When experiencing a bout of bad weather, most of us have the same thought: “I hope there isn’t a power outage.”
Not only are power outages inconvenient, but they can be expensive. According to the Galvin Electricity Initiative, blackouts cost approximately $150 billion a year due to spoiled food, damaged equipment and decreased productivity. That’s why more homeowners are turning to backup generators to protect themselves and their homes during storms and electrical incidents.
Investing in a backup portable generator can save homeowners thousands of dollars by keeping refrigerators and appliances running during power outages. Moreover, the right size generator can keep household members comfortable during extremely warm or cold months.
When selecting a portable generator, it’s essential to choose one that’s the right size for your home. If it’s too large, you’ll waste fuel and money. But if it’s too small, you won’t be able to keep critical items working. So here’s a closer look at choosing the right portable generators for your home.
How Generators Work
Before determining which portable generators are best for your residence, it’s essential to review how generators work. Most homes receive energy through transmission lines connected to power stations along the electric grid. These transmission lines may be damaged during extreme weather events, resulting in a power outage. Whole house generators don’t rely on external transmission lines, which allows them to supply power during poor weather.
Determining Standby Generator Power
Although all standby generators provide electricity during blackouts, they differ in size and capability. These machines are ranked by kilowatts (kWs), which measure how much power is consumed by an electrical appliance. One kW is equal to 1,000 watts — the higher the kW, the more essential appliances your generator can handle. To figure out how much power you need, you should evaluate how much energy your appliances and power-sensitive electronics require to be operational. Most appliances come with a compliance badge that shows the amount of power they use.
You mustn’t overload your home standby generator. If you connect more kWs than it can handle, it will trip the main circuit breaker and no longer provide power to your home or business.