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What Size Generator is Needed for an Average Home in a Power Outage?

power outageWhether you’re new to South Florida or you’ve lived here for several years, you are vulnerable to power outages. These may develop as the result of a tropical storm or hurricane, or as the result of a higher-than-normal demand for power during a hot spell. Before you head to a generator outlet though, you need to know how to size a backup generator for home.

Call a Generator Outlet for Help

Don’t wait until a hurricane is whirling toward your South Florida community. Instead, prepare ahead of time, study the different generators available to help provide backup power, talk to the employees at several generator outlets and get a reliable estimate for the right-size emergency generator.

You know hurricane season begins in June and ends at the end of November every year. Of course, rogue storms do strike outside that hurricane season window, so you need to be ready for anything. As you’re thinking about the right kind of generator for your home’s electrical needs, learn how to choose a home generator.

Use a Generator Sizing Tool

Run a comparison. Several outlets, including Consumer Reports, advise homeowners to estimate how many watts they may use as they are looking for the right generator for their needs. Consumer Reports also suggest that you choose a generator model that is equal to the total wattage for which a generator will be providing backup power during the power outage that develops during and after a hurricane. As you are thinking about your choices, do remember that some of your appliances may “surge” when they first come on, so account for that.

Generac provides a tool that helps you determine the generator size you need for your home. By plugging in a few numbers and selecting the circuits needing power, you get an estimate. Follow Generac’s advice and have a professional look at your specific needs.

Look at Generac

As you learn how to size a backup generator for your home, look at what Generac has to offer to homeowners. You’ll see that the generators they have in stock will help to power your South Florida home after a large storm.  While other homeowners are struggling to keep their perishable foods on ice, you’ll be living in your home, comfortably waiting for municipal power to be restored. No matter what brand you ultimately choose to buy, you need to be able to rely on your emergency generator. If it is too small, you may not be able to use some of your electrical equipment. If you rely on a private water source, your sump pump may fail. As you think about how to choose a home generator, don’t forget about each appliance that relies on electrical power.

Different Sizes Do Matter

Size does matter. While you may be looking at your bank balance, smaller and less expensive isn’t better, according to Consumer Reports, especially if you need to power several electrical appliances.

  • Small portable runs your refrigerator, sump pump, some lights, your television and your microwave
  • Midsized portable/small stationary will run all of the previous plus a portable heater, heating system, a second pump, computer and several more lights
  • Large portable runs all of the previous plus a small water heater, electric range and central air conditioner
  • Large whole-home standby generator runs all of the above plus a washer and dryer

You’re equipped with some basic information. Start researching generators and generator outlets so you’re ready for hurricane season.

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Choosing the Best Emergency Generator for Home Use

Don't throw away food the next time you have a power outage!

Don’t throw away food the next time you have a power outage!

You and your family have been through one too many extended power outages after your community was hit by hurricane after hurricane. They quickly get expensive, too. You want to be able to safely use the food you have stored in your refrigerator and freezer, not throw it out. A reliable home generator makes a good power substitute until power is back on.

Determine Your Family’s Power Needs

After the last hurricane knocked power out, you had no electrical service for several days. You ended up throwing hundreds of dollars worth of spoiled food out, which crimped your budget. With no electrical power, you had no air conditioning.

You’re not going to get caught in that trap again. Before you grab your checkbook or credit card, however, you need to determine your family’s power needs. If a family member needs his medications kept cold, for instance, you need a generator that will kick in immediately after the power fails. As you decide how to choose a generator, you also need to know how you’ll use one.

Buy Your Emergency Generator Before the Next Hurricane

If a family member relies on prescription medication that has to stay cold, or if he relies on durable medical equipment powered by electricity, your power needs are much more urgent than those of your neighbors down the street.

Take every one of your family’s power-related needs into consideration before beginning to shop. These needs include powering gates, alarms and security lights, maintaining prescription medications and preserving perishable foods. If you get your water from a well, you need to power the water pump.

Choose Your Type of Generator

Now that you know how much backup power your family will need during a blackout, it’s time to decide just what kind of generator you’ll be buying. You have three choices:

  • Portable generators, which are the smallest
  • Hardwired generators, allowing you to provide power to several appliances at once
  • Whole-home generators, which kick into action as a power outage occurs.

These generators keep operating until your community’s power is restored.

If a generator is beyond your budget at the moment, think about buying a pre-owned generator. These have been completely checked out for any mechanical issues, then repaired so they are like new.

Safety Issues

Home standby generators typically use natural gas as a fuel source, so you’ll need a gas line installation if you don’t already have one. According to Consumer Reports, you should position your generator as far away from your house as possible to prevent the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Popular Mechanics advises that you start your generator up on a regular basis – when you don’t need it – to make sure it’s running properly. Quality whole home generators have a test cycle that runs automatically and alerts you to any problems.

Choosing Your Generator

Now that you know all of this, you should be able to decide what kind of generator you and your family need. Start doing your research and get some expert advice on the right generator for your requirements. Once you get your new standby generator installed, you’re ready for the next big storm.

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It Isn’t Only Hurricanes that Cause Power Outages

power outagesFlorida and hurricanes go together like peanut butter and grape jam. But, as you know only too well, your home’s power connection can go down because of other reasons. And if power outages are extended, you run the risk of losing all the perishable foods in your freezer and refrigerator. You won’t be able to run the air conditioner. If you have a home business, you won’t be able to work. Forget about going anywhere else to work, because the loss of power affects others in your community.

Other Weather Events

While Florida isn’t in the middle of Tornado Alley, it’s not unreasonable to believe that the state is vulnerable to excessive wind storms spawned by extreme thunderstorms. Given the vulnerability of the electrical grid to excessively high winds, it’s reasonable that you worry about a power outage.

Wind speeds can be high, rivaling those of tornadoes – or tropical storms. Power companies, water companies, businesses and residences are going to be greatly affected by these storms. And, in the event of a strong hurricane, tornadoes can spawn off from these bigger storms.

Excessive Demand for Power

If outside temperatures go excessively high, the demand for electrical power can overwhelm the electrical grid. Businesses and residences turn air conditioners and refrigerated air on early in the day, which puts too much stress on the power company’s stores of electricity. Before you know it, brownouts and rolling blackouts become the order of the day.

When situations like this affect your South Florida community, backup power is necessary. For families with someone whose life relies on a constant, reliable flow of electricity, a standby generator is mandatory.

It’s always warm and humid in Florida. During the summer months, the temperatures will go up. You and your family don’t want to be in the dark, enduring high humidity and temperatures, waiting for the power company to restore your power.

How This Affects Your Family

No matter the cause of the blackout in your South Florida community, you need to have a reliable backup source of emergency power. A source of backup power can help you:

  • Keep perishable foods from spoiling
  • Keep your A/C humming
  • Provide security and protection from looters
  • Keep power going to your home computer
  • Keep lifesaving medical equipment operating

Blackouts and brownouts are happening more and more frequently, sometimes from unexpected or unknown causes. If you have a family member whose life relies on electrical current, a commercial standby generator can give you peace of mind.

Backup Generators

You wouldn’t think that a source of emergency power would be necessary, but it could be. More and more, families and businesses are turning to backup generators and commercial standby generators to remain functional during a disaster or even just during a widespread blackout.

Chronically ill family members aren’t the only concern. Your youngest family members are as well. They need to feel secure and safe and, to do this, you need to help them maintain as normal a schedule as possible. While candles and camp stoves are an option, if you have very young children, these are actually more dangerous. Having a backup generator can help you avoid emergencies.

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Need Backup Power for a Big Family Event?

backup powerYou have a big family event coming up. At this point, it really doesn’t matter whether it’s a huge family reunion set in South Florida, or if it’s a destination wedding. You’re responsible for setting up activities and entertainment. You’ve secured entertainment for the kids in your family. You gave in to your son’s suggestion and hired a rock band – that needs electrical power for their mics and speakers. Clearly, you’re going to need a reliable source of backup power, because your mother suggested buying a bagful of power strips and extension cords!

