More and more homeowners are realizing that purchasing and installing a standby generator is a necessary step to ensuring their home's safety. The days when occasional power outages could be endured with candles and ghost stories are growing short. Random thunderstorms and freak accidents that threaten to cut power to your home for a few hours are now only one potential danger to your home. Shifting weather patterns are causing severe weather in areas where homeowners are unaccustomed to such calamities. Increasing power supply shortages and power grid failures are also a bigger problem than ever before.
Size, Cost, and Convenience of Standby Generators
Size is the biggest factor in determining how much your generator will cost. Small, inexpensive generators can be purchased for a few hundred dollars. A large, automatic generator that is designed to completely power a reasonably large home can run more than $20,000. You'll need to take the time with your contractor to properly size the generator you need. Emergency generators are commonly designed to run just the heating, refrigerator/freezer, and basic lighting. Stoves and hot water tanks require a lot of power to operate; some generators can supply power to both of these appliances but not simultaneously. High quality generators also run a lot quieter. If a persistent, dull hum is likely to needle your family, you may want to consider a quiet-running model.
Standby Generator Safety Tips
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Portable v. Standby Generators
Portable generators can also be used to supply temporary power to your home, but they typically last for only a few hours. Quality standby generators will last for until your fuel supply has been depleted. Most homeowners decide to keep enough fuel on hand for several days. Portable generators must also be setup and started manually. Besides being cheaper, you can also rent portable generators, but if you wait until severe weather or danger is imminent, rented generators are going to be in short supply.
Emergency Generator Installation
Nearly all standby generators require a concrete slab to support their considerable weight. Some models include this support pad, but you'll still need to prepare a flat area with accommodations for water drainage. Before your emergency generator installation, you'll also need to find a place that is well-ventilated to prevent exhaust gases from entering your home. Ideally, the generator should also be placed somewhere close to the fuel tank. Connecting the electrical wiring to your generator is a sensitive and critical step to emergency generator installation and, in many places, the law requires a licensed electrician for installation.