Is Your Home Prepared for an Emergency? (Part 2)

| by Mike Gersmeyer
Is Your Home Prepared for an Emergency? (Part 2)

...Continued (Click here for Part 1)

Home Standby Generators: The Backup Power Solution That Provides Peace of Mind  

Mother Nature tested the nation’s patience in 2012 with a variety of storms that knocked out power, and early 2013 is already shaping up to be quite the headache for many people. In fact, the recent influx of super storms has left many people wondering not if, but when, their family will be affected.

It’s estimated that 3.5 million Americans experience power outages each week, according to the Edison Electric Institute. Additionally, more than 70 million people have experienced an outage that has lasted more than 24 hours sometime in the last two years1.

When utility power fails, and as power outages increase in frequency and longevity, many homeowners are installing backup power solutions that provide peace of mind during power outages. But many basic questions remain for a portion of the public becoming aware of standby generators and their benefits for the first time.

Portable Generators Versus Home Standby Generators

When considering whether a home standby generator is right for your home, homeowners first need to understand the difference between a temporary solution and a more permanent solution. Portable generators — a temporary and immediate solution — power a few of the home’s most critical items and appliances during a power outage and must be re-fueled on a regular basis.

For homeowners who want a backup power source that offers automatic and uninterrupted power, a home standby generator is the better solution. This system automatically turns on during a power outage and provides the home with a seamless supply of power while eliminating the chaos of scrambling to find a temporary solution.

Home standby generators offer a seamless transition of power. Because the home standby generator unit and automatic transfer switch are connected to a home’s natural gas or liquid propane fuel source, they turn on automatically within seconds after detecting that the utility power has gone out. When utility power is restored, the home standby generator automatically powers off. With a home standby generator, homeowners can rest assured that their food won’t spoil, air conditioning or heat will continue running and the home’s sump pump won’t turn off.

What Size Unit Fits My Needs?

The most important factors a homeowner should consider are the items they want to run during a power outage and their budget.

Prior to purchasing a home standby generator, it is important to evaluate which items, and how many, are desired to remain powered during an outage. There are a variety of home standby generator sizes that allow homeowners to power select electrical items including a refrigerator, lights or an electric garage door opener. There are also more robust models that allow homeowners to power higher-wattage items such as single or double air conditioning units.

Most high-wattage appliances require a larger and more costly generator, but emerging technology is helping drive unit costs lower. For example, GE Generator Systems features the Symphony® II Power Management System on most of its generator models to give homeowners the flexibility to prioritize and manage large electrical loads.  Therefore, homeowners do not need to purchase a large costly generator  to power all the loads in the home at the same time.  Rather, the Symphony® II Power Management System manages the loads, allowing the homeowner to make a more economical generator purchase.   Additionally, a smaller generator consumes less fuel resulting in less overall operating expense.  With a GE Generator System you can have peace of mind while being smart with your money.

1Source:; 8/2010

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