Reasons to Choose a Home Generator

You are blessed with consistently good South Florida weather. Because hurricane season ends at the end of November, as long as you schedule your celebration at the right time of the year, you won’t have to worry about anything more than heat and humidity.

Because you’re planning so many outdoors events to make the most of Florida’s sunny weather, you’re thinking of sources of backup power to have energy running to all the electrical equipment you’ll be using. Don’t forget – your community or neighborhood can experience a power outage unexpectedly. It’s during these times that a home standby generator can help rescue your event from an unnecessary disaster.

Drawbacks to Extension Cords and Power Strips

Your mother might believe that her suggestion of setting up a series of extension cords and power strips is a good one. These items can be put to limited use because the National Electric Code forbids their use in certain circumstances.

Extension Cords can’t be used under the following circumstances:

º Where they are vulnerable to damage

º Extended through windows or doorways

º Placed in wall, ceiling or floor holes

º To substitute for fixed wiring

º For equipment that demands more than 15 amps

º Can’t be connected in a daisy-chain or piggy-back fashion to other cords or power strips

The use of power strips is also limited:

º All surge suppressors are power strips

º Not every power strip has surge suppression capability

You are probably beginning to realize that you need a more-reliable source of emergency power. You want everyone to have fun at your family event – nobody needs to be needlessly hurt. In the event of an unexpected power outage, you want to be sure that nothing electrical stops functioning, either inside or outside your party venue.

The Safety Risks

All surge protectors are power strips. Not every power strip is a surge protector. Should you have all those power strips and extension cords daisy-chained together, a power surge could short out the equipment being used. Not only that, the surge and resulting short out could result in a fire. If you’re relying on a power strip and extension cord to keep crock pots and electric frying pans powered, you need to know that power strips are not supposed to be used with anything that has a heating element.

If the price of a new commercial standby generator is beyond your family’s reach, a pre-owned generator or one available on sale could help you solve that problem.

Having a Safe Family Event

Now that your event is nearing, you need to have a reliable source of emergency power. The right-sized generator can fill your needs for this family event and, when everyone has had their fun and gone home, you have a generator available for the next hurricane and blackout.

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5 Tips for Putting Up a Holiday Light Display at Your Business

commercial standby generatorThe holidays are rapidly approaching and you may be hesitating to set up a large light display. You worry about overloading your South Florida business’ electrical circuits. If an unexpected storm blows through, you may lose electrical power. You may have another option – a commercial standby generator can protect your business.

Setting Up Safe Light Displays

When customers come into your business, they may bring young children inside with them. While you want them to enjoy your holiday displays, you also want them to be safe, especially the little ones. To accomplish this:

  • Choose LED lights. They stay cooler than incandescent bulbs
  • Place fiber-optic ornaments out of the reach of curious little hands
  • Opt for nonflammable decorations
  • Keep plants and Christmas trees watered.
  • Test smoke alarms to ensure they are working correctly.

Lights Around Trees and Windows

It’s time for the holidays! You’d love to put up some light displays, but you’re afraid that, if you put up too many, you’ll end up overloading the capacity of the electrical lines near your business. Even when one of your employees asks about the possibility of putting up an exterior display, you hesitate, not wanting to cause a power outage.

Think about the kind of holiday light display you’d like to set up. If it will include several strands of icicle lights, lights wrapped around the trees outside your business and some light strands surrounding the windows of your business, you shouldn’t worry about overloading circuits. Depending on how much office equipment you have that operates with electrical power, such as a copier, fax machine and printer, you may have to invest in special outlets and power cords, as well as a source of backup power.

Light up Live Potted Plants

Inside your business, look at the decor. If your live, potted trees are healthy, getting plenty of water, try wrapping smaller strands of lights around them. Bring the holidays indoors! Just remember to unplug the lights at the end of the work day.

