In many parts of the country, severe storms and blackouts are common. When they occur, you can lose electrical power for days. If you live in an area where the power grid is frequently affected, it may be time to consider a standby generator for your home.
Over the past few years, millions of people have suffered power outages due to rainstorms, snowstorms and hurricanes. In 2011, over 21 million people were affected by power outages that lasted more than 24 hours. In 2015, Hurricane Sandy disrupted power for more than eight million people in the northeast, leaving many families homeless in freezing temperatures. It seems that disasters and power outages are becoming more of a threat for many Americans every year.
While many people rely on portable gasoline-powered generators when power outages occur, they do not provide power for long periods. Standby generators can provide power to your home for days, but they can cost more than $20,000 to purchase and install. Depending on your location, lifestyle and budget, you will need to decide if a standby generator is worth the investment for your home.
How Do Standby Generators Work?
Unlike portable generators, standby generators are installed permanently on a concrete pad in your yard. They are connected directly to your home’s electrical panel and powered by an external fuel supply like natural gas, liquid propane or diesel. Larger, whole-house systems can comfortably power your entire house for several days, while smaller, air-cooled systems can only supply power to a few circuits at a time.
When you lose power, an automatic transfer switch disconnects you from your utility and takes your home safely off the power grid. After you are off the grid, the transfer switch starts the generator and transfers power to your home’s electrical panel. Typically, standby generators are fueled by natural gas, but if it is not available in your area, liquid propane or diesel stored in a nearby tank is used. When your power comes back on, the transfer switch shuts down and reconnects your house to the power grid. The transfer switch acts as a safety mechanism that prevents electrical back feeding, a dangerous problem that can result in fires and explosions.
If you do not have a home generator, it may be time to consider a standby generator that provides easy operation. If you already own a generator, it is important to ensure proper operation with generator service Spring TX, so you are not without power when you need it the most.