Getting the right ON-SITE power to the home
Power outages are a fact of life these days, and many people are thinking more seriously about getting a standby generator to protect their homes and families. There are two ways to go: portable or permanently installed. Portables are cheaper, but that advantage is outweighed by several advantages offered by a permanently installed generator.
- Fully automated: When you have a Generac residential standby power system installed, it is fully automated; you don’t have to do anything when a power outage strikes. In less than a minute lights, AC, fridge, microwave and all the appliances that you decided to power in advance will be back on. With a portable, you may be grabbing a flashlight to search the garage for the generator, fuel and a heavy-duty extension cord. The project of getting power back on has just begun.
- Quiet: Well made Generac residential generators are so quiet, you can converse with others while standing next to it. The most expensive portable generator are almost as quiet, but some of the cheaper ones can wake the dead. The neighbors will probably know when a portable is running and they may not be happy.
- Fuel Convenience: Installed Generac generators can run on natural gas if the home al-ready uses it for heating; even a severe storm won’t disrupt the indefinite supply of natural gas delivered through underground pipelines. Otherwise, a Generac residential generator can run on LP gas, which is usually stored in large tanks sufficient to last a week or more, longer than almost all power outages. A portable generator, on the other hand, usually runs on gasoline, and its small tank needs to be refilled frequently. That means you need to have some fresh or stabilized gas on hand; old, non-stabilized gas can damage the generator engine.
- Reliability: Generac permanent generators typically have a regular exercise schedule; every week or month, say, they are programmed to turn o and run for 15 minutes or so, to make sure everything is in proper working order. If there is a problem, it will most likely be detected during these exercise cycle. On the other hand, only the most dedicated and organized homeowners regularly test their portable generators. Most folks forget about the generator until it is needed. If the generator does not function when there is a power outage, good luck finding a similar model still on the shelves at the local home or hardware store.
- Safety: Portable generators were not designed to power a houseful of appliance, and they can pose safety hazards if homeowners are not knowledgeable about power. First, you have to select the proper voltage for the appliance to be powered. You also have to remember to disconnect utility power after a power outage. Generac permanently installed generators do not pose these safety hazards; they are professionally installed by electrical contractors, who size the leads and prewire the connections properly. And the automatic transfer switch that is part of the system senses when utility power is unavailable or unstable, switches to the generator while disconnecting utility power, and then switches back to the utility when power is available again—all automatically and safely.
- Warranty and Product Life: Most portable generators have one, two or three-year warranties and an expected product life of several years. Most permanently installed generators carry a five-year warranty, and the better-quality ones have an expected lifespan of 20 years or more. So if you consider the total cost of ownership, one permanently installed Generac generator can easily outlast two or perhaps even three portables, making the permanent models quite cost-competitive. There are many good reasons to protect homes and families with a Generac generator. There are even more good reasons to choose a Generac permanently installed model.