Southwest Ohio has a four-season climate with all of the weather-related hazards that come with that. They range from severe thunderstorms or even derechos during the warm months, to some of the harshest weather the winter can throw at you. Any of these severe weather events have the potential to knock out your power for not just hours but days at a time. The derecho that struck Ohio in June 2014 resulted in power outages for as long as two weeks for some Ohio residents.
And it’s not just the weather. Issues with aging electrical grids also can result in widespread power outages.
Whatever the cause of a power blackout, you ought to give serious consideration to purchasing and installing a standby generator at your home. Standby generators should not be confused with gasoline-fueled portable generators that many people own. Standby generators are permanently installed on a concrete pad outside the home, sending electricity directly into the home’s electrical circuits. They typically are connected to the home’s natural gas line or a propane tank, and as a result do not require refueling.
This means you don’t have to worry about performing the messy task of refueling a fuel tank. As soon as the power cuts out to your home, the standby generator picks right up and takes over, providing electricity as long as it’s required.
Standby generators are available in a variety of capacities, ranging from smaller units that will power a few select circuits to whole-house models that will power everything that your regular electrical system runs. Some models provide rotating power – electricity only flows to circuits that call on it at a certain time.
What Do You Want in a Standby Generator?
If your main concern is safety during a blackout, and you don’t have a lot of money to spend, a smaller standby generator might be your best choice. These will power some lights, the refrigerator, cell-phone chargers, maybe a few fans, or even a portable AC. However, if you have the money to spend, and don’t want any loss of functionality in a blackout, a whole-house model should be your choice.
After a sudden loss of power in your neighborhood, don’t be surprised if you get a few dirty looks from the neighbors while your new standby generator hums away in the background. The good news is that you can make it up to them by inviting them over for a cold one in your nice, air-conditioned house.