When the power goes out, a generator can help keep you safe, comfortable, and productive at home. They can help during both cold and warm weather power outages. Having a generator available in the event of a natural disaster can save your life.
What types of generators are there?
When it comes to residential backup generators, there are 2 main types to choose from:
- Permanent: Permanent standby generators run on liquid propane or natural gas and are designed to automatically provide energy for the home within seconds of losing electricity. This type of generator is useful for those who experience constant outages or have experienced major outages in the past.
- Portable: These small generators use gasoline to generate power during outages. You can run extension cords to the generator and connect smaller appliances including refrigerators, furnaces, hot water heaters, and sump pumps to keep your household functioning comfortably.
What benefits are there to having a backup generator?
There are 5 main benefits to having a generator that you can rely on when an outage occurs:
- Maintain comfort: Having a generator allows you to stay warm or cool when the house loses power, especially for those who live in extreme climates.
- Prevent voltage fluctuations: Running a generator can prevent dangerous surges when the power finally does return.
- Prevent waste: Keeping the fridge and other appliances running during an outage can save perishable items such as food and medicine.
- Safe to operate: Electric generators and propane generators are safe for everyone to operate.
- Peace of mind: Having a generator acts as a security net which can give you peace of mind.
What should you consider when looking for residential generators?
In order to determine what generator may be appropriate for your needs, you should consider:
- Wattage: Each electrical device needs a certain amount of wattage to run. If you just need to keep certain appliances running during an emergency, you may be able to work with a smaller generator. If you require more wattage, a larger generator may be more practical..
- Runtime needs: If you are in an area that experiences regular outages, or if you are dealing with an emergency situation and you do not know how much runtime you need, a generator with a larger tank may be a good idea.
- Type: For many people, a portable generator is enough. Those who live in areas that experience regular power cuts or who are at risk for natural disasters may wish to install permanent generators.
- Special features: Some features may make some generators easier to use than others.