As the rain fell and the wind howled this past weekend during Hurricane Matthew, as you watched the lights flicker and worried about the groceries in your fridge, or as you showered with cold water that you purchased from the supermarket, you probably had one thought on your mind: I should have gotten a generator.
With the various hurricanes, snow storms, and tornados that have run through the Triangle over the past few years, you’ve probably thought about whole house generator installation more than once, but this most recent storm outage has pushed you over the edge into actually looking for a generator. So, it should be simple right? Just fill it with gas, plug it in, and no more sitting around in the dark the next time the power goes out?
Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as that. There are a lot of questions that you need to ask yourself before even looking at different models, and most of them have to do with price. Before running out and purchasing the first backup generator you see, consider the following 3 things to know about buying, owning, and operating a backup generator.
What’s Your Capacity?
When we talk about capacity, we mean electrical capacity: when the power goes out, how much of your house do you want to power when the lights go out? If you’re thinking “my entire home,” you might be sorely disappointed. The larger the load capacity is, the more that you’re going to need from the generator. The more you need from your generator, the larger it is going to be (which means a higher dollar amount when purchasing the generator,) and the more fuel it will need (the more you power, the more fuel you’ll need to purchase.)
Before going out to purchase a generator, figure out what you’d like to power when the lights go out. The refrigerator, the HVAC system, or the lights in particular rooms (like the bathroom) would probably make your list for capacity. To find out how much capacity you’d need, many generator manufacturers or retailers provide information and calculators to make sure you’re getting the right amount of wattage.
Get a Professional for Installation
So you’ve purchased the generator that you want and you are ready to turn it on – not so fast. Whole house generator installation isn’t something that you can take care of yourself. You need to hire a certified electrician to make sure that the generator is installed properly in your home.
While you might think getting a generator is an easy fix for the inconvenience of a power outage, it’s actually much more involved than unboxing it and plugging it in. You need the electrician, a plumber, and a professional installer to make sure not only that the generator is properly installed, but that everything is properly permitted and inspected.
Make Time for Maintenance
Once you’ve gotten through the installation, you’re good to go right? Unfortunately, like any system or asset you own, when you do a whole house generator installation for your home, you need to have regular maintenance on it. While you might groan and try to pass it off as an unnecessary expense, regular maintenance on your newly installed generator is necessary.
Think of it this way: suppose you don’t have a bad storm for a year after you install the generator, but you don’t have it maintained either. What happens when a storm knocks your power out? You’ll be left kicking yourself over the maintenance in the dark. Make sure to get your generator regularly maintained, and then you’ll be sitting pretty with your lights on.
Contact Future Connections Electrical, Inc. today at 919-854-1556.
Looking for whole house generator installation or repair? Contact the certified electricians at Future Connections Electrical, Inc. in Raleigh, NC today for more information on generators, generator installation, or to make an appointment. With years of experience, our expert team of Raleigh Electricians can help you with all of your residential electrical needs.