With summer heat and humidity, thunderstorms and tropical storms often follow. Aside from heavy rain, these storms can bring hail and lightning, which can wreak havoc on your home and surrounding area by downing trees and power lines. Strong storms can lead to power outages that can last for days. Lightning strikes can lead to power surges through your home’s wiring and cause expensive damage to your appliances. Read on to learn how you can safeguard your property and possessions from summer storms with a home backup generator and whole house surge protector.
Power outages can cause more than inconvenience. Without air conditioning or ceiling fans on a hot day, your indoor temperature can climb to uncomfortable and potentially unhealthy levels. For those who work from home, lack of functioning electronics can mean lost income. And food spoilage can be unpleasant and expensive. You can prevent these problems from occurring by installing a home backup generator.
Install a Home Backup Generator
Backup generators are available in both standby and portable models. Standby generators are permanently installed and turn on automatically when a power outage is detected. While more expensive than portable models, they provide more power and run on natural gas or propane. They must be installed by a licensed electrician and require approval from your utility along with annual maintenance to ensure they are operating properly.
You can choose whether to install a whole-house generator or one that powers select appliances, depending on your needs and budget. The generator is hooked up to the required circuits during installation, which typically takes about 3 days, including the required inspection. It will begin operating after the power has been out for a certain period of time, typically about 10 seconds.
Portable generators can be moved around and even transported to events, such as a tailgate, but carry more of a risk: they are powered by gasoline and their exhaust can cause carbon monoxide poisoning. If you choose a portable generator, keep it at least 20 feet away from your house, including your garage.
BGE HOME offers a full line of standby generators that can power any or all of your home’s essentials. Our team of experts will work with you to choose the best generator for your home and we also offer annual maintenance and service plans. We manage all aspects of the installation, including any necessary permits.
Protect Against Power Surges
The lightning that often occurs during summer storms can result in power surges through your home’s electrical lines. These can potentially damage your appliances, including your refrigerator, washer/dryer, television and computers. Even small surges, which don’t appear to have lasting effects, can harm electronic components slowly over time and shorten their lifespan. You can prevent this damage with a whole house surge protector.
Prevent Damage with a Whole House Surge Protector
While you can purchase individual surge protector strips relatively cheaply, they are often no match for the potential 100,000 volts of electricity lightning can produce. A whole house surge protector prevents surges from entering your home, through its capacitors that absorb spikes in electricity. BGE HOME offers SurgeGuard, which is installed on your home’s electric meter and can handle surges up to 100 times greater than standard surge strips.
The device also communicates to BGE HOME if there has been a surge. If a surge is successful at passing through the device, you’ll receive up to $10,000 for replacement or repair costs. For less than $10 per month, with free installation, SurgeGuard can potentially save you hundreds of dollars in damages in addition to giving you peace of mind.
To learn more about how SurgeGuard and standby generators can help you protect your home during summer storms, contact our Energy & Comfort Consultants to discuss the best options for your home.