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What Should My Backup Generator Be Able To Do For Me?

Investing in a backup generator is one of the best emergency preparedness steps you can take. What should a generator do — and what should you look for?

In these uncertain times (well, more uncertain than usual, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic), more and more people are looking to prepare their homes and their families for unforeseen disasters. Buying a backup generator is one of the simplest and most efficient ways to bring peace of mind into your emergency preparedness kit.

A generator will keep your appliances running and your home life relatively “normal” in case of a power outage. At its most basic, this can prevent food spoilage and keep you connected to the world around you. But generators can also help you maintain a semblance of normalcy in times of power outage — depending on the model and type, you can even run all of your home’s electronics and lights. Which type of backup generator you choose will dictate what it can do for you. Let’s talk about the different models, and what each one is best for. After this article, you’ll be able to decide which home generator is the right choice for your budget and family.

What Are The Different Types Of Backup Generators?

There are many different types of generators available to residential consumers. Of course, there are pros and cons to each model, and prices vary greatly. As a brief overview, here are the major types you will encounter as you conduct research.

Portable Generators For Home Use

These are the most cost-effective models, as they are small and comparably lightweight. As the name implies, you can pack them up and move them to different spaces. This can be helpful if you’re planning on using a generator for emergency home power outages and recreational activities, like camping. It’s important that your portable generator is always positioned in an open space, not inside the home. Keeping it at least 20 feet away from your living space is ideal.

Portable generators, whether used for fun or backup purposes, do not have as large an energy output as home standby generators, and must be started manually. This requires a level of knowledge and safety protocol from the user; it’s important to read up on safe generator use before investing in one. (You can always call the friendly professionals at Blanton’s to get the facts.) Additionally, portable generators typically create more noise than permanently installed models. This may not be a bother to you if you don’t intend on using it for a prolonged period of time — but it could be a consideration if you live in close proximity to other folks.

Home Standby Generators For Backup & Emergencies

Some homeowners choose to invest in standby generators that are installed permanently on their property. These typically cost more, but there are some big benefits to buying one. The first is that with an auto-start feature, it will kick on by itself in the case of a power outage. That means not monkeying around with cords and setup in the case of an electrical disruption. Home standby generators are always installed by professional technicians, and should receive regular maintenance to keep them in tip-top shape.

Another benefit of permanent or stationary generators is that they have the capacity to power your whole home or living space. If you want to ensure that your refrigerator keeps running and the media and entertainment devices in your house are not interrupted, you may want to invest in a “whole house generator. ”

What Should A Backup Generator Do?

Now that you know the two major types of generators, you may be asking, “What should a generator do? Why should I buy a backup generator?” These are funny purchases in that we hope to never, or rarely, use them. Emergency generators are like umbrellas: It seems that as soon as you put one in your tote bag, the sun comes out and you don’t have to use it. Still, having one can provide a great sense of assuredness as you go about your daily tasks.

Your home generator will keep you up and running for a short period of time during outages and disruptions. As stated above, how much of your house stays running depends on the model. But a generator is not built for long-term use, and you should not plan on powering your daily activities with one for a prolonged period of time. Not only is this energy-inefficient, it’s costly to the consumer!

While a backup generator is largely an “out of sight, out of mind” purchase, it’s an incredibly powerful investment for your home. Some homeowners purchase both types, but if you’re only looking to use it for emergencies, one is all you need. Are you considering buying a generator? What questions do you have? Give us a call today; we’ll be happy to help you make this important decision.

Contact Blanton’s Air at (910) 249-4898 for all your Fayetteville or Raleigh, NC HVAC and plumbing needs.

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