Do you have any merchandise displays? If so, don’t leave them out. Some lights or a pre-lit garland can dress these areas up, extending the holiday feeling to these areas as well.

Don’t Forget the Receptionist’s Area

While it may not be realistic to drape a string of lights around her desk, your receptionist might enjoy having some holiday display in her area. Think about wrapping some of the pictures in garland or a pre-lit garland. A fiber-optic holiday animal can also brighten her work area. Check how many light strands you have and make sure everything electrical is connected to your emergency power source, just in case the unexpected happens.

As you think about the added stress on your business’ electrical outlets, you realize you need a source of backup power. Here in South Florida, it’s not unusual for a freak storm to blow up and bring down power lines. In this situation, you definitely need emergency power to keep your business operational.

Being Prepared

Your holiday display is all set up and it looks beautiful. Just a few days after your display goes live, another business sets their display up – and they go all-out. Their display is so big that a large portion of your street loses power. Until the electric company can get its workers out to repair the overloaded transformer box, you have to rely on your commercial standby generator. The resulting power outage leaves neighboring businesses in the dark. Except for you.

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A South Florida Christmas: Decorating your Home

how to choose a generatorThe holidays are here! A time for family, presents, togetherness… and lots of Christmas lights. Rather than sticking to just some garlands and a tree, you might want to look into adding touches of holiday cheer to both the inside and outside of your home this year.

Indoor Lighting

When most people think of indoor Christmas lights, they think about the ones wrapped around the tree. The truth, however, is that you can use lights to create a very festive Christmas display that extends beyond the living room.

Here are some places where a string of Christmas lights can look great:

  1. Running around the ceiling (you might need to combine several strings of lights to cover an entire room)
  2. Around a door or window
  3. Wrapped around indoor potted plants (works even better if you have several potted plants sitting together)
  4. Placed inside a glass vase or lamp, so the glow of the lights shows through
  5. On the headboard of your bed
  6. Against the back of the kitchen counter or under the cabinets (you might need to use tape to secure the cable)

Although colorful lights are great for certain areas of the home, white lights often make a stronger statement, especially if you plan on using them around colorful objects or decorating entire rooms with them.e

Taking the Lights Outdoors 

When it comes to decorating outside, many people stick to large lawn ornaments and some outdoor lightning. Unless you live in an area with strict rules or are trying to keep the outdoor displays to a minimum, there’s no reason why you should stop there. In fact, a little touch of added light or color here or there can make a world of difference — and without costing you a fortune.

You’ll get the biggest impact from simple things, like wrapping strings of light around tree trunks or branches. No trees outside? Wrap the lights around the porch or balcony railing. Or buy some potted plants, decorate them with lights and place them right outside your front door.

For something different, find some tree branches or buy some giant plastic candy canes. Then find an empty plant pot (tall ones work better for this) and fill the bottom with a bunch of Christmas lights. Place the branches/candy canes on top and then plug in. The light coming from within the pot will create a great lighting effect.

Preparing for the Unexpected, such as a South Florida Power Outage

Finally, your Christmas display is set. The lights are on, the giant Santa is all ready to go and the tree is shining brightly through the window.

One thing you might be missing? Emergency power.

If you are one of the millions of Americans who goes all out with their Christmas decoration, you might want to think about a South Florida power outage and how that will affect your holiday decor. After all, you probably don’t want to be in the dark on Christmas Eve, as you sit down to enjoy dinner with the family.

One way to avoid problems is to make sure you pick energy efficient lightning, so you’re not overwhelming your home’s electrical system once everything goes on at the same time. If your entire Christmas decor is just a collection of a tree plus a few lighted lawn displays, you’ll probably fine even if you don’t take any additional precautions. If you plan on going all out with outdoor lightning, however, you might need special power cords and outlets that can take the added electrical stress on the house.

