Do I Need An Emergency Generator?
May 04, 2023
An emergency generator is just what it sounds like – a source of power during an emergency.
Power outages are not a strange thing, especially with weather disturbances like storms occurring more often than anyone likes. When this happens, you need to keep your home running for several reasons.
If you are not sure why or if you need an emergency generator, read on to use these key considerations.
When the power goes off any electrical appliance in the home goes off too and this can include medical equipment, refrigerators, water heater, oven and stove, and so on. So you need to consider food spoilage or if the person using an electrical medical appliance in your home can cope without it for the duration of the power outage.
Your electric sump pump needs electricity to run and help you combat possible flooding issues. With an emergency generator, you can keep the sump pump working and protect your home.
Space for an emergency generator
It’s not enough to want an emergency generator. You also need to consider if you have space for it.
A generator is no small device and the size you choose can be anywhere from medium to very large depending on the needs of your home. You need an accessible space to store the generator, operate it, and maintain it.
Also, consider that this has to be some distance from the home because of the noise. The space should also have a covering to protect the generator from sun or rain.
The same goes for a space to store fuel. Use plastic storage cans that close firmly and store them in a covered safe area away from the home and fire sources.
Weigh the alternative
If you don’t have an emergency generator, what is your alternative power source in the case of an outage? With a reliable and suitable alternative, you might not need an emergency generator.
What are whole house generators?
They can also be called standby generators and they provide power to an entire home. Whole house generators are installed as a permanent addition to the home. They can provide uninterrupted backup power supply for days because they are connected to the electrical power of the home and an external supply of fuel.
How do whole house generators work?
When the automatic transfer switch detects an interruption in your power supply, it disconnects you from the utility and connects to the generator. The switch starts up the generator before transferring power to your electrical panel. This takes only a few seconds or minutes.
The internal combustion energy of the generator is fueled by a local gas supply. If natural gas isn’t available, the engine can run on a store of liquid propane or diesel nearby. These systems all run on a finite amount of fuel which can shut off or provide only limited fuel if affected by the storm. When the power from your utility comes back the same switch turns off the generator and reconnects you to the municipal power supply.
This seamless and convenient operation makes a whole house generator ideal for a home with elderly people and young children and businesses who need constant power. It is generally safe and efficient.
What about installation?
As we mentioned before, a whole house generator is a costly investment and installing it only raises this cost. First, you have to check for noise ordinances in your area that restrict the installation of generators. Then you need a professional, licensed, and experienced electrician to work on the installation. These professionals will discuss everything including local gas supply with you.
A whole house generator installation is not a DIY project- you just can’t wiggle your way through this one with minimal skills. You will need permits to begin and inspections when the project is complete.
Maintenance and capacity
To help you spend less check the capacity of the generator and determine what suits you best. The higher the capacity of the generator the more circuits it can serve easily. You have to consider using all or just some circuits during a loss of municipal power. A professional will help you calculate the amount of power you are likely to use and suggest the best options for you.
Maintenance with whole house generators should be consistent and usually if the generator was used continuously for 24hrs or more.
What We Think
An emergency generator is no doubt important to keep your home safe and running during a storm. It also keeps you calm and gives peace of mind as the hours drag on. There may be alternatives but very few come with the comfort and convenience of an emergency generator. We will be glad to provide further insight or advice on this.
Now that you have decided
If you have decided that you need an emergency generator there are other factors that come in play.
Choosing the generator
This can easily be a daunting task. Choosing an emergency generator involves identifying your home needs, brands available, and more. An electrical technician can provide great insight into this.
Hiring someone for the installation
You need to hire a professional to ensure the safe and smooth installation of the emergency generator. The professional electrician can help you install a standby generator that comes on as soon as the power goes out.
Last Updated: May 18, 2023