There has been a huge surge in the sale of generators for home use in the last few year years. Lengthy power outages from storms, flooded basements and refrigerators full of spoiled food have made more people the need for a generator. In New England, power outages typically happen in cold weather. As difficult as it is to remain in your home with lights, it's even more so to stay in a cold home.
One of my neighbors recently bought a standy generator. She told me about the very detailed research she did to select the brand of generator but also a company knowledgeable about installation and service. She found most of the sales reps with whom she spoke did not know enough about their products, or the important requirements for installing a generator.
Here's some basic information that you can use as you begin your
research to buy a backup generator for your home in Sharon MA:
Two Basic Types of Home Generators:
1. Standby Generators - A standby generator is permanently installed outside your home and wired directly into the electrical system to provide power to some or all of your home's circuits during a disruption of normal utility power.
Depending on the model, the generator start automatically when the power goes out and stop when the power returns.
Standby generators are fueled by liquid propane or natural gas and require professional installation. In Sharon MA, permits are required. Call the Building Division at 781-784-1525 to find out specific details and costs.
The number of circuits to which a standby generator can provide power, and the number of appliances you can run on those circuits, is determined by the power capacity of the generator. The greater the power capacity, the higher the cost. Standby generators are typically fully enclosed and vary in size.
2. Portable Generators - Portable generators are versatile because you can use them for emergency power at home, for power in remote locations where utility power is unavailable, or for recreational purposes like boating or campting.
Portable generators are fueled by gasoline and include 120-volt power outlets like the ones in the walls of your home. When the generator is running, you can plug appliances and tools directly into these outlets. Some generators also include 120/240 or 240-volt outlets. Portable generators have a lower price range than standby generators.
Some questions to ask before you buy:
1. How much power will you need? You'll have to determine the start up power needed to get your appliances started, and continuous power to keep them operating during an outage.
2. What other features or accessories are needed? For example, will you need a transfer switch? What can you do to minimize the noise? Will you need a wheeled frame for your portable generator?
3. How should the generator be placed, installed and operated for safety?
4. How do you maintain the generator? What parts have to cleaned and replaced periodically?
5. Make sure to find out what your town requires in terms of permitting and inspection.
6. Always use a licensed and experienced electrician. In Massachusetts, you can check the license status of licensed professionals.
Stay warm and safe this winter and remember...Spring starts in 8 weeks!