Why Having a Backup Generator Is a Good Idea
It’s easy to get comfortable throughout your everyday life; sometimes a bit too comfortable without foreseeing the “what if’s” of life. Too often are curve balls thrown at us, but we forget to prepare for them and are left with the inevitable vision of hindsight. It’s time to break the habit and plan accordingly for the mishaps that life has to offer.
Backup generators are a good idea. Simply put, it’ll be there when you need it most; when the power goes out. Backup generators are an important element for survival if your electricity goes out for a long period of time. We’re so comfortable with electricity and dependent on it to meet our needs that we won’t be prepared for emergency situations when the power goes out. It’s almost impossible to predict the next power outage, which is why having a backup generator is a smart step.
Different Types of Generators
There are two primary types of generators for homes – portable and home standby.
Portable generators usually run on gasoline for fuel and require extension cords to connect specific appliances. This means in order to use the portable generator, you need a sufficient fresh fuel source at the ready and enough extension cords to supply power to the appliances you want running. It’s important that the placement of the portable generator is in a safe location. Otherwise, it may not exhaust properly and could allow dangerous fumes to enter your home. Since every home is different, talk to a local electric utility company about where and how to safely connect your generator.
Home standby generators are a permanent installation and connection into your electrical system through an automatic transfer switch. The automatic transfer switch monitors your utility power and automatically switches you to generator power when the utility power fails. These generators are installed outside your home and connect to your fuel supply, which is natural gas or propane.
Benefits of Backup Generators
Backup generators do one thing; give you the power back, so you can focus on other important tasks during an emergency situation, like ensuring everyone in the household is safe. In these types of situations, most of us don’t require everything running in the home at the same time. When it comes to survival, you need the essentials. A properly sized backup generator can give you enough power to keep you up and running supplying energy to the more important appliances in a home.
Typical needs include: refrigerators / freezers, well pump if applicable, sump pump if applicable, heating if its winter, air conditioning if its summer, water heating, security systems, garage doors, lighting and cooking, etc. Of the above items, the air conditioner or heating (if electric) is likely the largest load so it’s important to understand what is important to you so that your generator can adequately service those needs. If the generator is too small for the appliance being served it can adversely affect the appliance being served and shorten the life of the generator. A professional home standby generator dealer can help you with this.
Most Portable generators range in price from $400 to $1,500 depending on the size and features. Price is a function of size and quality. Before purchasing one, find out where you can go for service if you need it and where you can get parts when you need them. Also keep in mind how much gasoline you’ll need at hand to use the generator and where you can store it in a safe manner.
Most Home Standby generators (7kW to 20kW), permanently installed in your home, range in price from $4,000 to $10,000. Price is a function of size, installation and quality of the home generator system. It is recommended that you purchase from an authorized dealer. An authorized dealer is certified in installation, service and warranty for your generator system. This also helps ensure that the installation will be done correctly and that you will have someone to seek service from when you need it.
Clayton Preble is the owner of Georgia Generator, selling backup generators in Atlanta and Jasper, GA. Their goal is to help people across North George achieve energy independence with quality home generators.