Significant weather events can leave us vulnerable. From snow and ice storms to hurricanes and tornadoes to thunderstorms. Power outages are not only inconvenient, but they can also be detrimental to ones well being. The sick and/or elderly who require heat, air conditioning, oxygen and the like are the most vulnerable. Storms can come out of nowhere and no-one can guarantee you will not be without power.
A whole house generator has many benefits. First, it can increase the resale value of your home. In 2014 there was a report published by Remodeling Magazine that indicated installing a standby generator can provide up to a 150% return on your investment. So, if we break down the numbers this would mean that if you spent $12,000 installing a generator your home value may increase up to $18,000. Keep in mind every house and area is different, so you would want to speak to a professional to ensure this type of return. While this is a substantial financial benefit there are many other benefits to installing a whole house and/or stand by generator that far outweigh the financial benefits.
A standby or whole house generator will kick in, automatically ( although some you can manually start ) in the event that your house goes off grid - meaning you have lost power supplied to you by your local electric company. This will essentially allow you to live as you normally would until your electric company restores your power. Having no electricity can quickly result in busted pipes, spoiled food as well as all the essentials we have grown to depend on like television, computers, etc. As stated above, loss of electricity can be even harder on older adults who are susceptible to both hyperthermia and/or hypothermia depending on the temperatures outside.
There are different options you can choose when installing a standby generator in your home. The first thing you should do is decide what are the most critical elements in your home that you want to be able to operate (back up) when the power goes out? Things like freezers, furnaces, refrigerators, etc. Knowing what you want to keep running in your home is essential to determine what you purchase.
Keep in mind that whole house generators operate on fuel such as liquefied petroleum gas or natural gas. Portable generators generally use a pull cord to start, so if you are physically not capable of this you will definitely want a model that has an electric start(if you go the portable route). For the most part whole house generators are more convenient because they can be connected to your natural gas or propane tanks that are already providing fuel to your home. If you don't have a fuel source it can be connected into your homes power supply.
Cost on whole house generators can vary. And, you will also have the cost of installation and depending on whether you are connecting to a fuel source or the house's power supply, you will also need either a plumber or electrician. You want to make sure both of these professionals are licensed and insured as well as certified for the equipment you are installing. They should also be familiar with local codes because some municipalities specify where the generator can be placed and the size of the area it is to be placed in. Some areas may even require a permit to complete the installation. You should also check with your utility company because some do require their approval before the installation process.
There are many professional companies in your area that can provide detailed information and direct you in the right direction. They will help you in deciding what are the most crucial elements you want to operate in your home and help you identify the most reasonable elements you shouldn't be without.
Don't get caught off guard and be without power. Some storms can knock power out for days or weeks. In many cases your roads will be cleared long before your power is restored.