Things to Know Before Buying a Backup Generator | Marion, SC
Photo By Branislav Nenin at Shutterstock
Chances are you’re no stranger to power outages if you live in the Marion, SC, area, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do about them. While you can’t prevent power outages, a backup generator can provide power to your home and keep you in complete comfort while the power grid gets fixed. However, you shouldn’t jump right into buying a standby generator if you don’t know what you’re getting yourself into. The good news is, we’ve got all the information you need to know before you make the leap and invest in a generator for your home.
How Does a Backup Generator Work?
When the power in your neighborhood suddenly shuts off, it’s because of some sort of problem with the power grid. The power grid is responsible for sending power to all the homes in the area and will automatically shut off if a power line comes in contact with a tree or another object.
After the power goes out, a standby generator keeps on providing power to your Marion, SC, home—but how does it do that without working electricity? There are two secrets to how backup generators work: the battery and the fuel source.
Standby generators run on either liquid propane or natural gas. This gas is stored in a tank to be used when the generator kicks on. The battery, however, is responsible for kicking the generator on and allowing it to use that fuel source. Because of these two factors, generator maintenance is important. You need to have somebody take a look at your fuel and check your battery on a regular basis to make sure your generator is ready to go for the next power outage.
The Power Dilemma
While there are a lot of good backup generators on the market, one of the most important things to keep in mind is that you need to shop for a generator based on your power needs. Generators can only provide so much power, and buying a weak generator could render half your home useless during outages.
The best way to make sure you’re getting a generator with enough power is to look at the power needs for some of the appliances and electronics in your home, add them together to find the sum, then shop for a generator that’s designed to provide at least that much power.
If you buy a generator that’s not quite powerful enough to keep everything in your home running, keep in mind that you’ll have to choose your priorities. Some of the most demanding electronics include microwaves, electric ovens and refrigerators.
A Big Investment
The truth is, the price of your generator has a lot to do with how much power you need and what sort of features you’re looking for. However, even some of the smaller models will cost you upwards of $3,000, so you need to realize how big of an investment you’re making.
Beyond simply buying a backup generator for your Marion, SC, home, you also need to pay somebody to install it and keep up with twice-yearly maintenance. If you run out of fuel or the fuel in your generator gets a buildup of sludge, you’ll have to buy new fuel. Plus, you can expect a propane standby generator to burn about 3.5 gallons of propane each hour, which is nearly $9 worth of propane every hour.
Backup generators are about convenience, and they do a great job of providing that. However, it’s also important to understand the cost of that convenience.
Size and Installation Space
We already mentioned how important it is to get a backup generator that provides enough power for your Marion, SC, home, but stepping up in terms of power generally means getting a larger generator. Before you invest in an expensive generator, talk with a professional and make sure you have enough room to install it.
The manufacturer will tell you how far a generator should be installed from your home, but that’s simply a minimum. If you really want to make sure your generator is a safe distance from your home and isn’t making too much noise, you should install it about 20 feet from your home. The same is true when it comes to the distance from your generator to your neighbor’s home; if you want to avoid a feud with an angry neighbor, install your generator at least 20 feet from their home. If you don’t have room for that, you may need a smaller generator.
As we mentioned previously, you have your choice between natural gas and liquid propane (LP) when you’re shopping for a backup generator. The truth is that both fuel types do a good job of powering up your home, but there are some unique differences between the two.
Choosing between LP and natural gas depends on what your priorities are. If you want the more efficient option that gives you the most bang for your buck, natural gas is the way to go. You can burn less natural gas than LP and get the same BTUs from it. If you’re more concerned about the environment than your bank account, liquid propane burns a little cleaner and has less of an effect on the environment.
Your fuel source isn’t a huge deal, but it’s something to consider before you invest in a backup generator.
Make the Call
If you’re the type of homeowner who values convenience above all else, there’s nothing quite like a good generator. Generators can keep the power in your home up and running during bad storms and power outages.
The best part about investing in a backup generator for your Marion, SC, home is that Mister Sparky Generators makes it easy. We can help you find the perfect generator for your needs and get it installed in a breeze. To find out more about getting a generator for your home, call us today at (843) 213-6610.