Do You Really Need a Backup Generator?
What Is the Purpose of a Backup Generator?
The number one purpose of a backup or standby generator is to ensure that your home has power during a storm, power outage, natural disaster, or other emergencies. Generators can provide you with temporary power for a couple of hours, several days, or even a few weeks. Depending on the type and size, your generator can power vital systems and appliances (such as your heater, refrigerator, or sump pump) or even your whole home.
But, do you really need one? The answer to this question is highly individual and will depend on your personal needs. Some people like having a generator on hand for peace of mind, even if they rarely experience power outages. Meanwhile, those who live in areas with severe weather that often knocks out their power find a generator to be a necessity.
If you are considering purchasing a backup generator for your home, keep reading to learn more about the different types of generators and how to select the right one for your needs.
Types of Generators for Residential Homes
There are two basic types of residential generators: permanent and portable. Permanent generators (also called home standby generators) tend to be much larger than portable generators and are permanently installed outside your home. They are always ready to go and are set up to switch on seamlessly when you experience a power outage. Typically, they can restore power to your entire home within seconds. Home standby generators range in price from $2,000 to $5,000.
As their name implies, portable generators are smaller and can be easily moved around. They also tend to be less expensive than permanent standby generators (the average price range is $400 to $1,500). Most portable generators are gas-powered and, therefore, should never be run inside. These smaller generators are incredibly convenient but generally will not power your entire home. They will, however, keep vital appliances running, like your water heater and furnace.
Will a Backup Generator Improve the Value of My Home?
Yes, installing a backup generator can increase your home value by three to five percent! But, you want to make sure that you are installing the correct type of generator. When people consider whether a backup generator will increase their home value, they are thinking about permanent standby generators. While not every potential buyer will see this as a bonus, for those who live in areas with severe weather or frequent power outages, a backup generator will be a great selling feature for your home.
How to Pick a Generator for Your Home
If you've decided that a generator is right for your home, your next step is to select the one you want. With so many different types, brands, and models on the market, this decision can feel daunting. But, you don't have to make it alone. We can help!
Things to consider when selecting a new generator for your home:
- The size of your home and/or area that the generator will be powering, indicating the size of generator you will need
- Your power needs, e.g., what systems, appliances, and other electronics will the generator need to power and for how long
- How often do you expect to use your generator
- What type of fuel sources do you have access to and/or prefer, e.g., gas, diesel, propane, natural gas, or solar
- Where do you plan to install the generator
- What is your budget
Always Work with an Electrician on Generator Installations
It's also important to know that if you plan to purchase a permanent home standby generator, you must work with a licensed, experienced electrician for the installation. Standby generators are connected directly to your home's wiring. When installed incorrectly, you run the risk of electrical fires and serious injury from electrical shocks.
It is also a good idea to consult with an electrician you trust when purchasing a portable generator. Some portable generators connect to appliances via individual cords, but others connect directly to your circuit panel. When dealing with electricity, it is always best to have the help of a professional.
When you need help selecting and installing a backup generator, call on Lightning Bug Electric. We have extensive experience installing and maintaining residential generators. Our electricians are standing by to share their knowledge and expertise with you today.