Why Generators Make Sense For Your Home
There is no good time to be without power. When you lose your electricity, it means in most cases you have lost the ability to cook, to run appliances, to cool or heat your home and to relax while you enjoy music or television.
In some instances, a loss of power can last a few days or weeks, Many times, the electricity goes out for a few hours. But the loss of power is never convenient and sometimes it can be a matter of health and safety for you and your family.
That is why a growing number of homeowners are making the decision to install a generator to handle those periods when the power goes out. In the U.S., an estimated 14.3% of households had a backup generator in 2020, which was an increase of 2.5 percentage points from the estimate reported in 2015. A generator allows homeowners to protect their investment and their families in the case of power outages, particularly during severe weather.
Before deciding to buy a small, portable generator or planning a Generac generator installation, there are a few things you should know.
What type of generators are there for the typical home?
Generators will keep you prepared with a reliable source of backup power. There are two types of generators most commonly used by consumers.
- Portable generators: These supply power to specific appliances or household items, such as an air conditioner or a refrigerator. They must be manually fueled with gasoline. These generators are limited to outside use because they produce carbon monoxide, which can be dangerous, and even deadly, in confined spaces. These are best for areas that experience few power outages for only a couple of hours at a time.
- Permanent generators: These are also known as standby generators. These generators are installed at a permanent location on the homeowner’s property and typically are fueled by natural gas or propane. These generators can plug directly into local gas utility lines and don’t need refueling like portable generators. These are best for areas that are most threatened by severe weather that can disrupt power for days, even weeks, at a time.
What are the benefits of the different generator types?
Portable generators are less expensive and more flexible units. They are widely available at any home improvement store. They typically provide enough power to run some basic items in a home. The homeowner determines when to turn on the generator. They can run it for as long as they need to, ensuring that it is filled with enough fuel to operate for longer periods of time.
Permanent generators that are installed in a home automatically sense when an outage occurs. They are triggered to provide power to your home within seconds of an outage. Standby generators also provide more power than the average portable generator, with the ability to supply electricity to more areas of the home. Some of these generators can provide enough energy to power an entire home.
What size generator is best and how long will it provide power?
The size of the generator you buy depends on what you plan to power when the electricity goes out. For example, a small, portable generator can provide power to one or two circuits, like the AC and furnace, or a refrigerator. A typical standby generator can provide power to the entire home. It depends on how much money you are willing to spend and how much power you will need in your home.
You can calculate the proper generator size you will need for your entire home by identifying the running watts for all the items you intend to power. This will vary depending on the square footage of your home and the size and number of your appliances will all determine how big your generator must be to power your home.
How long a generator can supply power will depend on the generator’s capacity, the fuel available and the home’s size. Portable generators typically provide power for a few hours at a time. A standby generator, or permanent generator, can power a home for a number of days, even weeks at a time.