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.
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.