Hurricanes and other types of serious storms can cause extensive damage to homes and businesses. In addition to the loss of property, there are often power outages. When there’s an unplanned power outage in your home, you can face a long list of inconveniences and expenses, including spoiled food, frozen pipes, and moldy walls. And when it goes on for days or weeks—which can happen after a major weather disaster—the pain only gets worse.
One such power outage can easily convince you to purchase an emergency generator, and that wouldn’t be such a bad idea. In addition to the power outages caused by storms, brownouts and blackouts are becoming more frequent as the demand for electricity continues to rise. Trends suggest that Americans could see even more blackouts and brownouts in the years ahead. The U.S. Energy Administration says the typical American endures an average of 8 hours without power each year because of unplanned outages.
A generator is the first line of defence against these problems but choosing one can be daunting. Models range from small recreational units that can power a single appliance to standby models—sometimes called a whole-house or home standby generator—that can power an entire house. Generators are available in a number of different sizes, and each size and type of generator has its advantages and disadvantages.
A small portable generator is great for running just one or two appliances. They’re relatively inexpensive, have no installation costs, and are easy to store and transport. You could even take this type of generator with you on a camping trip. They run on gasoline, and you can pair most units to increase output. Many come with user-friendly features such as fuel-level indicators and smartphone apps.
These generators are enough to power a fridge, some lights, and a phone charger but not much else. They can’t be connected to a circuit breaker panel or used to power any device that doesn’t have a standard plug.
Home standby generators are permanently installed, usually next to the house, and kick on automatically during an outage to provide uninterrupted current. They can power everything in a typical home simultaneously, up to their maximum output. Standby generators can be set up to run indefinitely on natural gas or can be fuelled by propane. There’s no need to connect cables, flip a switch, or start the engine.
The downside of home standby generators is that they are considerably more expensive than other types of generators, and with installation, the cost can run into the thousands. They can’t be installed in low-lying areas prone to flooding and can’t be moved in the event of a flood.
To decide what size generator you may need, you need to decide exactly how you plan to use it. For example, you may decide that you only want to enough power to keep your refrigerator and freezer running, and to run an air conditioning unit, a TV, and a coffee pot.
To determine how many watts your generator requires to run the home appliances you consider essential in a power outage, you’ll need to add up the watts they use to run continuously. Then, you’ll add the highest number of starting watts your appliances use. For example, consider that you have the following:
An air conditioner that requires 1100 running watts and 1799 starting watts
A refrigerator that requires 800 running watts and 2400 staring watts
A TV that requires 500 running watts, but no starting watts
A coffee pot that requires 600 watts and no starting watts.
To calculate the total wattage needs, you add all of the running watts to get 1,100+800+500+600=3,000. Next add the highest starting watts of all your appliances to that total. In this example, the highest starting wattage is 2,400 from the refrigerator, so you’ll need a generator with at least 5400 starting watts and 3,000 running watts.
Protecting your home and family from the impact of weather events in this area is what prompted us to establish Storm Smart of Southeast Florida. We are based in West Palm Beach and serve customers from Delray to Vero Beach. We began business on the East Coast of Florida in 2016 and have been growing ever since. Our success is based on Storm Smart’s comprehensive line of products that offer you the very best in storm protection, great installations, and a focus on customer service. Check out our reviews!
Whether you are building new or just want to protect your home and family better from hurricane winds, Storm Smart of Southeast Florida has just what you need. If you would like more information about our company, contact us at 561-220-7222.