If you live in a storm-prone state, having an emergency generator is always a good idea. Homeowners can prevent storm damage by having a generator on hand – here are some tips to choose the option that is the best fit for your needs:
Portable Generators. A portable generator can be a good option for those who are looking to power the most critical home items. They are simple to buy, easy to run and can power most essential lights or appliances via extension cords. Portable generators must be placed outside, far away from windows and doors and in a dry place.
Manual Transfer Switches. A manual transfer switch can be used in combination with a portable generator to allow people to backup more items in their homes – even hard-wired appliances like a furnace or well pump – by delivering emergency power through the home’s electrical system. There’s no need to run extension cords from the generator to the lights and appliances. It is wired directly to the home’s electrical panel and can power circuits of the homeowner’s choosing. A manual transfer switch is the only safe way to deliver power from a portable generator to the home’s electrical system. You can work with an authorized dealer to buy a manual transfer switch and have it installed for future outages. Homeowners should not attempt to install one themselves.
Home Standby Generator. A home standby generator is a permanently installed solution and is connected to the home’s existing natural gas or propane line. It sits outside the home, much like an air conditioning unit. These generators can restore power to the home – units are even available that can backup the entire home – within seconds of an outage.