Should You Get an Automatic Backup Generator?

by | Jul 16, 2015 | Blog | 0 comments

Boulden Brothers Electric is concerned with providing homeowners peace of mind. That’s why we think it might good idea to install an automatic backup generator. Whenever there’s a power outage, a backup generator is able to kick in immediately and keep all the home’s important devices powered up.

We’ve observed more widespread adoption of backup generators in areas where the power grid is less reliable. If you live in a municipality or metropolitan area with relatively few power outages, generators probably aren’t even on your radar. If you’re in a rural area that has more frequent outages, then you’ll obviously be concerned about the options available to you.

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The generators that we install for homeowners are operated with either propane or natural gas. They detect outages and provide power to the circuits that the homeowner has chosen. In other words, the appliances that the homeowner needs to stay powered (such as the refrigerator/freezer, well pump, sump pump, or security equipment) will continue to run after an outage occurs. Of course, If you want to run everything in your home without skipping a beat, it’s still possible. It’s just a little bit more complicated and expensive because it involves the installation of a larger generator.

Automatic backup generators are fundamentally different from the small mobile generators that most people are familiar with. Mobile generators are usually stored in the garage. Once they are needed, they are taken outside, plugged in, and started by pulling a cord similar to the one you’d find on a lawnmower. Our clients are usually uncomfortable with using these small generators because they have to be taken outside during the rain.

By contrast, automatic backup generators don’t need to be moved or started manually. Even if you’re not home when a power outage occurs, they’ll kick in without any user intervention. They also don’t require refueling or running an extension cord into an existing outlet. Automatic generators exercise themselves once a week, meaning that the unit will turn on and run for a short period just to make sure that it is working properly. If it has a problem while going through the test cycle, it will sound an alarm to let you know.

When was the last time a mobile generator sitting in the garage was serviced? Can you really be confident that it would work reliably if it was ever needed? That’s one of the main issues that an automatic backup generator doesn’t face. Homeowners don’t have to take the inconvenient step of starting up the generator periodically to make sure it still works.

In municipal areas, power outages are usually a minor inconvenience. You can probably still use your toilet, sink, or shower. In rural areas that rely on electric well pumps for water, a power outage means that you also lose access to water. Additionally, if you’re in an area that’s prone to flooding or you have a wet basement, power outages will mean that the sump pump stops functioning. Without a backup generator, simple outages can lead to a spiraling effect of problems.

We highly suggest looking into installing an automatic backup generator if your home relies on electricity for critical components. If you already have a Generac or Honeywell generator in your home that needs servicing, we’re here to help. Give us a call today to learn more about your options.

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