Choosing the Best Generator For This Hurricane Season

Generac Home Generator

We are officially in hurricane season now and the severe weather potential will increase purchases of things like fans, portable air conditioners, flashlights and the like. Tropical storms and hurricanes here in South Florida pose the threat of power outages where retailers have difficulty keeping portable generators in stock.

In South Florida storms cause power outages either more frequently or for longer periods of time causing homeowners to consider investing in a permanent home generator. Power outages are not only uncomfortable, but they can also be dangerous and cause bigger issues. An outage during the extreme temperatures could lead to heat exhaustion and even be fatal in some cases. A full-home, permanent generator can provide power to the whole house automatically making it very easy and safe for power to be restored during outages.

Choose the Right Generator for You
Generators are rated by wattage. Smaller units produce only 1,000 watts while whole-house models can put out anywhere between 6,000-22,000 watts. Manufacturers typically have size calculators on their websites that can help determine your needs where square footage and appliances that you have are all a part of the equation. As technology and models have evolved, there have been quieter models introduced as generators have historically been noisy.

Hire a Professional Installer: Installing a permanent generator is certainly not a “do-it-yourself” project. Prepare to pay somewhere in the range of thousands for the installation of a larger 20kW model due to the cost of the unit and the necessary electrical work for installation.

Additional considerations include:

  • Pulling a permit
  • Following town laws
  • Installing the unit far away enough from the home
  • Properly secure or burial of any wires/cords
  • Installation on a solid pad or foundation

Fueling options can really vary these days from gasoline, propane or natural gas. If you can connect to a natural gas line, then you shouldn’t have to worry about running out of power for fuel replenishment. Otherwise gasoline or propane models will require a tank for a regular supply.

Although there are costs and efforts involved in installing a standby generator, it can be well worth the inconvenience and potential discomfort from the intermittent loss of power. A permanently installed generator system can also add to the value of your home when it comes time to put it on the market for sale.