What are the benefits of a home generator? Do I really need one? Is a generator worth the cost and hassle of installation?
If these questions have ever run through your head, you’re probably a Floridian. Hurricanes are a way of life for Floridians. In fact, we often make the news for the way we handle hurricane warnings in Florida. Whether it’s “Florida Man Goes Viral after Head-Banging in a Force 5 Hurricane” or “Watch as Shirtless Florida Man Greets Hurricane Dorian,” our state is typically met with an eye roll and chuckle after making the news. One thing that’s not met with a simple eye roll and chuckle, however, is the dreaded loss of power after a storm.
For example, after Hurricane Irma in 2017, there was more than $50 billion in damages to Florida. Not to mention, many residents were out of power for over a week. This means people were also out of air conditioning for over a week. The worst part about hurricane season is that it comes during the hottest time of year, June through September. Perhaps it wouldn’t be so bad if a hurricane hit and you had no power during December or January, but that’s just not how it works down here!
So, oftentimes Florida locals are left without power and air conditioning during the sweltering summer. What do you do then? If you don’t have a home generator, chances are you’re either braving the heat or contacting family asking if you can stay with them. If “toughing it out” isn’t an option for you and you don’t have generous family or friends nearby, then you may want to invest in a generator.
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Do I Need a Whole Home Generator?
There’s a difference between a whole home generator and a portable generator. The distinction is pretty obvious in the name, but sometimes there is still some confusion. The main difference is that a whole home generator requires installation, and obviously also powers your entire home. A portable generator delivers comfort of electricity without installation and is less expensive, but it won’t sustain your entire home.
Should I Choose Natural Gas or Propane?
The main differences in these are the cost. Natural gas is much less expensive, but it can become unavailable during a terrible storm. You won’t have to worry about not being able to use the generator you paid for if you go with propane. Although more expensive and highly flammable, it has a long shelf life and is easily accessible in the event of a total shutdown.
What Size Generator Should I Get?
Great, you’ve decided to invest in a whole home generator. Now what? What needs to be covered? What can you go without? There are some pretty fancy generators out there – but why pay for something you don’t truly need? Here are the factors you’ll need to consider before deciding what size generator you need and how much you’ll spend on one:
Air conditioning is basically a no brainer. This is the number one reason homeowners invest in a generator. Unless you don’t mind sleeping when it’s 90° in your house, you’ll want to make this top priority.
The refrigerator is another thing you should try to make a top priority when choosing a home generator. In order for food not to go bad, you’ll need your refrigerator not to lose power. Not having normal options for food is arguably one of the worst parts of a power outage due to a hurricane.
Can you go without TV? Are there other things you can use to pass time? If you have little kids or use TV as a staple source of entertainment in your household, then you’ll want to consider having this covered.
Do you work from home and need a computer to make a living? Contemplate this when choosing how large of a generator you need.
Whether you only need your AC to work or you want your entire house to be up and running in no time, you’ll need to prioritize what you want your home generator to cover. The amount of coverage you want will impact the cost of your generator, so that’s something to keep in mind when prioritizing what’s important and what you can do without for some period of time.
What’s the Decision?
Purchasing a home generator is ultimately a personal decision that should be discussed with your family. Although Floridians often take the route of “Florida Man” and try to play it cool, there’s always an element of panic when we hear that there’s a huge storm coming. With the flexibility of a home generator, you won’t have to panic nearly as much as usual.
Although Home-Tech does not supply or service home generators, we know an awful lot about air conditioning, home appliances and electric services. We’ve also been in the Southwest Florida area since 1981, so we know who to recommend for services we don’t cover. But if a hurricane hits and your home appliances or air conditioning stop working, you can count on us to help you out. Give us a call at 800-800-8356. Home-Tech is Southwest Florida’s appliance and air conditioning experts, providing emergency repairs and service when you need it most!