As winter storms move in, people across Metro Detroit are bracing for the inevitable power outages that can accompany the snow and ice. Power outages can become multi-day events, especially in rural areas, where it becomes a struggle to keep your pipes from freezing while you wait for service to be restored.
With a backup generator, you won’t have to worry! There are two types of generators that are popular – portable or automatic – and both can make the winter season easier for you and your family.
Automatic (Standby) Generators
An automatic (standby) generator is a permanent fixture that runs on natural gas. It is wired into your house, and when you lose power, it automatically comes on and powers your home. An automatic generator is seamless – you don’t need to manually turn it on, you don’t even need to be home for it to work. They’re more expensive than portable generators (they cost roughly three times as much), but they’re also more powerful, longer-lived, quieter, and safer.
You should have automatic generators serviced at least every other year (if not annually), and when you eventually sell your home, you can expect to gain about 50% of the cost back in home value. And for some families, especially those who have vital medical equipment running in the house, the reliability afforded by a standby generator is absolutely necessary.
A portable generator is a more affordable option, and is also a flexible solution for powering your home when you experience outages from time to time. Your home needs to be wired appropriately for a generator, but once the electric is set up, it’s easy to plug in and power up. Portable generators typically run on gasoline or diesel (and require refilling), and involve manual operation and close monitoring. Also, due to the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, NEVER run your portable generator in your garage, even with an open garage door – this does not provide adequate ventilation. Your portable generator needs to be placed at least ten feet away from the house while running.
With an aging power grid, more people are turning to backup generators to help keep the lights on when the power goes out. Let A&M Engineering help you prevent the headache of frozen pipes and chilly children! We can help you select the right generator option for you, and get you powered up and ready to face whatever the winter throws at you.