In the past, it was rare for a homeowner to have a backup generator to keep things running when a power outage occurred. But growing demand, cheaper technology and affordable pricing have put the purchase of residential generators more within reach for homeowners. For example, Generac recently debuted a baseline built-in generator that costs less than $2,000, not including installation. A less powerful generator would have cost about $8,000 20 years ago.
If you’re considering investing in a backup generator, you need to determine what is the right type of generator for your unique needs.
Built-in or portable?
The first question is whether you want a built-in unit or a portable generator.
Portable units are generally less expensive, as much as half the cost of built-ins. They often are powerful enough to meet basic needs. They have to be started manually and the steps required for starting can be difficult to complete in bad weather.
Portable generators run on gasoline, so you need to be sure you will have some gas on hand before a storm. Gasoline goes stale after about a month, unless you add a fuel stabilizer.
Because they are powered by gas, they emit carbon monoxide. They must be set up away from the house and windows.
Built-in generators have to be professionally installed and run on natural gas, which is more expensive than gasoline. But they are designed to kick in automatically in a power outage. Once your built-in unit is installed, you never have to touch it again.
Once you decide on the type of generator you need, you need to determine how powerful it should be.
A generator with at least 5,000 watts is the minimum required to power just a refrigerator and lights. A more powerful unit will be needed if you want to also run your air conditioning or furnace.
The purchase of a home generator requires some thought. You have to understand the type of unit you have, what it will and won’t do and what you need to do to take proper care of it.
Oak Electric Service provides quality back-up generators, standby generators, generator installation and electrical service for industrial and commercial buildings as well as residential projects. As specialists in the service market, we have built a substantial base of over 8,000 customers. We are the only Premier Generac Dealer in southeast Michigan.
Give us a call at (800) 964-7070 to discuss your home generator needs. We are standing by to answer all of your residential and commercial electrical questions. We will always personally answer your phone call – you will never reach an answering service! Be sure to ask about our “Free Electrical Safety Inspection” with every job. We invite you to visit our website at www.oakelectric.com to learn more about us.