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How Far Should My Generator be from My House?

TechXpert verified by Ken Kontra

Place your portable generator at least 20 feet away from your home and any open doors or windows. Keeping your generator at a distance from your home will help prevent carbon monoxide gas from entering your home through any open spaces or exhaust vents. The distance will also minimize noise levels within the home. Always have several low level carbon monoxide monitors installed within the home if a generator will be used.

Generating Carbon Monoxide

Your generator supports you in emergencies. When the power in your home goes out unexpectedly, your generator can relay power to the most important appliances and systems. But while it can generate enough electricity to power your home, it can also generate a lot of carbon monoxide (which can be extremely dangerous).

So how can you use a generator and keep yourself safe from harmful carbon monoxide gas at the same time?

Keeping a Safe Distance

The best way to avoid carbon monoxide buildup in your home is by keeping your portable generator outside and preferably at a safe distance of at least 20 feet — placing it in your garage with an open door won’t suffice. While you’re at it, make sure to vent the exhaust coming from your generator away from your home to lower the chances that the gas will get back in.

Aside from keeping a safe distance from your generator, make sure to perform regular maintenance checks and avoid operating portable generators in the rain, as an extra precaution.

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