The benefits of standby generators go beyond the convenience of having lights or air conditioning during a power outage. If you live in an area where power outages are frequent and last hours or even days, or where the possibility exists for a natural disaster to interrupt power for a week or even longer, a standby generator may make the difference between living in your home or camping out at relatives or a motel.
Essential Services to Protect
Electricity is more than a convenience. It powers our lives and we have come to rely on it to provide certain essential services that are important to our safety and well being. Look at these essential systems to protect with a standby generator.
It is a rare home that does not use electricity to operate a furnace. In cold regions where temperatures regularly fall below freezing, an extended power interruption may allow a home’s plumbing to freeze and break, which can cause flooding and extensive damage.
Basements are prone to flooding and modern building codes require a sump pump that removes water before it reaches floor level. A flooded basement is a recipe for mold growth not only in the basement, but throughout the home.
Homes with living spaces below grade have sewage pits that store sewage temporarily before it is pumped into the municipal sewage system or out into the septic system.
Security systems usually have a battery backup, but the battery may only last a few days or even a few hours. Once the battery dies, the home is left without the security system.
Refrigeration protects food supplies and within minutes of an outage, the temperature in freezers and refrigerators begins to slowly rise. As the outage continues, refrigerators no longer keep food safe and the food in freezers begins to thaw and spoil.
Other essential home services powered by electricity include medical equipment, cooking appliances, and well pumps. A home standby generator system operates automatically whether you are home or not. The generator turns on within seconds of the outage, power switches from the electric utility to the generator and keeps your essential home services operating without your intervention.
Basic Convenience or Essentials?
There is no denying that in addition to the essentials mentioned above, electricity also powers conveniences. During some power outage emergencies, some conveniences become essentials.
Air conditioning is something many of us take for granted, but once the power goes out, that convenience is gone. During a long-lasting heat wave, the loss of air conditioning sometimes turns into loss of life for those susceptible to heat.
Television and radio help keep us connected to the world and inform us of events around us. Usually we can do without them, but during an extended outage they may alert us to approaching danger such as storms, or keep us updated on recovery efforts after a storm.
We can usually get along without cooking for a few hours or even a day, but when a widespread outage extends into days or weeks, eating out becomes impractical and inconvenient. Having the use of a stove, microwave or hotplate, coffee maker and similar appliances makes living easier.
Keeping the Power On
A standby generator keeps the power on to the circuits that protect your home, make it possible to live in, and enjoy a few conveniences at the same time. During extreme cold or extreme heat, the generator keeps you safe, comfortable and unworried about the outside weather extremes.
With a standby generator, your home is safe and secure even if you’re not there, and when you arrive home, you’ll be living in it instead of looking for a motel to stay in. The freezer and refrigerator stay cold and instead of running out for ice, you’ll open cold beverage to enjoy.