Can You Run Generator In Garage? (No, But Why?)

A generator is incredibly helpful just after an ice storm or hurricane. Moreover, if you are living in an off-grid farmhouse, a generator is mandatory for you to run the necessary home appliances.

Most people use a portable generator for temporary use. Since we store the portable generator in the garage, we tend to run the generator from the garage. 

But have you ever thought, should you run your generator in the garage? 

You should not run your generator in the garage at all. Generators produce carbon monoxide (CO) which is a literally silent killer. So, it is strictly prohibited to run your generator in a confined place like in a garage or basement. 

Anyway, I have elaborately discussed why you should not run your generator in the garage and how to safely run your generator in the latter part of this article. so, let’s get started! 

Why Should You Not Run Generator In The Garage? 

A generator is pretty useful stuff, no doubt. But if you can not handle this machine, there is a high chance of an accident. 

Power outage is very common after a heavy ice storm or hurricane. Or, if you are living in an off-grid area, you can not survive without an alternative power source. 

Most people want to run a generator in the garage or in the porch due to prevent theft or save the machine from rain and wet condition. Read and learn why should you not run a generator on the porch.

Yes, this is a good idea indeed. But the main problem is Carbon Monoxide which is known as the silent killer of the human body. 

If you run your generator in the garage continuously, in almost 100% of cases you will find elevated carbon monoxide in the air. If you are near the generator, there is a chance of the presence of high CO in your blood also. 

Believe me, CO-related call is very common to the fire department. You could go to your local fire department to learn more about the carbon monoxide case for running a generator in the garage. 

Can You Run a Generator In The Garage

How To Safely Run A Generator In The Garage? 

Now, you might think about what is the safest way to run my generator. Don’t worry. The best way is to run your generator in an open place. 

But if you don’t have the flexibility to run your generator in an open place like during heavy rain or snowfall, you could run your generator from your garage. 

  • To run your generator, you must open the doors and windows of your garage. Make sure that enough air can pass through your garage. 
  • Don’t place your generator beside the wall of the garage. 
  • You should place the portable generator on the front side of the garage. 
  • If your garage is just beside your living area, you should not run a generator in the garage. 
  • Use a heavy-duty cord to connect the transfer switch and generator. 
  • Don’t set up your generator more than 100 feet from the transfer switch. The more the distance the more waste of electricity. 
run a generator in garage

Follow These Tips To Run Your Generator Safely

  • You should run your generator at least 20 feet away from the living area 
  • You should place your generator outside of your house 
  • Use a carbon monoxide detector while using a generator 
  • Place your generator in a well-ventilated place 
  • Place your generator in a dry place 

Don’t Do These For Running Generator Safely 

  • Do not run a generator inside your house 
  • Do not run your generator in the garage 
  • Do not run your generator in closet 
  • Do not run your generator detached garage 
  • Do not run your generator building 


How Much Ventilation Does A Generator Need? 

The main purpose of ventilation is to keep the temperature of the engine room at a standard level. The surroundings of the generator temperature should be 90°F (32.5°C) to 97.5°F (36.5°C). For safety, please make sure that the temperature is not more than 120°F (49°C).

So, if you have to run your generator in the garage in special circumstances, please monitor the temperature and CO level in the room. 

Can You Run A Portable Generator In A Detached Garage?

No, you should not run your portable generator in a detached garage. Like running a generator in the garage, it produces CO in the detached garage. If you want to run a generator in the detached garage, you must ensure an air vent for proper ventilation.   

Can I Cover my generator while running?

Sometimes you may need to run your generator on covering due to rain or snow. All of the generator covers are not suitable for this purpose.

I have written a detailed guide on the generator covers while running. You could read the article to get the right cover for your generator while running.


Long story short, it is not recommended to run a generator in the garage or any other confined place. You know, carbon monoxide is lethal for human health.

If it is raining or snowing you can use generator tents that are available in the market. If you don’t have the infrastructure, you could run the generator in a large garage by opening the windows and doors. 


Rayan is an engineer, lives in a farmhouse. He has a passion for electronics and alternative energy. He loves to share his thoughts with other people. That is why he started the blog.

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