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There are two basic types of generators you can use to power your home in the event of an emergency–for example, a blizzard or a heavy windstorm: house standby generators and portable standby generators.

House Standby Generators

If you are looking for convenience, you probably want one of these. They are installed by an electrician and connect directly to your electrical panel. These run on either propane or natural gas.

Home standby generators will come on automatically if the power goes out and will let you know when it’s time for maintenance.

The typical cost for the generator including installation and permitting fee’s is from $10,000 to $17,000. So when shopping for one of these, you should consult with a professional to determine the appropriate size needed for your home.

Portable Standby Generators

They cost much less–from $800 to $2,500. They run on gasoline, which they can use a lot of. The gasoline also must be stored safely until the generator is needed; you will need to add a stabilizer for long-time storage.

But there are some distinct benefits to this type of generator. Along with costing much less, they can be moved to any location on your property, as long as it’s not indoors. You can even wheel it over to a neighbor’s if needed.

There are some cautions, though. For one, it must be run at least 15 feet from your house (or anyone else’s house). Also, they need to be covered in the event of precipitation.

Benefits of a Generator to Power the Whole House

The benefits of owning a whole house emergency generator are many. They include, among others:

  • Indoor climate control during a power outage. Remember, even natural gas heating needs electricity.
  • Preventing food spoilage.
  • Lighting as needed.
  • Power to radio, television, or computers–including for weather bulletins.
  • Ability to run any home medical devices that run on electricity.
  • Qualifies for a discount on your insurance policy.
  • Adds actual value to your home or business.
  • Overall peace of mind and sense of security.

Advice for Using a Generator to Power the House

Along with the safety precautions mentioned above, we have one more piece of advice: if you decide to purchase an entire house generator, take good care of it since it will have been a large investment.

David Agrell of Popular Mechanics says that “Your generator will stay healthy through a lifetime of outages if you”:

  • Check the engine oil daily during use,
  • Run it at no more than 75 percent of its rated capacity,
  • Replace overworked or deformed motor brushes,
  • Avoid starting or stopping it under load whenever possible.

So Let’s Get That Generator Up and Running

People who have bought generators to power whole houses will tell you these were wise investments. And you can easily tell who these people are. They are your neighbors–the ones whose lights are still on during a blackout.

Buying a whole house backup generator is not a decision to take lightly, but when you finally decide to do it, we doubt you’ll have any regrets. Go ahead and call us today and find out more details.


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