Purchasing and Operating a Generator: Tips for a Small Business

From operating the cash register to unclogging toilets and taking inventory, small-business owners are forced to wear many hats. If your budget is tight, you cannot afford to miss a day of work. Unfortunately, Mother Nature sometimes has different plans, leaving you without power during a nasty storm.

It’s time to put on another hat and learn how to purchase, own, and operate a commercial generator. Here are a few tips to help you keep your small business running by finding the right generator for your needs and budget.


Choose a Generator Type

Three types of generators that are effective for small-business owners include a standby generator, inverter generator, and portable generator. Here are the benefits of each type and points to consider when shopping for a unit:

  • Standby generator. This is the most expensive option that is fixed and should be installed by a professional. These generators also provide the most wattage and can run on gasoline, propane, or natural gas.
  • Inverter generator. This is a more cost-effective, portable option. It is quieter and has fewer emissions, making it safer than a standby generator.
  • Portable generator. This type is less expensive than a standby generator and usually produces more watts than an inverter generator. This unit can be installed a by a professional and runs on gasoline or batteries.

A standby generator will automatically turn on when the power goes out. Portable generators and inverter generators must be switched on manually.


Determine Your Power Needs

The appliances, lighting, HVAC, and anything else that runs on electricity require a certain amount of electricity to operate. A generator’s output is measured in wattage. Tally up the estimated power needs of everything in your small business and what needs to continue running during a power outage.

Here are the average power needs of appliances and utilities in a typical small business:

  • Central air conditioner. A 10,000 BTU system requires 1,500 running watts. A 24,000 BTU unit needs 3,800 watts to run.
  • Light bulb. Check the wattage on your light bulbs, which is printed on the bulb or the packaging. For example, a 60-watt bulb requires 60 watts to run.
  • Computer. A typical laptop requires between 200-250 watts and a desktop model needs 600-800 watts to run.
  • Coffee maker. The average coffee maker needs 1,000 watts of electricity.
  • Furnace. The typical unit featuring a one-half horsepower fan requires 875 watts to run.

The numbers above are the running wattage, not the starting wattage. Many appliances require a higher starting wattage to turn on. For example, a clothes dryer and refrigerator have a higher starting wattage and a lower running wattage.


Operate the Generator Safely

Gasoline, propane, and natural gas-powered generators must be installed and run a safe distance away from your commercial property and never indoors. The carbon monoxide created by a generator that runs on fuel are dangerous to you, your patrons, and employees. Some models run on a combination of fuel and batteries, which lowers the emissions.

Install your generator on a flat, dry surface. Keep it protected from the elements, but do not run it in a closed building, such as a storage shed or garage.

Also, store the fuel in a safe, dry place. When you add fuel, never overfill the generator. You should also never touch the generator or fill it with fuel while it is hot or running. Don’t smoke around the generator or the fuel tank either. To ensure your generator runs safely when you need it, hire a professional to inspect it yearly.

Purchasing a generator is a great investment for a small-business owner. If you have any additional questions, including which generator is best for your business and budget, contact the professionals at Ben’s Cleaner Sales, Inc.

3 Key Aspects of Pressure Washer Maintenance

Pressure washers rank among the most commonly owned tools for cleaning businesses. These versatile tools can be used to clean everything from exterior siding to delicate interior tile work. As a result, pressure washers tend to experience a lot of wear and tear as time goes on. Unless you make the effort to maintain it, your pressure washer may eventually succumb to serious damage. Continue reading “3 Key Aspects of Pressure Washer Maintenance”

Why You Should Have Your Office Building Professionally Pressure Washed

Running a business is tricky. You have tons of responsibility from managing employees to selling products or services to overseeing building maintenance. And because it is summertime, your office building is likely in desperate need of a pressure wash. This task is just one more responsibility to juggle and may not be on the top of your priority list. Continue reading “Why You Should Have Your Office Building Professionally Pressure Washed”

Wastewater Recovery Systems for Car Washes

If you are a new or veteran commercial carwash owner and have not yet invested in a wastewater recovery system for your business, then it is important to understand the numerous benefits of these systems.

