Homeowners with backup power generators know the feeling of relief when a power outage occurs, and their lights and appliances stay on. Being the only family in the neighborhood with the A/C running isn’t the only advantage of having a backup power generator. A backup power generator can keep your family safe and comfortable when powerful storms knock out the electricity in your home.
People tend to purchase backup power generators just before or in the weeks following a major storm. That can lead to a rushed decision and a generator that’s the wrong size for your home. Think about your options before a storm strikes, to make sure you purchase a generator that’s right for your needs.
What Causes Power Outages?
According to a Congressional Research Service (CRS) report, Weather-Related Power Outages and Electric System Resiliency, almost 50% of large power outages are caused by severe weather. Most of these severe weather occurrences are from lightning, wind, and rain. The CRS found that the next highest cause of large power outages is equipment failure (almost 30%). No matter the cause, large power outages affect millions of homeowners and can wreak havoc on you and your house.
What is a Backup Power Generator?
In the event of a blackout or brownout, a generator provides an alternate source of power for your home. Depending on the type of generator and your needs, a generator can power certain parts of your home, like your refrigerator or sump pump, or can power your entire house. The main two types of generators are portable generators and standby generators.
Portable generators are typically fueled by gasoline or propane and require you to set them up when you need them by either plugging them into your electrical panel or directly into the electronics you wish to power. They do not require a professional installation. Portable generators do not provide auxiliary power automatically and also require refueling after the fuel has been used. For safety, it’s important to keep portable generators at least 10 feet away from your home to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
Standby Generators, or whole house generators, are backup generators that automatically power to your home when the electricity goes out. When the whole house generator detects a brownout or blackout, it can automatically begin to provide power within 20 to 30 seconds. Standby generators are normally installed directly outside of your home, similar to an outdoor unit of an HVAC system and require a professional installation. During the installation process, a standby generator is connected to your home’s natural gas or propane lines so that it can provide power indefinitely for as long as you need. While a standby generator typically powers your whole home, it can also be customized to only power certain appliances and electronics, based upon your needs.
What are the Advantages of a Standby or Whole House Generator?
Three of the main advantages of having a standby or whole house generator installed over a portable generator are:
- A standby generator provides power automatically. You don’t have to be present for your home to maintain power when there’s a power outage. If you’re away on vacation and a power outage occurs, a standby generator can ensure that your sump pump is running and your home security system stays armed.
- A standby generator can power as much as you need. Most portable generators have a threshold for the amount of energy they can provide, thereby requiring you to either have multiple generators or limit the appliances you choose to power. A standby generator can power your whole house if you choose.
- A standby generator can run as long as you need power. A standby generator is powered by natural gas or propane, so there’s no need to refuel. A portable generator is like your car – it requires frequent refuels to stay running.
What can a Whole House Generator power?
A whole house generator can power whatever your family needs when your lights go out. You will have guaranteed power for all your major appliances, including your heating and air conditioning system, water heater, refrigerator/freezer, sump pump, garage door opener and more. Keeping the power on in your home during an outage also means keeping your home security system armed and your smart phones and laptops charged.
We offer flexible backup power generator options, with options that can power from 7kw to 100kw. Our Energy & Comfort Consultants can provide you with a customized solution that meets your needs. To speak with a member of our team, contact us today.