Any homeowner who has been forced to live without electricity in their home for any length of time knows how difficult it can be. When there’s no power available, you quickly realize how much we depend upon it for even the smallest of purposes. But while there’s the instant inconvenience of having no electricity to run lights, appliances, and electronic devices, you may also be forced to endure extreme temperatures for lack of a working heating or cooling unit.
That’s why more homeowners are making the decision to purchase an emergency generator for those eventualities where the power goes out and everyone is left fumbling around in the dark.
Power outages can occur for any number of reasons. Consider first where you live. Is your residence located in an area that gets inclement weather severe enough to knock out the electricity from time to time? Perhaps you are in a city that has an unreliable power grid. Now consider where you live as it relates to how long it might take the power company to restore your service.
Homes in rural areas will often find they are waiting longer than homes situated closer to urban centers, where the population is more condensed and businesses need to have their power turned back on. Now think about whether or not a backup generator will be useful during a power outage.
A blackout can come quick and hit hard knocking out the power in your home for hours or days. When that happens, you’re living in the dark once the sun goes down. But lighting some candles isn’t the only hassle of a blackout. Your appliances are all dark too, including your refrigerator and freezer. All of that food is spoiling as the minutes turn to hours turn to days and you’re still waiting on the power to be restored.
Those are just a few of the essentials we all depend on for a comfortable life, all of them doing you little to no good now.
When Disaster Strikes
Homes that are prone to seasonal weather activity in the form of hurricanes or heavy precipitation are also prone to their power being knocked out as a result. You don’t even have to live in Tornado Alley to consider a backup generator for your home. An earthquake or landslide can also be just as potentially damaging to the electrical grid, leaving you to fend for yourself.
A crisis is always worse when there are no resources to help you recover and we can’t think of a more valuable resource than your electricity. Getting a backup generator can help you recover from calamity quicker and keeping you informed of the latest news and developments by providing you with the ability to power televisions, radios, and charge smartphones and tablets.
Communication is key when you’re trying to make it through a major disaster and a backup generator will ensure that you can always stay in touch.
Buying a Backup Generator
Now that you know how useful a backup generator can be during a power outage, you may be thinking it’s time to buy one. Here are some helpful hints to keep in mind as you start your search.
Audit the Home
You have a few options to consider. There are manual transfer switches which are stationary and typically installed in the home and backup generators, the alternative to manual transfer switches and popular due to their portability.
But before you go shopping for the one that’s just right, you’ll need to do a little homework around your house first. That means doing a full inventory of the power needs in the home, that way you can be sure your generator is big enough to power all of your essentials. Without having this information, you’re only guessing and you may not have enough juice to restore all of the things you need most.
Generators run on gas. But not all generators run on the same kind of gas. Now that you’ve figured out what kind of generator you’ll need to power your home, you must decide on how you intend to fuel the unit. Many of the popular brands run on propane or natural gas and whichever type you choose, you’ll need to have a full supply available at all times.
Can you store propane easier than you can supply natural gas to your generator? How prepared are you to fuel the unit when disaster strikes? These are the things you want to ask yourself as you make your selection with respect to the type of fuel you plan to use.