It is important to have a generator on hand. Extreme weather conditions are notorious for cutting off the power, but generators can help to restore your home. Whatever your needs are, it is important to choose the right generator for your home and be aware of important tips.
Choosing the Right Generator
Most people are not aware that there are different types of generators. For example, there are portable generators, which are used to keep a few appliances running such as your refrigerator or an electric stove. You may plug in your appliances directly into the generator itself, or if there is a special connection installed, you can plug it into the wall outlets. Depending on the wattage, portable generators can cost between $300 to $1,200.A standby generator is used to keep your whole house functioning. They run off of a gas connection or a propane tank and turn on automatically when the power goes out. These types of generators typically cost anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000.
When choosing the right size, you need to keep in mind what you are preparing to power when there is a blackout. Generators are based on electrical capacity NOT physical size. This means you should add up all the appliances you want to power simultaneously.
Portable generators should never be placed inside and should remain at least 20 feet outside your home. These types of generators run off gasoline which creates carbon monoxide (CO) emissions. This type of gas can cause illness and even death if not taken care of properly. Consumer reports only recommends portable generators that pass a CO safety technology test. For a generator to earn Excellent rating in CO safety, it must have an integrated CO safety shutoff that triggers when the generator in used in and enclosed space according to consumerreports.org. When using a standby generator inside your home, you should always have working smoke detectors and CO (carbon monoxide) detectors. Alway direct exhaust away from your home.