Modern civilization runs on electricity, and much of it is generated at power plants that fuel the public power grid. More and more, electricity is also being generated with newer and cleaner energy sources such as solar panels and wind farms, which can generate power without creating harmful byproducts. But no matter where the power is coming from, some homeowners may prepare for possible power outages with an emergency generator, such as whole house generators. These whole house generators require careful generator installation, but if these whole house generators are set up just right, they can power the entire house if the public electricity goes out. Standby generators can also be used at a log cabin or other smaller-scale applications, as not all generators are whole house generators. A generator size calculator is also helpful before buying whole house generators, as the homeowner would not want to get the wrong size model for the job.
What to Know About Electricity
Statistics have shown that the American power grid is rapidly expanding, but it is also more prone to outages than ever before, and in some parts of the nation, power grid hardware is surprisingly old. In some regions, in fact, the power grid infrastructure may be decades or even a century old, and they may fail sometimes. In particular, the first six months of 2014 saw a total of 130 reported grid outages, and this compares unfavorably to decades past. Federal data started tracking power outage rates since the 1980s, and the numbers show that the American electric grid loses power 285% more often than in 1984.
For a homeowner, a power outage like this may range from inconvenient and annoying to quite troublesome. For example, a fridge and freezer will stop chilling the contents, and in warm weather, that can lead to food spoiling. If the outage is under four hours long, that may not be an issue. After that point, though, the homeowner should use a food thermometer to track their food as it warms up in the unpowered fridge. Food might be discarded as required. And while important structures such as hospitals often have their own backup generators, a homeowner can borrow that idea, too. Modern whole house generators can make all the difference for a homeowner who plans ahead.
Installing a Generator
Any homeowner may resolve to have whole house generators installed on their property, though this requires some planning and help first. To start with, the homeowner should calculate how much power they will even need when an outage occurs. This figure can be determined when the homeowner adds up the wattage of all lights, appliances big and small, and the utilities in the house, such as air conditioning or heating. The final figure is an important reference for buying a generator, since a too-small generator will fail to power everything and a too-large generator is a waste of money. It may also be noted that some generators are rated to function even if the home experiences flooding, and homeowners in flood-prone areas may look into that.
A homeowner may browse generator models at a local hardware store, and ask store associates for ideas or suggestions on particular models or brands. These generators can also be found online, if need be. When the model is chosen, the homeowner may hire experts to help install it all, as this may be fairly tricky and technical work. Ultimately, all this will make a house foolproof against power outages, and the generators may start supplying power as soon as they sens that the main power has gone out. The gap between power sources may be very small in many cases, and some generators may seamlessly start providing power as soon as the main source cuts out.
Smaller generators are useful too, mainly for recreation that takes place far away from public power grids. A camper may bring along a small, portable generator to a log cabin or camp site to power electronic items such as a laptop computer or the like, or even a TV or similar electronics. Small generators are also a fine idea for powering a TV and sound system during a tailgate party so that everyone can watch the big game live.