Why Homeowners Should Invest in a Residential Generator

A home with a standby residential generator.

Finally, it’s Friday. The weekend is here. After a long and busy week you’re looking forward to spending some quality time at home with the family. After dinner, you all head into the living room to watch a movie. As you’re scrolling through Netflix, you hear the microwave start in the kitchen followed by a familiar pop pop. Over the sounds of the movie trailers streaming in the background and the playful arguing over what to watch, you hear the wind pick up as it roars through your yard. The trees outside groan as they bend to and fro when suddenly a snap echoes into the night. A heavy limb shears off the side of an old oak and crashes into the utility lines below it followed by a flash of sparks. Inside your house, the lights cut out. The TV goes black and the microwave silences as the last kernels pop within.

When the power goes out a hundred things start going through your mind. What happened? Where is everyone? Are the kids safe? Is the whole neighborhood out? Do we have flashlights? How long is this going to last? Do we have heat? Do our phones work? What do we do now? How long will this last? These are some of the questions facing homeowners during a residential power outage. 

The Benefits of a Residential Standby Generator

If your home isn’t equipped with a backup generator, you could be left in the dark until the utility company is able to restore power to the grid. In a widespread outage, due to a storm or natural disaster for example, that could take hours, days, or sometimes even weeks. A standby generator is designed to instantly turn on in the event of an outage to supply power to your home until utilities are restored. When sized appropriately, they can provide enough power to run just about everything electrical you have in your house. From keeping your lights on and running appliances, to helping regulate the temperature in your home and more, a backup generator provides a number of benefits. 

Light the Way for Safety

One of the most inconvenient parts of a blackout, especially at night, is having the lights out. Fumbling your way through the dark, even when aided by candles or a flashlight, is no fun and can even be dangerous. Earlier this year, a new study observed an increased risk of hospitalizations of children for unintentional injuries during power outages. Standby generators are more than capable of providing the power necessary for indoor and outdoor residential lights, which can help keep your family safe in the dark.

Maintain Connectivity

There was a time when every house had a landline phone with a wired connection. With these, when the power went out you could still make a phone call whether it was to check in on a neighbor or to call for help. Nowadays more and more people are cutting the cord and abandoning landline services, opting instead to rely on mobile phones or the web to connect with friends and family. The risk here is that during a blackout, your modem and router go down as well. If you live in an area with spotty cellular reception or worse, you may be completely disconnected from the outside world. Provided there hasn’t been an interruption in your ISPs infrastructure, a backup generator can keep your modem on and retain a wifi signal, so you can stream the news, continue to work, or keep the kids entertained for a bit.

Ensure Access to Hot Water

During an outage an electric water heater will also stop running, meaning you have a limited supply of hot water at hand for tasks like showering. Even then, the tank will only keep the water inside hot for so long. If you have a well that uses an electric pump, you may also lose access to even cold water until power is restored. A home generator can power both of these if necessary, ensuring you have a reliable source of hot and cold water at the ready.

Keep Your Home’s Temperature Regulated

Without power your home heating and cooling systems will shut down. If the outage happens in the winter you could have a real problem on your hands. In the extreme cold your water pipes could burst and cause extensive damage and flooding in your home. An alternative heating option like a woodstove can keep your home warm and stave off potential freezes but often comes with an increase to your homeowner’s insurance. On the other hand, a standby generator can keep both your heat and A/C operational with the added benefit of an insurance discount from many carriers.  

Prevent Food Loss

If you’ve ever experienced a prolonged outage, you might know firsthand how disappointing it can be to find your fridge and freezer full of spoiled food. When the power goes out, even a top-of-the-line model can’t keep the cold in forever. According to the CDC, a full freezer will keep food at a safe temperature for 48 hours if the door remains closed, and only for 24 hours if half full. Your refrigerator clocks in at only 4 hours without power before food may begin to spoil. In the United States, the average cost of food lost to a power outage can range anywhere from $250 to $500. If you live in an area that is prone to outages a standby generator could pay for itself rather quickly. 

Standby vs. Portable Generators

If you’re considering a backup power solution for your home, you may be deciding between a standby unit or a portable option. While portable generators can be more affordable upfront, they only offer a temporary power solution and pale in comparison to standby generators in terms of reliability and convenience. For one, portable generators require manual setup, fueling, and connection to appliances during an outage. These steps can be inconvenient and time-consuming, especially if the outage happens during a storm. Standby generators are permanently installed outside the home and instantly turn on during outages, providing power within seconds. These units also have much larger fuel reserves than portable generators so they can run longer and provide more power, offering peace of mind and convenience to homeowners.

What to Look for When Shopping for a Residential Standby Generator

When looking at home backup generators, you’ll find there’s a variety of options available. You can narrow down your search and find the best option for your home by looking at specific criteria.

Power Capacity

First, you need to assess your home’s power needs to determine the appropriate generator capacity (measured in kilowatts). Be sure to take into account factors such as HVAC systems, refrigerators, lighting, and other appliances to accurately gauge your power requirements.

Fuel Type

Consider the fuel type that best suits your preferences as well as availability in your area. Standby generators typically run on natural gas, propane, or diesel. Evaluate the cost, availability, and environmental impact of each fuel option before making a decision.

Maintenance Requirements

To ensure longevity of the generator, regular upkeep is a must. Factor in the maintenance needs of the unit, including regular servicing and inspections. Look for a model that offers ease of maintenance and reliability to ensure consistent performance over time.

Brand Reputation and Reliability

Look for a reputable generator brand known for its reliability, durability, and performance. Research customer reviews, ratings, and industry certifications to identify top-quality generator manufacturers that meet your requirements. A few brands which regularly top the list of best home generators include Kohler, Cummins, and Generac, among others.

Consult with a Professional

Navigating the process of selecting a backup generator can be complex and daunting for homeowners. Additionally, installation must be performed by a licensed professional. A reputable generator company can help you assess your home’s power needs, recommend suitable generator options, and oversee the installation process from start to finish. Most companies also offer comprehensive maintenance plans, technical support, and emergency services to address any issues or concerns that may arise with your standby generator and ensure reliable performance year-round.

Standby Generators

As the incidence of electrical outages continues to rise, there’s never been a better time to consider purchasing a generator for your home. Investing in a backup generator is a proactive measure to protect your family and home during electrical outages. Standby generators offer peace of mind, convenience, and safety in times of crisis. Although portable options may be more affordable in the short run, the overall capacity, convenience, and longevity of a standby generator can’t be beat.

Tower Generator — Connecticut’s Residential Generator Specialists

Since 1997, homeowners and business owners alike have relied on the experts at Tower Generator for their backup and emergency power needs. From brand new installations to routine service, Tower Generator handles 100% of the project 100% of the time. Our factory trained technicians are ready to take on any challenge at a moment’s notice. For service you can trust, day or night, you can count on Tower Generator. Contact us today to discuss the installation of a new backup power system for your home or to schedule a service appointment for an existing unit.