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Explore Backup Power Options for Your Home

Explore Backup Power Options for Your Home

5/18/2015

Explore Backup Power Options for Your Home
When the next power outage hits, Generac wants you to be prepared

Backup power systems are essential for all homes, especially those located in areas prone to severe storms.  Summer storms usually bring hail, wind gusts, heavy rain, and lightning, which can cause flash flooding, wind damage and fallen trees – all of which can lead to downed utility lines and widespread power outages. In fact, 52 percent of power outages are caused by strong storms. 

Given the aging infrastructure of the power grid, power outages are lasting longer and occurring more frequently. Should a storm hit, and an outage occurs, you could wind up sitting in the dark, without air conditioning, eating canned meals while hundreds of dollars worth of food spoils in your refrigerator and freezer. Or you could be forced to book a hotel room – assuming they have rooms and power available, which can be expensive.

Before you choose your backup power system, there are a few things to know about backup generators. There are two types – portable generators and automatic generators. Let’s explore the differences:

Portable Generators can be powered by gas and liquid propane, and start at just $359. When utility power is lost, the unit can provide power to essential circuits, such as lights, refrigerators, sump pumps and even some air conditioners and heaters, depending on the portable generator size. 

Automatic Backup Generators are powered by natural gas, liquid propane or diesel fuel, and start automatically once utility power is lost. These generators are similar to central air units that sit outside of the home, and deliver power directly to your home’s electrical system to back up your entire home or just the most essential items automatically. Prices start at just $1,899, installation not included. Click here to see how it works

What Type of Generator Do I Need?
The first step in deciding what type of generator you need is to know what you want to power.

You can power several appliances with a portable generator, as long as you get the correct size. Look on an appliance’s label for its wattage. Add up the wattage for all appliances that will require backup power. Based on the total, you can choose which portable generator is right for you. Generac offers a free online sizing calculator as well.

Want to power the whole house or several essential circuits? Then you’re probably in the market for an automatic backup generator system. There are lots of options to choose from. Generac has an online sizing calculator for automatic backup generators too, which will help you identify what size system you’ll need. However, for a more accurate quote, scheduling an in-home assessment with one of our 5,500 nationwide dealers is recommended.

Portable Generator Backup Power
A portable generator is the least expensive backup power option.
When the power goes out, owners will need to fill the generator with gas, and place it on a flat surface a safe distance from the home, and away from doors and windows. Generators emit carbon monoxide, which can be deadly. Once the unit is running, extension cords need to be plugged into the appliance and generator to provide power.

An easier way to power essential circuits with a portable generator is to use a manual transfer switch. A transfer switch is an electrical device that is installed next to a home’s circuit panel, and is connected to circuits that deliver power to appliances. During an outage, a portable generator can be connected to the transfer switch to supply power. Some manual transfer switches can even be upgraded to work with an automatic backup generator should you decide to invest in a larger unit at a later date.

Automatic Backup Generator Power
Automatic backup generators will automatically restore power to your home when utility power is lost. In most cases, the transition from utility power to generator power takes less than 10 seconds. They are quieter than portable generators, and run on your existing natural gas or liquid propane fuel supply.

Generac generators are third-party certified to NFPA standards to be installed as close as 18 inches from a home’s exterior wall, provided it is located five feet away from doors, windows, and fresh air intakes, unless otherwise dictated by local codes. This means you will be able to continue taking advantage of your outdoor space.

In addition, remote monitoring system allows you to check the status of your generator from anywhere in the world by using a tablet, smart phone or computer. Generac’s cellular remote monitor, Mobile Link, also allows owners to view maintenance reminders, receive maintenance alerts, and can even be programmed to communicate issues directly to the dealer, all of which are accessible from a free mobile app, available on iTunes®, Google Play® or the Amazon Appstore®.

Make the Right Choice for You
Now that you’ve got the facts, make the right decision for you and your family. Locate a portable generator distribution partner, or learn more about automatic standby generators, and schedule your free, in-home assessment today with one of our experienced, knowledgeable dealers by clicking here.