Hurricane Season is fast approaching us in Florida again this year, and as always, the thought of a generator is on our minds once again. We used to have a small generator, but we lost it in a move. It would have been good for possibly powering a fridge and a couple of lights, but it wouldn't have powered our whole house or even had enough power to run the oven or dryer. Of course, now that we are so 'focused' on creating a 'self sustaining' home, we realize that the only need we have for a generator is to keep our fridge running so we don't lose food. We can live without power if we have to.
A good friend of ours on the other hand, had sick, elderly parents who needed power to sustain life support systems and they were quite well off, so they had a whole house propane generator installed on their home. In some instances, like his, I could see where this would be beneficial, and if we were in a more permanent situation, I would give this set up serious thought. But since we know we're only going to be here for 1-3 years, we'll stick with the smaller, portable generator choices.
How Well Do You Know Your Generator?
Back up power is important not only in business establishments but also in homes. This is especially so if people are experiencing man-made or natural calamities and have no way of preventing power shortage.
During these unfortunate times, people need a source of energy to power up appliances or furniture that is important in running their household. Examples of these are heaters to warm the home in winter times, air conditioning for summer times and of course, oven and other cooking appliances for food support.
Generators are important because people have no way of determining how long the power will be down. If you want to make sure that your home will remain in a good and stable condition, you should have back up energy in order and ready to use at any time.
What are the two types of back up generators?
This is the most economical generator that is capable of supplying back up energy. Portable generators are the most commonly used in homes or household. Appliances that needed power supply are plugged directly into this generator. This is done using wires and other cords that are applicable to the appliances.
Many of these type of generator already has advance features like the stop or start button which people can use to be able to save up on the energy they might be needing for some time.
Portable generators also have different types depending on the volt specification that you are using in your home. You will be able to choose from 120 up to 240 volts capability.
One of the widely used portable generators is the one that is gasoline-powered. People choose this type of generator because it costs less compared to the other type. There are even those that run on diesel or a combination of both.
One of the downside to this is that it cannot be used for longer time. People need to refill and refuel this generator often to be able to extend its power support. In addition, diesel powered generators are much more expensive. Although it is more efficient and with supplies that are easy to find, you may find it hard to start in cold seasons.
Permanent generators are programmed to be turned on automatically within the specified time after power loss. These generators are connected to the wiring system inside the house. This is why it will start on its own whether there is nobody present in the house during black out. It also has the capacity to shut down on its own once power is restored.
This type of generator is powered by natural gases. The kind of gas that you are using to power some of the appliances at your home can also be used to power this generator.
The choice of permanent generator will depend upon how the homeowners plan to use it. If you need to power up more than the required appliances, then you can opt for permanent generators that have more than 17,000 watts capability.
These types tend to be more expensive than portable generators. But with all its capacity, the initial money spent will be worth it once you see the kind of back up energy it will provide when you need it the most.
Are generators hazardous?
Portable generators are more hazardous than permanent generators. This is because they are making use of gasoline and diesel and is more capable of burning up when overheated.
This kind of generator is like your car. They tend to overheat when used extremely for a long period of time. This is why you need to check regularly and rest it for a while to prevent any damage to you, to the generator and the appliances that it is powering.
Poisoning is also another hazard caused by portable generators. Since it is running on gas, carbon monoxide is being released into the air. According to studies, many people die of carbon monoxide poisoning. One of the reasons for this is that they are not aware that they are inhaling carbon monoxide.
To prevent this from happening, the generator should be placed in locations where it is properly ventilated. Consider placing them outside your home where there are no chances of people to be suffocated from the carbon monoxide it gives off.
Consider these things when you are in the process of buying a back up power for your home. Together with the necessary power supply is the need to make sure that you will encounter no health problems when you are using them already.