With the storm season approaching in Central Florida, many people are thinking about installing a standby generator for their family’s peace of mind. These are great devices; however, they are sometimes expensive, complicated, and may present problems to the uneducated buyer. First, it’s important to know the difference between a standby generator and a portable or emergency generator.
While an emergency generator is portable and can be used for a few hours to a couple of days, a standby generator is installed permanently on a concrete pad outside your house and is connected directly to your home’s electrical panel. They also connect to your home’s gas or propane line, so there’s none of the messy manual refueling necessary with traditional portable units. Standby generators can be used for many days in a row, providing power to your entire house or parts of it, depending on the size and model you choose. This is especially important if you have medical devices or a home office that must stay operational no matter what the weather’s like outside.
A standby generator is a safe investment for your family. With a built-in transfer switch, it can safely disconnect you from your utility after detecting an interruption in service. It will then start the generator and take over powering your home.
As mentioned, standby generators do run off an external fuel source, so you must consider your home’s fuel source. If you have all-electric heating and cooking, for instance, then a conventional standby generator probably isn’t in the cards for your home. You must also be aware of zoning restrictions, which may differ within the city of Orlando and in the surrounding areas. These may dictate installation sites, unit size, noise limits, fuel type or other specifics.
One of the main decisions you’ll have to make when choosing your generator is its size and capabilities to power your home. You can choose a small unit that will just power a few essential circuits, a unit that will rotate power to just the circuits you need, or a whole-house model that will keep your home humming as if it never lost any power. The price range for these options is quite substantial, so make sure you carefully consider what power replacement your particular home will need.
As with any major home improvement decision, do your homework, ask questions and rely on established professionals to advise you. Contact the professionals at Rinaldi’s Energy Solutions. We have been serving the Orlando area since 1969.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Orlando, Florida and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about standby generators and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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