I’ve been on a bit of an electrical kick lately and to continue that trend I want to discuss back-up generators for the home and choosing what is right for you. It is a well-known fact that lack of electricity in the home is one of the biggest inconveniences you can suffer. Seriously, nothing works without it and those of you that have gone through a major hurricane know the pain of days and even weeks without power. So — what can we do?
Your first option is to head off to your local home improvement store and pick up a portable generator that will run some of the things in your home. The bad news with portables is that you will not be able to run your home’s air conditioning system. The AC system requires a different voltage than what the portable generators create and they are not big enough to get the job done. When shopping for portable generators, check the voltage output to see how many things you will be able to run at once. The smaller versions will keep the refrigerator going and maybe a lamp or two, so it is very important to decide how much of the house you want to keep functional with a portable generator.
Portable generators have a couple draw backs as well. The first is noise. They use a gas engine to generate power and they tend to be slightly louder than a typical lawn mower when in operation. You also need to have a good supply of gasoline on hand along with oil to make sure the motor continues to function correctly. The “no matter what” thing that you never do is run a gas-powered generator in an indoor or enclosed area. Each time we have a hurricane you always hear a story or two of someone or a family passing into the great beyond because they died from carbon monoxide poisoning.
The other thing to consider when it comes to a generator is a system that can keep your home running as smoothly as possible. A whole home generator system is the solution and that is where we come in. Again, depending on what your needs are, we can size different generators that can run everything in your home or a select set of appliances based on the size of the unit installed. The other big benefit to a whole home generator is that they typically operate via propane gas, so it is quiet and can run for long periods of time before requiring re-fueling. Typically, there is a propane tank buried or secured to the ground against hurricanes depending on your city’s codes that can range anywhere from 200-500 gallons in size. A buried 500-gallon tank of propane can offer you days of electricity when the normal sources of power are unavailable. Let’s face it — the electrical grid here in the United States is not in the best shape and the combination of hurricanes and lighting here in our home state make it even worse.
One of our friendly electricians can assist you down the path of choosing what is right for you and your family when it comes to a generator system and can even add features that make switching from FPL to your own power supply utterly seamless.
Until we meet again, stay safe my friends. I will be returning from Electric Avenue next time to chat air conditioning so do tune in.
House Whisperer out!!
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