If you live in a stormy area, a backup home generator is a great thing to have. Thanks to the latest in Generator Interlock Technologies, homeowners are able to wait out the storm in total comfort and safety no matter how long the bad weather lasts. However, before you decide to purchase your own backup generator, it’s important to know a few things about how a generator works, and how you can use it to safely ride out the storm without endangering yourself or your family. While many generators can be used no matter what, it’s always a good idea to do your research and invest in a model that’s safe and simple to use in any type of weather. Before you purchase your system, here are a few things to think about to help you stay as comfortable and safe as possible during a potentially long storm season.
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Portable Generators Aren’t As Good During Storms
Even if the storm raging outside your window isn’t necessarily dangerous, there are a few reasons why opting for a standby, rather than a portable generator tends to be a better choice for volatile climates. For one thing, standby generators can supply more power and tend to be more reliable. Since they live inside your home and operate in a similar way to your AC unit, they don’t have to rely on gas power to keep your home connected during a storm. Because portable units usually run on gas and have a tank that needs to be manually filled, they’re a much more risky venture, especially during a storm. Since portable models need to be left outside in order to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, they’re exposed to the elements. That means that all your home electrics will be plugged into your generator and left outside in the rain. This simply isn’t the smartest way to go. A standby generator, on the other hand, doesn’t need to be filled or powered with gas, and it can instantly take on the power burden without exposing your home to danger.
Be Sure You’re Not In an Evacuation Zone First
Before powering up your generator, you’ll need to stay clued into what’s going on around you. Many areas deal with long storm seasons without incident. If the power goes out during a normal storm, having your generator ready won’t do you any harm. However, if you’re living in an area that’s at risk of getting caught in a serious storm, flood, or even in the path of a hurricane, you need to pay attention to local news, stay clued into local radio and service announcements, and make absolutely sure it’s okay to stay in your home for the duration of the storm. Even if you have a generator that can see you through weeks, it’s not going to do you any good if your home is in serious danger.
Add Up Your Appliances
When gearing up for a big storm, it’s best to know what you’re actually going to need, rather than draining tons of power on unnecessary appliances. Assume that you’ll need the basics, such as heating, running water, your refrigerator, your security system, and your internet router and modem. Apart from that, you might want to think about cutting down on other appliances. Do you really need to use your washer and dryer unit? You might, but consider that a typical dryer unit uses tons of power, almost twice the amount it takes to power up a typical fridge. Your generator isn’t meant to keep your home running at full capacity. Instead, it’s supposed to help you get by with the basics until you can go back to business as usual.
Keep Your Home Security Up and Running
During storm season, your fellow man might not be as direct a threat to your safety as the elements outside. Still, whatever you do, don’t assume that when a big storm hits, you’re totally invulnerable to attack. Many neighborhood thieves and looters use big storms as a way to break into houses and storefronts since they know the police force will be busy with public safety concerns. That means that you need to make sure your home security system is up and running no matter what. Even if it means you have to cut corners and preserve power in other areas, you should never sacrifice your security system to feed another power source that you can easily live without. During storm season, it’s more important to stay safe and protected until you hear the ‘all clear.’