Backup Generators: 6 Reasons to Buy
If you’ve ever lived through a power outage that lasted more than a day or two, you understand the advantages of having a backup generator as part of your household equipment. Generators come in sizes ranging from remarkably compact to quite large, and they’re generally classified in one of two ways:
Portable generators are smaller, powered by gas or diesel fuel, and mounted on wheeled frames. They can be stored, moved into position for temporary use when there’s an outage, or loaded into a truck to generate power while you’re camping or working in remote locations.
Standby generators are larger, powered by natural gas or propane, and designed for permanent installation. They’re sized to handle all or most of your household’s electrical needs, and typically feature an automatic switch that turns on the generator when power is lost and off when it’s restored. They must be installed by an electrician and should have a positive interlock system that prevents shocks and overloads by automatically shutting off the main breaker when the generator comes on.
No matter which type you’re considering, there are at least six very good reasons to buy a generator:
- General Household Power. Even a small generator can produce sufficient power to run essentials such as the lights, stove and refrigerator, allowing your household to function with some semblance of normalcy. Capacity varies, but many can also provide enough electricity for freezers, TVs, computers and small appliances.
- Comfort & Well-Being. Small generators can power fans, small air conditioning units or space heaters so you can stay cool in summer and warm in winter, while large ones can power much more.
- Water. A generator is essential for households with water wells. Most well pumps are electric, so you’ll need power to obtain water for drinking, cooking, watering animals and similar needs.
- Food Preservation. By keeping your refrigerator running, a generator protects your food, so you can weather the outage without worrying about food integrity and avoid the hassle and mess of disposing of spoiled food. It protects the food investment you’ve already made and saves you the expense of completely restocking your fridge and freezer. The cost can be daunting, particularly in households with secondary refrigerators or freezers.
- Health & Medical Issues. Generators power essential medical equipment such as respirators and recharge batteries for critical devices such as wheelchairs. They can also keep an air conditioner running to prevent heat distress, breathing issues or both.
- Work. If you work out of your home full-time or occasionally, a small backup generator provides the power you need for computers and similar devices. If you have a home-based business with larger power demands, invest in a standby generator with sufficient capacity to run essential equipment. In either instance, you can continue to produce work, meet deadlines and generate income.