Cooling, Heating & Electric at (973) 237-0505 or info@bloomfieldcooling.com to set up a consultation for your standby generator.

Don’t Get Caught Unprepared this Summer: The Importance of Semi-Annual Maintenance on Your HVAC system

With summer coming, there’s still time to make sure your central air conditioning system is ready for the heat and the pressures of the season. There are important routine maintenance tasks your HVAC professional should perform at this time of year (with others equally as important in the fall to prepare for winter).

Semi-annual system maintenance protects your system (and investment) from breakdowns which could end up costing far more to repair if problems go unnoticed. After all, it’s cost effective to fix a minor problem before it gets out of hand (and expensive to correct). Routine maintenance also ensures that your central air will run as efficiently as possible—and more reliably during peak times. Just as you wouldn’t let your car run for many thousands of miles without an oil change or engine check, the same goes for your HVAC unit.

When your air conditioning contractor shows up, ask if the following tasks are on the punch list.

  • Check the refrigerant charge – Refrigerant cools the air in your home; depending on which make and model of central air conditioning unit you have will inform how much refrigerant you need. Make sure the technician checks the refrigerant lines for any necessary repairs. Note that in the U.S., HVAC service contractors must have an EPA refrigerant usage certification in order to buy refrigerant and to repair systems that contain ozone-depleting refrigerants (CFCs) which are typically used in older air conditioning systems. Your technician must know which type to use on your unit.
  • Change the air filters – Air filters grab the billions of particles floating through your home as the air circulates, thereby delivering better air quality and protecting the system. We recommend high-efficiency pleated air filters, which have an electrostatic charge that attracts the tiniest particles, including pet dander and bacteria spores. These must be changed a few times a year to ensure your circulated air is as clean as possible, to reduce system wear and tear, and to lower energy costs by reducing the power needed to do the job.
  • Blow out the drain system – It’s important to clear debris and make sure the condensate drain for the air conditioner is not clogged. A clear drain avoids wasting energy and putting undue load on the unit (which will send out less cool air if the drain is obstructed). A properly maintained condensate drain enables the water to flow from a tray that captures it to a drain. Obstructions can cause water damage to the unit and in the winter, this can create high humidity levels promote the growth or mold or bacteria buildup.
  • Clean the condenser coil – Before any cleaning happens, the technician should remove the condenser covers or blankets outside (if you put them on in the winter) and ensure that the unit is intact after the winter. The suction line, which helps supply cool refrigerant back to the compressor in the outdoor unit, should be properly insulated (damaged insulation should be noted and addressed) to maintain optimal cooling. All debris (vegetation or trash) that has collected on and around the outdoor coil must be cleared in order to get the best possible performance from your system with good air flow. (Note: if you put mulch down around the compressor, don’t pack it too high here).

At Bloomfield Cooling, Heating & Electric, Inc. you can always rely on our certified HVAC technicians to perform the proper maintenance and notify you right away of potential problems … and provide you with an estimate for any repair work that they deem necessary to support your central air conditioning system. We not only pride ourselves on delivering superior customer service, our customers think the same thing; Bloomfield Cooling, Heating & Electric has been named Best HVAC Contractor three years in a row by the readers of Suburban Essex magazine in the annual Best of Essex Readers’ Choice Awards, and we are recognized for superior service year after year by Angie’s List.

Prolong the life of your HVAC system, keep your energy costs in line, and avoid costly repairs. Contact us for your spring and fall HVAC maintenance or for a quote on updating your existing system or installing a new one. We’re at 973-237-0505.

Be Prepared for Windy Days!

It’s windy days like today that make you realize a home standby generator offers the comfort and security you need. With storm season approaching and thousands of New Jersey residents without power due to damaging high winds, having a Generac standby generator has become a necessity that is hard to live without. Keeping your generator operating at peak performance is important – give us a call at Bloomfield Cooling, Heating & Electric at 973-237-0505 to ask about our generator maintenance special for only $225 or learn more at: http://bloomfieldcooling.com/specials/generator-maintenance-special/

Looking for Super Service for Your Steam Boiler?

Our maintenance plans provide the customer with four levels of service: bronze, silver, gold and platinum. This allows the customer to decide how much service they would like to invest in. Looking for steam boiler service from a company that is a Best of Essex and Angie’s List Super Service award winner? Check out our steam boiler maintenance club information and discover the difference: http://bloomfieldcooling.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/New-Hot-Water-Boiler-Club-Memberships-Bust.pdf

Follow These Tips to Properly Maintain Your Generator


Making sure your generator is properly maintained is vitally important when power outages are unpredictable. Here are a few ways to properly maintain your generator:

  • Remove any debris around the unit
  • Check the indicator light
  • Listen for the generator’s weekly schedule test
  • Maintain proper oil levels

For more tips on how to properly maintain your generator, or to schedule a service call, click here: http://bloomfieldcooling.com/properly-maintain-standby-home-generator/

Heating and Cooling Quick Tip – Monitor the Circuit Breaker

QUICK TIP: For heating and cooling units, if they are not turning on, be sure to check the circuit breaker. Breakers are known to trip and can be off while still looking like they are on. Manually switch the breaker off, wait a few seconds, and then turn it back on. If your system is still not functioning properly, call Bloomfield Cooling & Heating at 973-237-0505.