If you want to secure your home from an unexpected power outage, it is best for you to have your very own residential generator. A residential generator supply electricity to important electric appliances and devices like your heater, air-conditioner, lights, computer and refrigerator, during a blackout. This is because it uses mechanical energy to convert into electrical energy. When buying a residential generator, you can opt for having a portable or stand by (stationary) generator, depending on what suits you best.
A variety of fuel can also be used, including natural gas, gasoline and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). If you want to buy a cheap model, go for a portable generator that runs on gasoline. However, this type of generator has a low running time, and you might need to constantly refill its gas tank. It is also not reliable as a long-term power backup since gas pumps might not work during blackouts. If you want continuous supply of power, buy a standby generator. This type of generator is attached to an external fuel source, and because of this, it produces nonstop supply of power.
You can still use your portable generator and hook it up to an external source if you want to lengthen its running time. Aside from this, portable generators have to be transported from the storage, connected into loads, filled with fuel or hooked to a fuel line, and manually operated for it to function. Meanwhile, a permanent standby residential generator can start with just a push of the button or automatically (without manual operation), if it comes with an automatic transfer switch. This is because it is already attached to the house wiring or fuel source.
Usually, the transfer time of an automatic system is around 10-30 seconds. A standby generator is also very efficient in terms of the higher power levels it produces, when compared to portables. Although these generators are indeed costly, it would be worth every cent in protecting your home from a long-term power outage, as it can be used to supply electricity to the whole house. In buying a residential generator, make sure that you not only consider price and wattage. Consider safety, fuel availability, convenience of use, and the duration of time you might need emergency power.
Also identify whether you want the whole house to be powered or just select mission-critical circuits. If you have the financial resources, buy a generator that can supply electricity to the whole house. If not, get one that supplies just selected circuits. Just be cautioned that having a residential generator might be risky to health and might cause accidents.
It can ignite unwanted fires, cause electrocution, and a produce a high emission of the poisonous gas, carbon monoxide. In general, a residential generator should be bought according to your needs. Determine if you plan to use it for short-term/long-term blackouts and if you want it to power the whole house or just select circuits. Of course, you shouldn't forget to calculate the wattage requirements of the electrical devices you need to power at the same time, so you can look for a generator that can provide the sufficient amount of power. Remember that there is more to buying a residential generator than its cost. It protects and adds value to your home, so consider it as a very important investment you have to make.
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