Apr 8 2017
Reasons to install a standby generator.
For a South Florida homeowner there are some good reasons to install a standby generator. The most obvious reason is the possibility of a hurricane coming ashore along the Treasure Coast. Power outages are a common occurrence during such storms, and many homeowners are turning to generators to ensure their electricity stays on, even when the grid is shutdown. Generators come in two design choices, portable or permanently installed. While portable generators have a lower initial cost, frequency of power outages and repair and replacement costs can quickly outweigh the initial savings. Here are several more advantages of a permanently installed standby generator.
A standby generator’s start up can be automated.
A standby generator uses an automatic transfer switch to start the when the power goes out. The switch is similar to the thermostat in your house. Instead of monitoring temperature, an automatic transfer switch monitors utility power. When the power goes out, the automatic transfer switch tells the generator to start. Automatic transfer switches come in a variety of amps, ranging from 50-amps to 400-amps.
In most cases, you match the transfer switch to the main breaker in your electrical panel. For instance, if you have a 200-amp main breaker, you’ll need a 200-amp automatic transfer switch.
When the lights go dark, a standby generator will start up in a matter of seconds, giving power to the fridge, microwave and air conditioner. There’s no searching for the portable generator, fuel and extension cord. Newer installed models will even send you a report about the power outage, telling you when the generator kicked on, how long it was used, and when the power came back. This can be especially helpful if you’re out of town when the power goes out.
They can run longer than portable generators.
How long your portable generator can run depends mainly on one thing – how much fuel you have on-hand. Installed generators connect directly to your fuel source, natural gas or liquid propane, allowing for longer run times and enough electricity for reliable backup power for your home.
They’re the safer option.
A portable generator can pose a safety hazard. Most models require you to calculate the proper voltage for your appliances and remember to disconnect the utility power after a power outage. Permanently installed generators are set up by electrical contractors, who will prewire the connections. The generator’s automatic transfer switch will sense when the power goes out, or is unstable, and will switch itself on, while disconnecting utility power. When utility power comes back, the generator will reverse the process, with no work needed from you.
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