A Generator Is Handy in a Rolling Blackout: Portable or Standby?

A Generator Is Handy in a Rolling Blackout: Portable or Standby?One of the most essential pieces of equipment for a home emergency preparedness plan is a generator. It can keep the heat and lights on and perishables cold during power outages due to inclement weather, fallen trees or other events. Take a few moments to weigh the advantages and differences of a portable or standby generator so you won’t find yourself in the dark or left out in the cold.

Portable or Standby Generator?

A power outage has the potential to cause many more disturbances to daily life and property than simply the lights going out for a period of time.  Pipes can freeze and burst, leading to flooding inside the home, and the lack of electricity can be perilous as well.

Portable Generators

Portable generators are readily available at home improvement stores, and may run on gasoline or propane. They may be moved around to a convenient location when needed, and stored when not in use. While convenience is a great feature of portable generators, there are some drawbacks:

  • Carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning is a potential threat. Portable units should never be run inside a home or attached garage.
  • Full preparedness means having ready additional equipment, such as heavy-duty extension cords to connect major appliances to the generator, so as not to risk fire or damage.
  • For gasoline-powered portable models, storage of gasoline deserves its own safety considerations.

Standby Generators

With the high number of major storms across the country in recent years, standby generators are gaining popularity in Grosse Pointe and Utica households beyond commercial applications. These are some of the advantages of standby generators:

  • Standby generators offer a convenient direct connection to a home natural gas line.
  • With proper installation, standby generators are generally safer for home use than portable units, eliminating accidental improper use which could lead to CO poisoning.
  • A standby generator provides an automatic transfer switch that separates generator power from utility power. This is safer for the home and for utility workers who are working hard to restore power.

To further explore backup generator options for your Southeast Michigan home, contact Aladdin Heating & Cooling.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Warren, Michigan about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about generators and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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