electricity

The Benefits of a Backup Generator

Jim Bauer Emergency Preparedness

electricityThe benefits of a backup generator actually begin long before the electricity goes out. The peace of mind you get from knowing that your home and family will be protected is priceless. When your home is without electricity for an extended period it may become uninhabitable, forcing you to find other accommodations. Relying on candles and flashlights just isn’t enough anymore.

Electricity in the United States

As our dependence on electricity has increased, the electrical grid in the United States has become less reliable. Statistics show that aging, overburdened power grids are more prone than ever to blackouts and brownouts. When the utility grid goes down, it tends to remain down for a longer span of time before electricity is restored.

Protect Your Home with a Backup Generator

You can install a home backup generator in your backyard or beside your house. They have about the same size and appearance as an air conditioner. A qualified professional electrician can permanently wire the generator into your main power panel to make it an integral part of your home electrical system.

Consider the Benefits of a Backup Generator:

  • It takes over when utility power lets you down.
    Once a generator is installed, it continuously monitors grid power. If a power outage is detected, the generator will start up and switch home circuits from the utility connection to the generator. Typically, an average of about 40 seconds elapses before generator power is available inside your home. When utility power is restored, the system automatically switches back to the grid again and shuts down the generator. A backup generator maintains home power even if you’re not there.
  • Fuel supply is reliable.
    Most residential backup generators utilize the natural gas already piped to your home as fuel. It’s clean and readily available. Events that typically take down the utility grid, such as severe weather; rarely interrupt the supply of natural gas flowing to your home.
  • You have a choice of output.
    Backup generators can be sized to your specific needs and budget. The lowest-output generators are powerful enough to handle critical circuits in your home, such as basic lighting, cooking and communication needs. Intelligent generators sense household power usage and automatically reallocate the output of the generator among circuits according to the demand at any given moment. Whole house generators supply all the needs of the entire house just like utility power, so normal life is unaffected by a power outage.
  • Backup generators are safer than portable generators. One of the most important benefits of a backup generator is protection from the dangers of using a portable generator during a power failure. Portable units for camping or outdoor recreational activities aren’t designed to provide household power. Placing these gasoline-powered generators too close to the house poses a danger of deadly carbon monoxide seeping into your home. Moving them far away causes an electrical hazard of running long extension cords, which may not be rated for use with generators and could present an electrocution risk.

Are You Prepared?

Backup generators are often needed in unexpected emergency situations. Make sure you're ready for anything with our tips on Emergency Preparedness.