And don’t forget to have a backup generator all ready to go. While you don’t want to rely on that to light your home, you also don’t want to be in the dark if the lights happen to go out on Christmas Eve.

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Top 4 Most Devastating Florida Hurricanes in History

florida hurricanes

Flood in the Belle Glade area after the 1928 storm. (Historical Society of Palm Beach)

Being prepared for a disaster by having a home standby generator can make a world of difference. For starters, a standby unit means you don’t have to rely on gas (which could be in short supply after a major natural disaster) and you don’t have to head outside to refill the unit during or after the storm.

Unfortunately, some of the worst Florida hurricanes to ever hit the region happened long ago, before emergency power systems, generators and other helpful devices were invented.

Here’s a breakdown of the five worst hurricanes in the history of Florida.

Key West, 1919

Although Key West has been struck by hurricanes numerous times, none have been as devastating as the one that landed there in 1919.The hurricane’s death toll could be as high as 800 (the exact numbers are unknown), with many of those deaths happening onboard ships that were sailing in the surrounding waters.

One of the reasons for the massive damage caused by this hurricane was how long the storm lasted. Although the strongest winds (110 mph) only lasted for a few hours, the storm lingered over South Florida for 38 hours. The sustained 39 mph winds made evacuation difficult and might have affected how many lives were lost in the storm.

After striking Florida, the storm then continued on to Corpus Christi, Texas, becoming the first hurricane ever to hit the city directly.

Okeechobee, 1928

The most devastating hurricane in the history of Florida, Okeechobee killed more than 2,000 people and destroyed over 6,000 homes. That’s in addition to 2,000 other people who died when the hurricane struck the Caribbean, especially the islands of Puerto Rico and Guadeloupe. In Florida, the hurricane was particularly devastating because it struck farther inland, taking residents by surprise.

Aside from the destruction brought over by the 125 mph winds, Okeechobee also caused massive floods.The rain that came with the storm caused the Lake Okeechobee dikes to crumble, inundating the surrounding area.

The Herbert Hoover Dike was constructed in the lake after the hurricane to help control the movement of the water and prevent a similar tragedy from ever happening again.

Labor Day, 1935

Known as the Labor Day Hurricane or the Florida Keys Hurricane, was a category 5 hurricane that struck the upper Florida Keys. The hurricane is still considered the “most intense landfalling U.S. hurricane,” with winds reaching 185 mph.

Over 400 people died during the storm, including 200 World War I veterans living in a local work camp. The hurricane derailed trains, washed away bridges, and completely destroyed the village of Islamorada. A storm surge almost 20 feet tall washed away entire area of the Florida Keys.

Andrew, 1992

Called “the most expensive natural disaster in U.S. history,” Hurricane Andrew struck South Florida in August of 1992. It caused over $25 billion in damage and hit the state with winds as strong as 177 mph.

Andrew caused a relatively low number of fatalities: 23 people. However, it left over 175,000 homeless and almost 1.5 million people without electricity for days. The hurricane also caused massive natural destruction, knocking down over 70,000 trees in the Everglades. Floods and heavy rain caused additional damage and required massive evacuations.

While installing a home standby generator will not necessarily keep you safe when Florida hurricanes hit, it can still be a great ally during the storm’s aftermath. Keep in mind that in many cases, people return to their homes after the storm has passed but before electric power is restored. Having a home generator means you’ll be able to cook, have access to warm water and feel safer during a moment of crisis.

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5 Reasons Your Florida Business Needs a Commercial Generator for Backup Power

commercial generatorLiving and working in Florida, you and your employees face the reality of tropical storms and hurricanes that can lead to the loss of electrical power to your business and equipment. If you could find a way to keep your business operational during and after a major storm or other catastrophe, you would be able to protect much of your business – and much more. A commercial-grade generator may help you stay in business.

Ability to Maintain Customer Contact

If you have a commercial generator installed for your business, you’ll be able to resume contact with your customers on the first day you are allowed to get back into your office. While other businesses in your neighborhood and community are unable to open because they do not have generators, you’re calling customers to see how they made it through the storm. You’re also building valuable goodwill.

Keep Lighting and Security

A commercial generator is equipped with a transfer switch, which means that as soon as a major storm leads to a loss of electrical power, the switch senses that power has gone out. The generator kicks in, continuing to power your business’ lighting and security system, which helps to keep your business and everything within safe from looters.

Looters won’t target a business that still has its lights – and security – operational. Instead, they will target those companies that have gone dark after a power outage.

Avoid Loss of Electronic Data

Your business’ computers are vulnerable to power outages, especially when they don’t run on internal batteries. Data stored on the hard drives could be lost in the event of a major storm and resulting power outage.

Even if you have a regularly scheduled data backup, a loss of electricity can cause your computers to lose data that you, your employees and your business rely on to stay in operation.

Prevent Loss of Income

Unless you have a source of emergency power that doesn’t rely on the municipal power grid, your business can’t operate until electricity begins flowing through the lines again. For you and your business, this would force you to stay closed, losing thousands of dollars for every day you’re unable to open.

A generator that connects to your business’ electrical lines provides a reliable source of backup power. This enables you to open, keep your employees earning and, by allowing customers to come buy from you, helps you to bring in the money you need to keep your company operational.

A Commercial Generator Helps Increase Value to Customers

As a business owner in Florida, you know how much damage a hurricane or even a tropical storm can wreak on communities, individuals and businesses such as yours. Your customers are also aware of this.

It makes good business sense to invest in a source of backup power so you can continue providing services or products to loyal customers. When power lines are pulled down, other businesses will stay shuttered until damage has been repaired and power restored. Some of these businesses may never reopen.

Customers develop loyalty to a business as well as to a brand. When they are unable to visit the business to which they’ve developed positive feelings, they will eventually begin to think that the owner is shortsighted. Eventually, they will start visiting another establishment.

For so many reasons, having reliable emergency power available before a disaster strikes can save your business. Because Florida is right in the path of strong storms, a commercial generator makes good business sense.

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Know How Generators Work to Prepare Financially for a Disaster

how generators workWhen disasters hit, such as the recent tornados that hit the Mid West, there’s often no time to think about whether you’re prepared financially for the situation. This makes it imperative that you consider ahead of time what you will do in those circumstances, how you will react and what steps you should take ahead of time to minimize your risk.

Spend Money to Save Money

When people look into how generators work and whether they should buy one for their home, money might come into the picture. While the initial investment required to install a standby generator might be significant, there’s something else you should keep in mind: Having a standby generator in your home might actually end up saving you money in the long run.

Why? Well, for starters, if you have a generator, you might not need to leave your home and head to a shelter in the case of a disaster. Looting can be a problem when homes are left empty, so if you’re staying behind, you’ll be able to protect your assets. In addition, being able to run a generator means you won’t go days without power in the case of a major storm, so things in the fridge won’t go bad. Plus, you will still be able to follow the weather reports through the TV or radio.

When it comes to being ready for a disaster, however, getting your important paperwork in order it’s just as important as getting your home ready and stockpiling on food and water.

How to Get Started

The first thing you should do to financially prepare you for an emergency is to select the important paperwork you want to protect. Here’s a breakdown of the most essential documents:

  • All personal documents, including Social Security card, birth and marriage certificates, diplomas and passports. If you have additional paperwork, such as military documents, those should be saved as well. If you have a will or estate planning paperwork, add that too.
  • All home-related documents, including car title, home deed and insurance policies
  • Financial documents: account information for your 401(k) or IRA, as well as any bonds or stock certificates you might own
  • Medical documents: Health insurance cards are a must during an emergency. So are prescription records, in case you need to refill essential medication for a condition

You should also have written record of all your most important phone contacts, including your doctor, a friend or relative you can call during an emergency, a vet clinic if you have pets and your insurance (both medical and car insurances). Don’t rely on the numbers saved in your phone during an emergency — you might not be able to recharge your phone or the lines/towers might be inaccessible, and then you won’t know the numbers to call.

