Posts Tagged whole home generators

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.

Posted in: All Posts, Power Outage

Leave a Comment (0) →

Can’t Afford a Generator? Look for a Generator Sale or a Pre-Owned Unit

generator saleWhen bad weather or any other type of disaster hits, one of the first things to go is your power supply. During an outage, you’ll often wish you had invested in a home generator to provide emergency power. It’s never too late, however, and with the end of the hurricane season in sight there’s every chance that you can look for a generator sale in your area and get a good deal.

Choosing a Generator

The first step is to determine what generator is right for your home. Choosing between portable generators and whole-home units sounds simple, especially when you consider the price, but there’s more to it than that. So before you rush off to the nearest generator sale and buy the cheapest equipment you can find, do some research to find out what you actually need.

What Size Generator Do I Need?

Generator size is based on the number of circuits you need to keep going during a power outage. This varies between households depending on:

  • size of the home
  • number of family members
  • climate
  • time of year when you’re most likely to need it
  • special needs such as healthcare

Generator sizes range from small portable units that can support only a couple of appliances or some lights, to large pieces of equipment that can run the home as well as the outbuildings on a large property.

Find a Generator Sale

Once you know what size you need, you can start looking around for the right-priced unit. Begin with your local generator dealer, because chances are he can give you a pretty good price based on your location and the distance the equipment has to be transported. If your installer doesn’t currently have a generator sale, ask when the next one is likely to be. You may find he gives you a good deal without you having to wait for a sale to come up.

Buy a Used Unit

It may be possible to purchase a pre-owned or low-hour used generator, if you know where to look for one. Here again your local installer may be able to advise you, because he is likely to be one of the first people homeowners turn to if they want to sell a used generator when they upgrade. You’ll need to ask some of the following questions before becoming involved in a private generator sale:

  • What are the age, hours and usage of the unit?
  • Who is the manufacturer and what is their reputation?
  • How well has the unit been maintained?
  • Are there signs of physical wear and tear on the unit?
  • How does it perform in a Load Test?
  • Who you are buying it from (broker vs distributor)?

When you have the answers to these issues, ask your installer to examine it the generator before committing yourself, to protect you against unforeseen circumstances. As long as it has been looked after and maintained regularly, it could be in excellent condition.

Choose A Generator

 

Posted in: All Posts, Buying a Generator

Leave a Comment (0) →

How to Choose a Home Generator That’s Perfect for Your Needs

how to choose a home generator

You’ll need to choose the right home generator to continue life as normal during a power outage

Choosing a home standby generator to provide emergency power during an outage is an exact science. Generators come in a range of sizes and capabilities, and if you want to know how to choose a home generator for your particular needs, the first thing you have to do is determine what your requirements are going to be.

Questions to Ask

Ask yourself these questions to help identify the appliances you need to operate to carry on life as normal:

  • Do I have a security system or alarm that requires electricity, and how safe is my family without it?
  • What temperatures does my region typically get during potential outage seasons? (Tip: If these happen during summer, will you need to run A/C or is your home designed to make the most of natural airflow?)
  • How much perishable food do I usually have in stock, and will it outlast a one- or two-day (or week) power outage?
  • Does anyone in my household require refrigerated medication or the use of life-saving electrically-powered medical equipment?
  • Is my home prone to flooding during heavy rains if the sump pump is out of action due to the power outage?

Your answers to these questions (and others you may think of) will highlight the number of circuits you need to be able to operate in the event of a power failure that lasts longer than a couple hours.

Calculate Your Usage

Based on your responses to these questions, you can calculate the amount of power you’re going to need during a power outage. That will enable you decide how to choose a home generator that will supply enough power. Use the Consumer Reports free wattage calculator to determine how much emergency power you need to keep your home going for the duration of the outage. Remember to take account of the size of appliances such as AC – you may need more power to operate a 15,000 BTU AC than you do for a 5,000 BTU unit.

Select a Location

While you’re figuring out how to choose a home generator, don’t forget to think about where you’re going to put it. Location is an important aspect of your choice, because whole-home generators aren’t small items. You can’t install it in your basement out of the way, either; you need to have it located outdoors and comply with safety requirements to have it a certain distance away from the house. Generator emissions consist of carbon monoxide, which is responsible for the death of close to 100 Americans each year and thousands of emergency room visits. So your generator has to be far enough from the home to avoid affecting the air your family breathes. You may also want to enclose it in a cabinet or housing to soundproof it and protect it from the elements, so make sure you have enough space to accommodate the unit.

Choose Your Fuel

Most whole-home generators are powered by natural gas, although liquid propane is also an option. To run a large home’s emergency power on propane will require you to refuel the generator every few hours, which could be problematic during an outage lasting days or weeks. Get your home generator professional to help you determine how to choose a home generator and advise you on the best type to install for your purposes.

quote

Posted in: Emergency Power, Home Generators, Uncategorized

Leave a Comment (0) →

Why Whole Home Generators Beat Portables

whole home generatorsWhen homeowners experience a power outage, it’s often the first time they stop to consider the option of installing an emergency power supply. Don’t be tempted by portable generators; sure, they are cheaper and take less work to install, but there are a number of reasons why whole home generators are a better bet than a portable one. Here are some of the main factors you should consider before making your choice:

Safety

The safety of home generators is a primary concern. With portable generators, there’s a degree of risk involved in the continual refueling needed to keep the generator going. Most portables use gasoline or propane to operate, and gasoline is particularly volatile during handling. Both Subaru and American Honda recently issued recalls for portable generators, due to a fire hazard caused by potential leaks in the fuel hoses.

In addition, regardless of the type of fuel used, portable generators produce colorless, odorless carbon monoxide gas. This can be lethal in high enough concentrations, particularly for someone with a compromised immune system. Whole home generators don’t require refueling or complex home operation, so your safety risks are minimized.

Cost Benefit

The cost of installing whole home generators is substantially higher than portables, we know that. There are a number of benefits, however, which we believe should be taken into account when you’re making your decision:

  • Investment value – by installing a whole-home generator you increase the resale value of your property by at least 75% of the installation cost over a five-year period.
  • You might save on labor charges for installation, but you’ll pay in the long term with the numer of personal hours you’ll have to put in to starting, refueling and maintaining the portable.
  • Calculate the cost of traveling to and from your nearest gas station multiplied by the number of trips you’ll have to make to get through a 7-day power outage.

When you consider these cost implications, the higher-priced whole-home generator becomes a much more attractive proposition.

Convenience

If your power outage lasts anything longer than a couple hours, you’re going to work as hard as the portable generator does to keep it running. The gas typically lasts around 4 to 5 hours in most models, which means to keep it operational you’ll need to come home in the middle of the work day and set your alarm to wake up at 3 am. If the weather is lousy, you’re refueling the generator in the dark on a cold, wet and windy night! Besides, even if you live near a gas station you’ll need a backup supply, because if the power outage affects the whole area the gas pumps may not be working. Whole-home generators use a natural gas installation so re-fueling isn’t required.

Efficacy

There’s only so many circuits that a portable generator can power, even if you buy a big one. And of course, the larger the equipment the more fuel it uses. That means you essentially have to choose between whether to run your AC or your refrigerator, and whether to cook or keep medication at the right temperature. You usually can’t do it all. A whole-home generator starts automatically and uses clean power, so there’s no fuss, no smell and no choosing between amenities.

For an assessment of your power requirements and an estimate to install a generator to power your home during an outage, contact us to request a quote today.

 

 

Posted in: Emergency Power, Generator Safety, Home Generators, Power Outage

Leave a Comment (0) →