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Every homeowner should seriously consider purchasing a home generator. A home generator is a unit that will produce electricity during emergency situations. It’s never a bad idea to have a back-up system in place, especially given the uncertain times we live in. A storm, an act of terror or an unanticipated event can leave you and your family blacked-out without electricity.

The good news is that with a little planning, the purchase of a good unit can provide the needed intermittent service.

Unit Variation

There are a wide variety of home generators to choose from, some are portable or mobile, others are stationary, also referred to as standby. There are different fuel types available including natural gas (NG), gasoline, diesel, propane and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). Each has advantages and some have disadvantages.

Standby or stationary home generators are wired into the electrical system of the home. This is usually accomplished with a transfer switch. The standby unit is connected to an outside fuel source, such as NG or LPG. In the event the home electrical system goes down, the standby system kicks-in, providing uninterrupted power, assuming there is sufficient and constant fuel. The benefit of standby home generators particularly when running natural gas rather than gasoline, is the continuous, ongoing run-time.

Stationary home generators are more costly than the portable units, in the $5,000 to $10,000 range. Although a small stationary unit can run you $1,000. The stationary home generators are highly reliable, safe and run on natural gas or propane. Likewise, they require professional installation.

The portable home generators are most often utilized for limited duration. They are used for running specific AC loads. The portable unit is most often connected with extension cords. Alternatively, it can be wired to a transfer switch that is initiated manually. The portable units are cheaper but require frequent refueling. There are several portable models, a bit more expensive, that can also be connected to an outside fuel source, providing more sustained power.

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Best Choices

Natural gas generators are available with the widest price range. A portable gas unit, a 4000W set, can be purchased for an inexpensive $300 to $400. Consumer Reports has indicated that a portable home generator providing a house with lights and appliances can run in the $700 range, although some considerations mean added cost.

Additional needs include portables started with an electrical unit, the batteries are extra, in the range of $50. Also, all home generators do not come with wheels. Add-in another $150 for the convenience of wheels. The transfer switch can cost upwards to as much as $900. The transfer switch can be extremely helpful, not only providing safety, eliminating extension cords, but also they display the wattage level in use. This can protect you from tripping circuit breakers and losing power.

A single family home usually requires 3 to 5 kw to power basic needs. Homes with central air weighing 4 to 5 tons, require 15 to 17 kw. During an emergency you likely won’t run all your appliances, nor will you run the appliances simultaneously.

Safety is a big concern, and knowing where and how to install your unit safely and effectively can save you and your family from carbon-monoxide poisoning.

Contacting the best home generator installation experts is to your advantage. There is no trade-off for bringing in safety-minded, experienced electricians that are certified and licensed installers. Several home generator installers are known for handling all permits, zoning applications and maintenance contracts.