It’s an indisputable fact that power outages are on the rise in the United States.
But power outages aren’t just a major inconvenience – they can also be downright dangerous.
Is your family prepared to handle severe, long-lasting power outages? If you have a standby generator, you will be.
In this post, we’re outlining how to pick the best standby generator to keep your family safe.
How Much Do You Need To Run?
The type of standby generator you choose will depend on how many, and what kind of, electronics, power, and appliances you still need to use during a blackout.
Will you need to have your air conditioning on?
Are you powering your home or a commercial property?
Do you need to have everything on in your home, or just have power in few key rooms?
These questions will help you decide if you need to get a home generator – which, contrary to what the name implies, won’t re-power your whole house – or if a whole house option is better.
They will also help you to figure out the strength of a standby generator you’ll need. Keep in mind that that strength is measured in kilowatts. The higher the number of kilowatts, the more you’ll be able to run.
To give you an idea of the kind of kilowattage you might need, a fridge takes up about 700 watts, and a window AC unit needs about 1,000 watts to run.
To figure out your “ideal kilowattage,” make a list of all the appliances you need to have access to. Then, add up the wattage of each (you can use the Wattage Calculator on Consumer Reports to help.)
Now, you know the minimum strength of kilowattage you need to buy.
Decide What Type Of Standby Generator You Need
It’s not just the power of your standby generator you’ll need to take into consideration. You’ll also need to think about where you’re going to put it, and if you want a portable unit or one that can be installed permanently.
In general, because many generators are powered by gasoline, it’s a good idea to keep them outside and away from your home, to avoid toxic gasses and to be on the safe side.
Be aware that the majority of households will get along just fine short term by using a portable generator, which can usually give you about 6,000 kilowatts of power. Plus, they’re certainly the more affordable of the two options.
Still, if you need access to more power for safety reasons, or if you suspect you’ll be looking at a longer blackout and want to be comfortable, a permanent standby generator may be a better fit for you.
In Florida, in particular, power outages often occur due to hurricanes. Most Southwest Florida homes have central air, which by itself consumes around 5,000 kilowatts to run. During hurricane season and the heat of summer, this becomes a factor to consider.
Although permanent generators are more expensive, many automatically switch on in the event of a power loss, making them an excellent choice in many circumstances. They can also run over 10,000 kilowatts, meaning you’ll have access to lots more of your power.
Ready To Pick Up A Standby Generator?
Thanks to this guide, you know what you need to take into consideration before buying a generator.
Looking for more information? Take a look around our website, and don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions!