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    How to Pick the Perfect Generator for Your Home


  • How to Pick the Perfect Generator for Your Home

    December 28, 2017

    You never know when disaster will strike and leave you and your home without power for days or even weeks at a time. With temperatures well below freezing in Post Falls during the winter, going without electricity and heat is not an option. A generator for your home is a great solution in the event of an outage or emergency. It can restore power and run practically everything in your house like normal. With several types, sizes and designs, there is one to fit nearly every home and budget. Our guide will give you all the tools you need to pick the perfect generator for your home.

    2 Types of Generators

    There are two main types of generators: portable and standby.

    Portable generators are smaller and gas powered. They usually need to be plugged into your appliances or a subpanel. Portable generators will help bring much needed power back to your home, but since they run on gas you will need a gas supply on hand to refuel when it runs out.

    Standby generators are great if your power frequently goes out. They are installed and run off of your home’s natural gas or propane tank. They automatically turn on when the power goes out. When the power is restored, the transfer switch automatically shuts the generator off. They guarantee a consistent flow of power regardless of whether or not someone is there to turn it on or off.

    Pros and Cons

    Standby Generator

    • Generator automatically turns on and off.
    • Consistent and dependable flow of power.
    • Can be costly for ones large enough to power an entire house or business.
    • Require regular maintenance.
    • Offer peace of mind that you will never be without power.
    • Most have the ability to easily power the whole home and major appliances.

    Portable Generator

    • Must be pulled outside, which means braving below freezing temperatures in the winter or extreme weather situations.
    • Risk of carbon monoxide poisoning if positioned too close to the house.
    • Requires long extension cords.
    • Budget friendly, costing anywhere from $500 to $2000
    • Easy to get up and running, doesn’t require any installation and can be done yourself.
    • Only generates enough power for the essential appliances such as refrigerator, heater, and some lights.

    Which One Is Right for You

    If you frequently find yourself without power, especially in the winter, or live with individuals whose health and safety rely on a constant supply of electricity, then it is best to have a standby generator installed by an electrician. Because the standby generator automatically turns on and fuels from your home’s gas supply, it does not require the physical demands of turning it on or refueling.

    Most standby generators are powerful enough to provide electricity to an entire home or business. There is no need for extension cords and they are typically quieter than portable generators. However, standby generators are more expensive than portable generators. They can range anywhere from $5,000 to $15,000 depending on the wattage.

    Portable generators are a more budget friendly alternative but they do require extension cords, fuel storage, and must be kept outside to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Portable generators are a great solution to the occasional power outage or emergency, but are not equipped for frequent or long-term use. Here at Mainstream Electric Cooling & Plumbing we offer several portable and standby generator solutions. Our experts can help you decide on the best size and type to fit your needs and budget.

    Don’t wait until you need it to get a generator. Call Mainstream at 509-927-9277 today!




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