We’ve all seen what a paralyzing effect natural disasters can have on your home life. From Hurricane Katrina, to Superstorm Sandy and the Oklahoma tornadoes, Mother Nature can pack a wallop that can leave an area and your home without power for days. For peace of mind, you should consider installing a home generator that can take over your home’s energy needs when you lose power.
What considerations should you take into account when purchasing a home generator?
- What size do I need? Do you want to run an entire household, some parts of it or just emergency needs? At minimum, your refrigerator, HVAC system and hot water should be in your plan. Your contractor can help you determine what size you need.
- Permanent or portable? Generators can be installed permanently, or some are portable for moving to different locations.
- Do I need to have a permit to install a generator? Consult your HVAC technician.
- Generators can run on gas or diesel fuel, or some can be hooked up to your house’s natural gas supply. If you are able to do the latter, you don’t have to have dangerous fuels stockpiled at home, and generally natural gas keeps working during the worst of natural disasters.
- You cannot just plug a generator into a wall outlet (this can create a dangerous condition called “backfeeding”, which could be deadly to utility workers). A transfer switch should be wired into your home’s service panel, and the generator plugged into that.
- Generators should never be moved indoors, or even into a garage with the door open or under a carport. Carbon monoxide can enter the home and sicken or kill someone. The generator should be at least 10 feet from the house.
- Generators are loud; you may be able to lessen noise to a degree by reducing the electrical load. Newer generators are somewhat less noisy than older models.
- Generators should be grounded. Manufacturer’s instructions will tell you how, but unless you’re an advanced DIY-er, you may want to consult your HVAC technician.
For more information about purchasing and installing a home generator, contact Aladdin Heating and Cooling.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Detroit, 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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