Whether you operate a friction or touch-less carwash, one or more of these systems can be added to your facility to allow you to use the same water to wash and rinse cars numerous times. This can benefit both your bank account and the environment. Continue reading “Wastewater Recovery Systems for Car Washes”

3 Essential Pieces of Interior Automotive Detailing Equipment

If you own or operate a taxicab business or any company with a fleet of vehicles, you have to keep your car or truck fleet clean on the inside and out. However, after cleaning the insides of your cabs, you may still notice odors and stains left behind. While you may think you are simply not skilled at detailing your vehicle interiors, instead, you may be lacking the proper vehicle interior detailing equipment.

Read on to learn about three essential pieces of automotive detailing equipment that the pros use and how they can help you keep your taxicab interiors cleaner and more sanitary. Continue reading “3 Essential Pieces of Interior Automotive Detailing Equipment”

Features of an Industrial Steam Cleaner for Commercial Ice Dam Removal

In some parts of the country, the winter season can bring with it long and miserable stretches of below-freezing temperatures. New York, Connecticut, Minnesota, and even Alaska are all examples of states that deal with extreme bouts of cold weather and cold-weather precipitation. Unfortunately, the long stretches of cold and wintry precipitation can lead to ice damming on roofs.

Ice dams are ridges of ice that develop on the edge of a building’s roof. These dams form as a result of heat transfer through the roof that melts frozen precipitation and cold outdoor temperatures that rapidly freeze the runoff. For business owners and home owners, ice dams can be a huge and costly problem that leads to roof damage and leaks.

If you are in the business of ice dam removal, you probably already know that industrial steamers are the most effective removal method as they do not harm the structure of the building. However, you have so many different forms of industrial steamers to choose from. Here is a look at some of the best features to look for in a steamer for commercial ice dam removal.  Continue reading “Features of an Industrial Steam Cleaner for Commercial Ice Dam Removal”

Using and Protecting Your Pressure Washer This Winter? Guidelines for Cold Weather Pressure Washing & Winterizing

Pressure washers provide precise, powerful cleaning for homeowners and industrial employees alike. But when temperatures begin to fall, even businesses that rely on pressure washing may have to decide whether or not to continue using their pressure washers during the winter weather.

If you want to continue to use or protect your pressure washer in cold weather, follow these guidelines. Continue reading “Using and Protecting Your Pressure Washer This Winter? Guidelines for Cold Weather Pressure Washing & Winterizing”

Thorough Cleaning Through Careful Preparation: Maximizing Your Pressure Washer’s Effectiveness

When the stability and cleanliness of your business or that of a valued client are at stake, it’s important that the tools you use for that job are fully primed. Setting out on a timely and essential power-washing job only to see your washer struggle to perform will leave you frustrated and eager to avoid repeating that mistake.

Thankfully, addressing those issues doesn’t always require you to buy new equipment. It’s likely that a few minor adjustments can bring your current power washer up to a much stronger standard and can provide the service and performance that you really need from your cleaning tools.
Continue reading “Thorough Cleaning Through Careful Preparation: Maximizing Your Pressure Washer’s Effectiveness”

4 Essential Pieces of Motorized Equipment for Your New Landscaping Business

Like many Americans, you may be planning to throw off the shackles of the 9-to-5 workday and start your own landscaping business. Landscaping can be a lucrative business, with the demand for professional landscaping services experiencing steady and continuing growth in revenue and demand.

Running a landscaping business is also an excellent way to spend your days in the great outdoors instead of being confined to an office space. However, like with any self-employment, you need to ensure that your landscaping business can successfully compete with other landscaping businesses in your area.

One of the keys to success is having the right equipment. Along with the pieces of standard landscaping equipment such as a lawnmower, spade, and rake, you’ll need other specialist pieces of motorized equipment. Having the right equipment means you can provide your clients with a wider range of services and will also be able to complete your work faster, more efficiently, and with superior results.

Here are four essential pieces of professional motorized landscaping equipment you’ll require. Continue reading “4 Essential Pieces of Motorized Equipment for Your New Landscaping Business”