Homeowners in Maryland 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 home power generator can keep your family safe and comfortable when powerful storms knock out the electricity in your Maryland home. Adding a home power generator can be an easy home improvement task with BGE 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 backup power generator provides an alternate source of power for your home. Depending on the type of generator and your needs, a backup 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.
What are Portable 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.
What are Standby Generators?
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 home generator 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.
How Do I Choose the Size of my Backup Generator?
As you may have guessed, backup generators can come in a variety of sizes. They can also be powered by natural gas or liquid propane. While you may be tempted to purchase the largest unit available, the size of your backup generator will depend on the size of your home or commercial properly. In addition to your home’s size, your electrical system will also play a role in determining the size of your generator. To ensure you purchase the best backup generator for your home and needs, contact your local electrical company to speak with a professional.
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 power 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.
Why Should I Install a Standby or Whole House Generator?
There are many reasons you may want to install a standby generator in your Maryland home. A standby, or whole house, generator acts like an insurance policy, giving you peace of mind that your home is protected at all times. Whole house generators can also protect your home from things like hazardous voltage fluctuations and surges when the power returns from a storm or natural disaster. Installing a backup generator will give you comfort knowing that your loved ones are safe.
Can a Backup Generator Protect My Home?
Absolutely. A home generator will protect your home from further loss or damage during a prolonged power outage. In fact, investing in a backup generator can save you money down the line in appliance repairs and pipe replacements.
- During cold winter months, a backup power generator can prevent your home home’s pipes from freezing and bursting.
- When the power goes out, a backup generator will keep your refrigerator on, so you don’t have to worry about food spoiling.
- A backup generator will keep the power to your home running in the event of a storm on natural disaster. This will maintain the power to your home security system to give you peace of mind.
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.
BGE HOME offers 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 about home generators, contact us today.