The Home Generator: A Solution for Power Outages?
A Power Outage at your home can be scary. However, there is an option when left in the dark i.e. an emergency generator. When the grid is down due to storms , hurricanes , freezing temperatures , lethal heatwaves’ or other natural disasters or unforeseen events, you never know how long it will take to restore power to homes.
Having a backup generator in place gives you and your family re-assurance plus can help provide your home with temporary power during such an emergency.
We shall now continue our discussion of generators for home use with a series of presentations including mp4 video animation, FAQs, written articles and/or tables which collectively introduce, describe, explain and highlight the merits and shortcomings of home generators.
Finally, we will discuss a number of products/options/recommendations relevant to home generators which for the most part are available from the amazon website of your country – USA, Canada, UK or Italy.
Power outages and blackouts are inconvenient and dangerous. A Home generator can help because it makes it easy to produce electricity to serve you and your family.
WHY YOU NEED A GENERATOR FOR YOUR HOME
An emergency generator is able to continue to supply the house with energy even in the event of a power failure .
It is properly connected to the house circuit using the emergency power switch and supplies this and all electrical devices and facilities with the necessary power.
If there are frequent power outages in a house and/or locality/region and/or country, the emergency generator is a convenient solution to get through them.
It produces energy using fuel and can therefore supply all electrical consumers and operate electronic devices.
However, before the emergency generator is connected to the home power supply, there are precise rules that must be followed. For example, in some cases, a permit is even required.
The background to these requirements is to ensure the safety of the residents and at the same time to guarantee an electrical emergency autonomy of the house’s network.
Consider the following …..
- Keep your important appliances running. Having an emergency generator will allow you to keep the necessary appliances running in your home, like overhead lights, the refrigerator, and even medical equipment. That way, when the power does finally come back on, your household won’t miss a beat.
- Prevent Food Spoilage. Power outages aren’t known for their good timing. It’s a terrible feeling when you’ve just stocked up your fridge and the power goes out. Knowing that you’ve likely wasted money and lost your meals for the week. An emergency generator will prevent this stressful scenario from happening again since your ‘fridge will always be running smoothly,power outage or no power outage.
- Minimizing Damage by Flooding. With thunderstorms comes rain that can cause potential flooding. Fortunately, your home’s sump pump will combat any flooding issues…until the power goes out. However, an electric sump pump can’t function without electricity. So, If you have a generator, it can be used to keep your sump pump running.
- Keep your family & home safe and comfortable. While we can all make do without power for a short time, the longer an outage lasts, the less comfortable your and your family will be without the basic and necessary amenities it usually offers. No one likes sitting in the dark without heat (or air conditioning) for a long period of time. A generator will help to keep your family content, comfortable, and calm. In addition, the use of a generator will help keep your basement from flooding during heavy downpours and flash floods.
- Peace of mind:
No one likes feeling helpless during an emergency. Having a generator is one way to be proactive and be prepared for the unexpected. You won’t have to be dependent upon the local electric company, and you can feel assured that your household will continue to run and your family
will remain comfortable until the power is restored.
What are the different types of electric generator?
|The Classic Electric generator or Generator|
The Backup / Standby Generator
It must be powered by petrol or diesel and started manually. Its power is quite limited. However, it has several sockets so that
you can plug in your electrical devices. Regarding its price, expect to have to pay around 500 Euros.
This generator runs on diesel and starts automatically as soon as a power outage occurs .
Once the power is restored, it stops immediately. Practical. However, it costs more than a conventional generator because of its greater power.
They can run for days or weeks without refueling, they tend to be very quiet, and you don’t need to fuss with weather covers.
Cons: Home standby generators are pricier to buy, and installation costs can range from a few thousand dollars to $10,000 or more.
Though inverter-type generators are typically portable. We put them under their own heading because they are significantly and technically different from the other two in terms of how they work.
Like most generators, inverter generators provide 120/240 volts of AC power. They generate AC current just like the others, but it’s then converted to DC (Direct Current), and then inverted back to AC. The conversion and inversion is controlled by circuitry which acts like a filter, flattens surges, and cleans up the sine wave (or oscillating wave) of the electrical current. Due to their added complication, inverter generators can be significantly more expensive.
|What kind of home generator do I need for power outages?|
Generally, homeowners use between 3,000 and 6,000-watts portable generators. The kind of generator you need for power outage depends on
the power consumption in your home. The average home uses about 7,500 watts of power, so a generator that produces 9,000 watts would be sufficient.
If you have electric appliances like air conditioners or refrigerators, you’ll need a generator that produces more power.
Generator size is measured in kilowatts (kW), so be sure to select one that’s large enough for your needs.
Also, if you experience prolonged power outages regularly, you will need a generator with a longer running time.
Where are emergency generators placed at home?
So that the units can develop their full performance , they should be set up in a suitable place. In doing so, homeowners have to orient themselves to the
conditions that are given by the property, nature and the neighborhood. The generators must be installed in an outdoor space of the home,
taking into account that they emit gases and a lot of noise.
