Do you ever worry about losing power during a storm or other unexpected event? A whole house generator can give you the peace of mind that your home will remain safe and powered up no matter what. Because they’re a big investment, homeowners often ask us how long do generators last. Let’s discuss the average lifespan of a whole-house generator and the factors that can either shorten or lengthen its life.

How Long Do Standby Generators Last?

The average lifespan of a well-maintained whole-house generator is 10 to 15 years or 1,000 to 3,000 hours of use. The main factors affecting the longevity of standby generators are the type of fuel it uses and how often it is used. Natural gas generators tend to last longer than those fueled by diesel, propane, or gasoline because they require less maintenance. However, all fuel types should be regularly inspected and maintained in order to ensure that they run as efficiently as possible for as long as possible.

What Impacts Generator Lifespan?

Poor Maintenance

One of the biggest factors that can negatively affect a generator’s life is poor maintenance. Just like any other piece of machinery, your standby generator needs to be regularly serviced and maintained in order to keep it running properly. Failing to do so can result in a number of problems, including engine damage, fuel contamination, and electrical issues.

Proper Maintenance

One of the most important things is proper maintenance. As mentioned before, regular servicing and maintenance are essential for keeping your standby generator running properly. The manufacturer’s maintenance schedule will outline when you need to perform various tasks, such as changing the oil and air filter or scheduling professional maintenance. By following a monthly and yearly maintenance schedule that includes a mix of DIY maintenance and maintenance performed by a professional, you can help to ensure that your standby generator will be ready when you need it most.

Incorrect Installation

Another factor that can shorten the life of a backup generator is incorrect installation. If a generator is not installed properly, it can be subject to a number of problems, including vibration damage, fuel leaks, and exhaust issues. It is important to make sure that your generator is installed by a qualified technician who knows how to do it correctly.

Running on Dirty Fuel

Dirty fuel can clog up a generator’s engine and cause all sorts of problems, including decreased performance and increased wear and tear that can shorten a generator’s life. Always make sure to use clean, fresh fuel when running your generator. If you have a natural gas generator, your fuel tank should always be fresh. But gasoline or diesel generators should have their fuel tanks changed regularly if they have not been used for some time.

Pay Attention to Performance

Taking good care of your standby generator can help you to extend its lifespan. Paying close attention to its performance is essential – take the time to check in every now and then and preserve your generator from early wear and tear. If any repairs need to be done, try to address them as soon as possible; leaving them for too long may produce more serious damage that could cause your system to fail and not kick on during power outages.


Overloading your standby generator can also cause problems and shorten its lifespan. When you overload your generator, you put too much strain on the engine, which can lead to damage. Always make sure not to exceed the rated capacity of your generator when using it. When looking to have a generator installed, be sure to work with a reputable installer who can accurately size the load for your house.

Exposure to the Elements

Exposure to the elements can also be damaging to a generator and shorten its lifespan. If your generator is constantly exposed to rain, snow, or extreme temperatures, it will start to experience problems over time. Make sure that your generator’s cover is always in good condition, and monitor for any signs of damage or rust.


Another way to extend the lifespan of your generator is to keep it clean. This means removing any debris or build-up that may have accumulated on the unit. You should also make sure that the area around the generator is free from clutter, as this can help to prevent accidental damage.

Lack of Use

Another factor that can negatively affect a standby generator’s life expectancy is the lack of use. If you only use your standby generator once in a while, it won’t get the regular exercise it needs to stay in good shape. Try to use your generator at least once a month for the best results.

Whole Home Generator Maintenance Services in Fort Wayne

With proper care and maintenance, homeowners can expect their whole house generators to last at least 10 years—and possibly 15 years or more! To get the most out of your investment, always follow the proper maintenance schedule and address any repair needs promptly. Doc Dancer Heating & Air provides professional maintenance and repair services for whole home generators – call us today for service!