You may be enjoying your warm home with your family, making food and watching the television when suddenly the lights go out and you hear the refrigerator fan whir to a stop. While you are rifling through a drawer trying to find a flashlight, you may wonder how you could avoid these kinds of emergencies in the future.
Power outages are common
Power outages can be common nowadays, and most of them are weather related. In 2016, electricity customers experienced an average of 1.3 interruptions and went without power for an average of four hours during the year ( https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=35652). This is enough time to be more than a minor inconvenience. Besides food spoiling, going without internet, sitting in the dark, the cold, or the extreme heat, you could also endure a flooded basement without a working sump pump.
While some of the time the power comes on pretty quickly, there are a number of outages that can last for hours, days, and occasionally even weeks. When weather is involved, it is difficult to control how much your power is affected. When this is the case, a home generator is essential.
There is never a convenient time to deal with a power outage, but some are worse than others. Omaha winters can be cold and difficult, so a power outage in the middle of winter is something you don’t want to have to confront. Thankfully, though, you don’t have to be affected by a power outage. With a home generator, if the power goes out, your lights and heat will stay on even while your neighborhood is in the dark.
How does a home generator work?
A home generator is a system that backs up your home’s power. When your home loses power, it can automatically turn on within a matter of seconds. It is professionally installed and includes a switch that senses when utility is lost to your home. If utilities go out, the generator automatically turns on, keeping power flowing to your home even in the middle of a power outage. While your neighbors scramble to find flashlights and worry about their food spoiling, you can sit comfortably knowing your heat will stay on, your food will stay fresh, and your home will stay lit.
What types of home generators are there?
There are two primary types of home generators: portable and standby. Standby generators are hardwired into your home so that when the power goes out, they automatically turn on without you doing anything. They are by far the most convenient type of power generator, and if you experience power outages regularly or are prone to long power outages (such as because of a major snowstorm), this is the type of generator you need. If you are not at home when your power goes out, a standby generator will ensure your home doesn’t go without power.
A portable generator is much smaller and cheaper than a standby generator. They are usually powered by gas and plug into your appliances or subpanel. They are for more minor power outages and require someone to turn them on rather than automatically turning on whenever your home loses power. They also do not typically have the ability to power your home for as long as a standby generator.
What other reasons are there to own a home generator?
Besides keeping you and your home warm during winter and cool during summer, a backup generator also has other advantages. When power returns, there is sometimes a power surge and voltage fluctuations that can damage your home’s power system and possibly put you in danger. A backup generator can protect you and your home from these power surges and fluctuations.
In addition, you may not be home when your home loses power. Returning to a home that has had a power outage may mean a lot of work and stress. Instead of dealing with spoiled food or a flooded basement, a home generator can ensure you peace of mind knowing your home is safe, even if you are not there.