With the number of storms rolling through the United States these days, you may be considering a whole house generator in case your power goes out. Torrential summer rains, hurricanes, and winter storms have all been known to knock out electricity, sometimes for days at a time, so many people have installed backup sources of power for the sake of their peace of mind. Here is everything you need to know about a whole house generator before you take the plunge.
Do You Need a Generator?
The vast majority of the time, you may not need a backup source of power, but it’s important to consider what’s at stake should your power go out. For almost everyone, there is the risk of food spoiling, but that alone might not be reason enough to invest in a whole house generator. If you run a home-based business, on the other hand, one that requires WIFI to function, that might be enough incentive to install a backup generator. If your area is prone to power outages during winter storms, you might want a generator to keep your house comfortable during periods of extreme cold and to prevent pipes from freezing
What Kind of Generator Should You Get?
If you’re in the market for a generator, there are a few different options available to you. Your needs will determine which works best for you.
- Portable generator: Portable generators are the smallest, so they won’t run much more than a few essentials, but they are the cheapest to buy and operate, and you can use them wherever power is needed.
- Standby generator: A standby generator is part of a permanent addition to your home’s power systems, and will turn on automatically when the power goes out. However, it still isn’t powerful enough to run an entire household for long periods of time. It can be used to power critical items such as your air conditioner, furnace, sump pump refrigerator and some lighting.
- Whole house generator: If you want enough power to run all of the important stuff without having to pick and choose, you need a whole house generator. These powerful systems are also permanent additions and will automatically pick up where city power leaves off in case of an outage. They offer peace of mind knowing that you’ll be able to carry on with your life as usual during the power outage.
How It Works
When you choose a standby or whole house generator, you’re making a permanent addition to your home’s power systems. These systems use a built-in transfer switch to transfer your home to generator power once the city power goes out. The generator automatically turns on and runs until the power comes back on, in which case the generator turns off and your home starts drawing power from the utility company again. If you go with a standby generator, your power allowance will be more limited and you’ll have to choose which things are a necessity, but true to its name, a whole house generator should provide enough power to run your entire household for several days.
Deciding What Is Best for Your Household
Choosing which type of backup power system is best for you might not be easy. The ones that provide the least power are also the least expensive, which forces you to weigh need against affordability. If you have further questions about generators and which system would be best for you, contact Maeser today. Our experienced technicians will help you assess your power needs and provide guidance in choosing the most appropriate system for your situation.