How to Store the Paperwork

Important documents should always be stored in a fireproof, waterproof box. Unless you have tons of paperwork, you can go with the smallest of boxes, which should be big enough to store several full folders.

Waterproof plastic containers are a good second option if you have nothing else available, but keep in mind these will only serve as protection against water, but not fire. Also, always test the container in advance by submerging it under water and confirming that water cannot get inside once the lid is secure.

The Power of Electricity

When it comes to financial planning, keep one thing in mind: ATM machines need electricity to run. Once you understand how generators work, you’ll see that only major places, such as hospitals and some stores will have one in place. Chances are your local bank will not. Small grocery shops aren’t likely to have one either. While they might remain open to sell products, they won’t be able to accept credit cards if there’s no electricity.

The answer? Always keep some cash in hand. Better yet, store it along with your financial papers so you can access it quickly during a disaster. You probably don’t need a lot – just enough to buy you a tank of gas and some extra food and water if needed.

Image credit: CNN.com

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A Year After Sandy, Backup Power Generators Remain Popular

backup powerWhen Hurricane Sandy hit the Atlantic Coast in October 2012, it surprised a lot of people. People who were not prepared to deal with the aftermath of a powerful storm and the destruction it can bring.

Sandy’s devastating effects opened a lot of eyes to the importance of being prepared with an escape plan, backup power and emergency supplies.

In the past, backup power generators were something that only people in hurricane-prone states bought. Since Sandy, however, more and more homeowners are realizing the importance of generators everywhere, according to Generac’s (the leading maker of home standby generators) Chief Executive Aaron Jagdfeld.

Choosing the Right Option

When you’re thinking of a secondary source of power, your first reaction might be to go to solar paneling or other forms of green energy. While that’s a great option, solar systems are more expensive, more difficult to install and take more time to get up and running than standby generators. Plus, solar systems often require unsightly installations on your roof, which might not even be acceptable depending on the building codes in your city.

Standby generators, on the other hand, are located next to the house or in your basement, so they’re not an eyesore. They can also be up and running in just a few hours.

What Makes Standby Generators So Important

In an interview with National Geographic Daily News, Jagdfeld pointed out that Hurricane Sandy was a wakeup call for many when it comes to standby generators. He explained that more and more people rely on the electric grid for power without taking into consideration the increase in severe weather and the ever-aging population. Combined, these things could spell disaster, especially in many large cities and communities, where installing a standby generator has often been deemed unnecessary in the past.

Some Numbers

To give you a clearer idea of the impact of Hurricane Sandy, here are some stats:

  • Over 8 million homes lost power when Hurricane Sandy hit
  • By the time Thanksgiving rolled around almost a month later, 80,000 of those homes still didn’t have power restored
  • According to an article in Time, 10,000 people called their local True Value Hardware in New Jersey in the days before Sandy hit. The reason for the call? They were searching for an emergency generator.

Are Generators More Popular?

They certainly are. Generator sales went up 40 percent after Hurricane Sandy. That’s because more and more people are now very aware of the importance of having backup power, regardless of where they live.

In the past, people were more likely to go with portable generators, but standby units are now becoming more popular. Why? Well, for starters, standby generators don’t require gasoline, which might be difficult to obtain if you’re going through a major storm. After all, if there’s no power, gas pumps won’t work. On the other hand, standby generators run on either LP or natural gas, which can be easily stored in tanks so you don’t have to constantly refill the unit to keep it running.

While standby generators are more expensive than portable units, here’s something you might not know: many home insurance companies offer something known as a “loss mitigation credit” if you install a standby generator. This is a special discount offered to customers who own a unity, based on the fact that having backup power can reduce your losses and damages during and after a storm.

Regardless of whether you were affected by Hurricane Sandy or not, a standby generator can be a sound investment for the safety and the future of your home and your family.

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