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What You Should Look for in a Generator
Generators make a great way to keep power going in your home when the electrical grid is knocked out during a storm or similar emergency. Not only does that ensure that your home is properly heated and that things like refrigerators and medical equipment are kept running without a hitch, but they can help keep you connected to the outside world, which can be a huge benefit in an emergency.
But once you’ve made the decision to purchase a generator, what then? How can you tell which generator is right for your home, and which one just won’t work? A trained technician can help guide you to the right unit for your specific circumstances, but in general, there are a few factors which you should think about.
How Much Power You Need
Every generator has a power load capacity which determines how much power it can supply to your home. The capacity has to be large enough to support every electrical appliance – from the lights to the fridge – hooked up to it, as well as accounting for unexpected power spikes. Ideally, your generator should be powerful enough to support every major appliance in your home.
In the event that you need a less powerful generator, you should select which appliances are important (medical equipment for example) and which can be left unplugged during an emergency (your entertainment system). A trained technician can perform a power audit on your home, allowing you to determine your exact power needs.
Placement for your generator is going to depend on a number of factors, including how it’s hooked up to your power grid and where in your home there’s sufficient space. But you need to think in terms of an emergency, and what you’ll need to do in situations where the weather or other factors can interfere with your ability to reach it. The generator needs to have adequate ventilation and lighting, and you need to be able to reach it without a problem, in the event you need to check or refuel it.
Generators eat fuel and the last thing you want to do is have to go out in the middle of a crisis to get more. Pay close attention to the fuel consumption rate of your generator, and make sure you purchase enough fuel to last for at least three or four days before you require more. You should also mark the times when you’ll need to refuel, and set an alarm or similar reminder to do so in a timely fashion.
Generators can sit for months or even years before they need to be used, but when trouble comes, you might not have a lot of time to replace worn parts. That’s why it’s a good idea to get your generator serviced once or twice a year by a trained professional. That way, you can make any needed repairs in a timely fashion and when trouble comes, you’ll know that your generator will be ready!