The location should be as follows :
– protected from the weather
– protected from flooding and …
– adequately ventilated.
Who installs the emergency generator?
Ideally, the home backup generator should be installed by an electrician, preferably an authorized person from the OEM (i.e. Original Equipment Manufacturer). This guarantees functionality and safety during use. Installation by a qualified electrician is swift and efficient.
Do generators need yearly maintenance?
All generators require periodic maintenance, such as oil and filter changes to ensure maximum performance for years of reliable service.
Scheduled maintenance kits are available and many authorized dealers offer annual maintenance contracts for a worry-free ownership experience.
What is the best time of year to buy a home generator?
For most people, the best time of the year to buy a generator is between late summer and early fall.
However, those with mild winters and hot summers may want to purchase a generator in the spring.
Merits & Shortcomings of Domestic Generators
|. Very versatile, this equipment has various advantages that make it a qualitative solution in its own right , robust and efficient.|
. It is the full responsibility of its users, offering them welcome troubleshooting in the event of so-called “before meter ” breakdowns
(the responsibility of the electricity supplier );
. In addition to being useful in an emergency, it is also useful in case of remoteness of any power supply. It is therefore very effective for
carrying out work outdoors, in the garden , in particular :
. It offers autonomy that can range from several hours to several days, depending on the model and use;
. It is easy to transport , especially in the case of the smallest models, which are particularly compact and light to be portable;
. It is easy to use, in that a simple supply of fuel is enough to make it work.
|The generator is useful to always be supplied with electricity. If a cut occurs for example in winter, it will not affect your comfort.|
But as you can imagine, the advantages often go hand in hand with the disadvantages…
So here is some issues to be a little disenchanted with generators :
— When the generating set operates, it releases combustion gases due to the fuels used, in particular Carbon monoxide.
Therefore, it is impossible to place it inside your home. It must be installed outdoors (even in a basement or garage is excluded);
— The device emits noise in when in use, lots of noise! Noise pollution can be more or less strong depending on the device involved.
— A generator requires work on the electrical installation to connect it to the domestic network. If you have no knowledge in the field,
carrying out the maneuver by yourself seems compromised. Also, don’t forget the mandatory check of your system.
— You must use diesel or gasoline to power your electric generator. Therefore,this means that you will have to store a certain amount of it on your premises.
Also,the storage and the generator must comply with environmental legislation . For example, you might be subject to a reporting obligation or
need to have an environmental permit in order to use your generator, the storage of fuel, or even both!
— Your emergency generator itself needs to be maintained in excellent condition & regularly controlled.
These important (and obligatory procedures) consume fuel and require an additional costs to be considered in your budget.
Which emergency generator is suitable for the home?
When you are going to buy an electric generator for your home, you must make sure that you will calculate the electricity consumption in an adequate way so that you can know which one will be the best. In any case, you will have to look at the electrical consumption measured in watts, taking into account that some elements will consume more energy than others.
The ideal will be to have an electric generator that has enough power so that you can get a good performance. If you use high consumption appliances such as a freezer , microwave oven or coffee makers, you should make sure that you get a generator that has high power.
To cover the basic needs for a home , so that you can use your light bulbs, TV, refrigerator, etc., it is best to opt for a portable model that has a minimum power of 1,200W. Although if you choose a model of 2,200W or higher, you could have a better performance when using different electrical elements in your home.
Types of emergency generators
- gasoline generator
- natural gas generator
- diesel generator
- solar generators >>(refer to previous sub-section of Kits & Devices menu for full details = ‘Portable Power Stations’).
Fuel generators ( Nos.1,2,& 3) work thanks to an alternator, which transforms mechanical energy into electrical alternating current, and the engine makes the alternator move . These models vary a lot in terms of their power, and depending on whether it is a 2 or 4-stroke engine, you can have a higher or lower performance.
On the other hand, there are inverter electric generators work like a large power bank. These have lithium batteries, which allow a lot of power to be provided whilst any type of work is being carried out. These also tend to charge using solar energy thanks to solar panels, and they will always give you great performance.
So, before buying a generator , think about what you will be using it for. There is no point in spending a crazy amount of money for a device that is far too powerful for your needs . Here also, 2 scenarios can arise:
(i) If you wish to acquire a generator to operate a single device , choose the classic model , or generator. To connect your equipment to the generator even if that involves using an extension cord.
(ii) If you want to power ALL or the most important of your electrical appliances so that the power outage doesn’t change anything, you need a backup generator.
- Tank : Diesel models with a large tank and low fuel consumption last the longest.
- Power : 230 volts are usually sufficient. For large electrical appliances, 400 volts is preferable.
- Size : The size of the engine determines the size of the power unit. Usually these are between 40 and 100 centimeters long and weigh 20 to 100 kilograms.
