No one likes losing power for an extended period of time. It’s not only inconvenient, but it can also be destructive – the temperature of your home drops significantly, food in your refrigerator and freezer can go bad, just to name a few. The wrath of a storm is nothing to mess with, so having a backup generator is a popular investment for homeowners that want to stay powered up, no matter what’s happening around them.
What Is a Backup Generator?
A backup generator is a permanent installation in a home that will provide uninterrupted electrical backup for days. They are connected to the home’s electrical panel but powered by external fuel, such as diesel, natural gas, or propane. Large systems can power a whole home with ease.
The generator has an internal switch that disconnects the home from utility services once it detects an interruption, then it will transfer power to the home’s electrical panel. Once the power comes back on, the switch will shut off and the home will be reconnected to the grid. Generators are popular for families with small children who do not want interrupted service, as well as those who work out of the home and need access to power all the time.
Why Install a Generator?
Generators bring a sense of safety and security to a home or business during natural disasters as well as other situations. In your house, generator power can bring light during a summer storm, and heat if the power is lost during winter. If power is lost in your community for an extended period of time, a home generator can save you the expense of having to relocate, allowing you to continue your day-to-day life in comfort.
Generators are designed for homes, large or small, and to meet the needs of whole-house or partial backup power. Homeowners can choose to use a portable generator or a permanent standby generator. A generator always needs to be wired into your home electrical panel by a certified, licensed electrician. Your local inspector will check the installation to protect not only your safety, but also the lineman’s safety when they are working on the electrical lines during an outage. Improper wiring or installation is very dangerous and can even be fatal.
Proper placement of the generator is also of high importance. Generators of either kind should be 10 feet or further away from the house and have three or four feet of breathing room between it and surrounding objects on all sides.
Why A Standby Generator is Better
1. You don’t have to do a thing when the power goes out.
When the lights go dark, a standby generator will start up in a matter of seconds, giving power to the fridge, microwave and air conditioner. There’s no searching for the portable generator, fuel and extension cord. Newer installed models will even send you a report about the power outage, telling you when the generator kicked on, how long it was used, and when the power came back. This can be especially helpful if you’re out of town when the power goes out.
2.They last longer than portable generators.
How long your portable generator lasts depends mainly on one thing – how much fuel you have on-hand. Installed generators connect directly to your fuel source, natural gas or liquid propane, allowing for longer run-times and enough electricity for reliable backup power for your home.
3.They’re the safer option.
If you don’t know much about electricity, a portable generator can pose a safety hazard. Most models require you to calculate the proper voltage for your appliances and remember to disconnect the utility power after a power outage. Permanently installed generators are set up by electrical contractors, who will pre-wire the circuits. The generator’s automatic transfer switch will sense when the power goes out, or is unstable, and will switch itself on, while disconnecting utility power. When utility power comes back, the generator will reverse the process, with no work needed from you.