According to data from the federal government, the electrical grid of the United States loses power 285% more often than it did back in 1984, which was when the first efforts were made to collect data on blackouts. In 2014 alone there were 130 reports of outages on the grid in just the first six months, and power outages cost the businesses of America about $150 billion every year.
It’s not just businesses that have to worry, though. Private residences have a lot to lose when power outages strike, and that’s good reason to consider installing whole house generators to protect our families and our investments.
Whole House Generators: Why You Need One
- Protect your food If the power is out for four hours or less, then the food in your refrigerator or freezer is generally safe to keep eating. If the power is out longer than that, though, you run the risk of either losing lot of your food or, even worse, possibly making your family very ill.
- Protect your loved ones If you have a loved one dependent on any electrical appliance for their health, a power outage can be deadly: but it’s not just electrical health appliances that are in danger. Severe cold or extreme heat can be deadly for both the elderly and infants. An emergency generator allows you to protect the most vulnerable people in your life.
- Protect your livelihood If you work from home, a power outage can be more than just an annoyance. Are you dependent on the internet to keep things running? What happens if the router cuts out for hours at a time? A laptop is mobile, but if you rely on a desktop you’re up a creek without a paddle unless you have standby generators installed.
Whole House Generators: How to Choose
If you need generator installation, the first question is what size you need. This is pretty easy to figure based on how big a supply you need. A 1,000 watt generator would be sufficient to power a video systems and some warming trays for your tailgating party, but the whole house is going to take quite a lot more. Tabulate the total rated watts of all the appliances you’ll need to keep going during an outage and get a generator that’s slighting larger than this need. You need something a bit bigger because many appliances need more current when they first start up. Experts generally recommend a unit that can run at 4,000 watts for a typical home generator installation.
Whole House Generators: How to Care For Them
You’ve figured your generator size calculator and you’ve gotten generator installers to put one in. How do you take care of it?
- Protect the engine with the right fuel Any gas with ethanol in it will eventually destroy an engine if left to sit. Ethanol causes moisture to build up and corrodes everything. If your generator is likely to go unused for 30 days or more, be sure to either add a fuel stabilizer (available at nearly any auto supply store, Walmart, gas station, or even many grocery stores) or, better yet, source some ethanol-free gas. Never let the generator run of out gas, either.
- Protect the machine with a good cover With all the money it costs to buy and install whole house generators, it’s silly not to spring for a bit more to get a good cover at the least. You can also consider building it a small enclosure.
- Power it up every three months This will help you determine whether the starter is in good shape. You don’t want to find out that this is broken when you desperately need power in the middle of winter.
Whole house generators are a great way to protect yourself, your family, and your livelihood, as well as simply to stay comfortable during long outages. Look for generator installers in your area who can help you find the right generator for your home.