- Noise level : Depending on the power, an emergency generator generates a lot of noise, which can be between 50 and 100 decibels. Generators produce anywhere between 50 dB and 95 dB of noise levels. As you can see from the colour illustration below, quiet generators are on the same sound levels as the fridge (50 dB) or a conversation (60 dB). Louder generators can produce as much noise as a truck (80 dB) or even more than a hairdryer (90 dB).
Generally, generators that produce more than 80 dB of noise are considered to be ‘loud’. Generators that produce less than 60 dB noise levels are considered to be ‘quiet generators’.
- Starter Method : This means the device used to start the generator device. Usually it is a cable that must be operated with sufficient force. More modern variants have an integrated screen or control panel.
REVIEWS Part 1 = Portable Generators
Buying a good generator can be quite difficult, especially if you are looking for a quiet model that is portable.
In case you have neighbours who are easily disturbed by noise, you need to go for a model that doesn’t sound like it’s about to take off.
With the best silent portable generators, nobody should be disturbed by any noise.
You should not run your generator in the rain or other inclement weather because electricity and water can create electrical shocks. To keep the power running, you should instead use a temporary wet weather cover or build a permanent cover for your generator.
Whether it’s a light mist or a torrential downpour, rain can lead to generator damage. And wet generators are a liability. Even minor generator damage can increase the potential for injury or costly repairs. To keep your power source safe in wet conditions, your first priority should be to keep it covered.
Can a generator get wet in the rain? Never run your generator in wet weather, unless you use a generator tent. Remember that electricity and water do not mix. When they do, the result is generator damage and possible electrocution of people. This happens due to water getting into electrical panel or outlets, causing short circuit to the frame.
REVIEWS Part 2 = Whole House Generators
A Whole House Generator is the most powerful type of home generator available. It’s wired to your electric panel and turns on automatically when you lose power, so your entire home stays online if you have the right size. In contrast to a standby or portable generator, a whole house generator will power many more appliances for as long as you can provide it with fuel.
Before we get onto discussing the model options available to the potential first-time buyer of a domestic generator, it’s wise for us to once again stress the importance of thinking about what you will be using it for. There is no point in spending a crazy amount of money for a device that is far too powerful for your needs.
Also ask yourself : What Size of Generator Do I Need to Run my Home ?
With a generator rated at 5,000 to 7,500 watts, you can run even the most critical household equipment, including things such as refrigerator, freezer, well pump, and lighting circuits. A 7500-running watt generator can run all these appliances at once!
The diagrammatic illustration below will further help you to make the right decision :
|Benefits of Installing a Whole House Generator|
Safety and Security
As whole house standby generators emit no fumes, they prevent the buildup of carbon
monoxide inside your home. Additionally, they provide lighting during blackouts, which
will prevent accidents related to trips and falls.
A whole house standby generator connects to an existing gas line, so it can provide any
amount of power it needs for as long as necessary, as opposed to portable generators,
which need to be refueled every few hours.
When there is a blackout or a power outage, standby generators automatically turn on,
providing power to essential appliances such as air conditioners, water heaters,
refrigerators, freezers, and washing machines.
Value for Money
By setting up a whole house generator, you can keep food in the refrigerator from spoiling
or pipes from freezing, which can cause unexpected costs and headaches. For example, You would
realise a positive return on your original investment if you experienced several power outages over
the next 10 years.
|Disadvantages of Installing a Whole House Generator|
Whole house generators have the following drawbacks:
> The cost of fuel can be high if power outages occur frequently, and they are
expensive to buy and install.
> You should hire a professional for installation and maintenance.
> People who are not homeowners may not be attracted to these items because there
are permanently installed appliances already on the property.
> Noise complaints may be received from neighbours as a result.
> They are more space-consuming than portable generators.
> The fuel tank may be unsightly due to its size.
Try to imagine your home without power to determine your energy needs during an outage. Bear in mind that each outage is different from one another, some may last only few hours and others might continue for days.
Imagine having to manage your home for hours or days without electricity. Picture your days without being able to use and control your devices, security and electrical appliances. . Power outages can affect the complete operation and most of your equipment in your home or business.
With a residential generator, you’ll barely notice if a power outage occurs and you will be able to monitor what is going on if it has Wi-Fi features.
All-in-all, purchase of a whole house generator is a significant investment which due to the financial outlay involved necessitates prioritizing performance over price. That’s why, instead of evaluating a generator on price alone, it’s best to look at what you’re getting for the price to arrive at an overall value rating.
Therefore, the models recommended in the following reviews take into serious consideration in addition to the cost the following criteria :
- noise level
- remote monitoring
- automatic transfer switch
- load management
- electric start
- high temperature shutdown
- heat control
- overload protection and ……..
- low oil protection.
The final device we are going to consider for the meantime are ANTI-FLOOD BAGS.
The frequency and intensity of extreme flooding events is on the rise. A warmer atmosphere has resulted in a 7% increase in water vapor floating overhead. Jet fuel for developing storms is also a major concern