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Why You Need an Electrical Generator for Your NC Home

Many home energy upgrades help keep you more comfortable, but few are as important for your comfort as an electrical generator. From time to time, the severe weather that blows into the Hendersonville area can knock out the power for hours. With a generator to keep your lights and appliances on, you can enjoy your home as usual until the municipal power supply is back up.

How an Electrical Generator Benefits You

The most obvious benefit of an electrical generator is that it lets you carry on many of your normal activities during a power outage. The benefits go far beyond this, though.

  • Protect your family’s health and safety – When the power goes out on a cold winter night, chances are it will take your home heating with it. Sitting around in low temperatures much longer than an hour or two puts your health at risk. For some older adults, even temperatures as high as 65 degrees pose the risk of hypothermia. In summer, a lack of air conditioning can also be a health threat to some.
  • Avoid damage to your home – In an unheated home, pipes are at risk for freezing, breaking and flooding your bathroom or kitchen. Keeping the heat on helps prevent this. A generator also keeps your basement sump pump working, which is essential during the heavy rainfall that often comes along with our storms.
  • Prevent food waste – An electrical generator is one of those home energy upgrades that may not lower your energy bills, but it can still save you money. When the electricity goes out, using a generator to power your refrigerator and freezer saves your food from spoiling.

How an Electrical Generator Does its Job

Not all electrical generators work the same way. While it’s possible to connect a small portable generator to your home with extension cords, you can’t power much with this setup.

If you want to maintain most of your usual electricity use and not worry about turning the generator on and off, opt for a standby generator that’s connected either to the public gas supply or to a propane or other fuel tank on your property.

When the municipal electricity supply goes down, the generator’s transfer switch senses the loss of power. In less than a minute, it automatically transfers your home’s electrical load from the public power supply to the generator.

How many of your home’s electrical circuits it can power depends on the size of the generator. The generator can continue to power your selected circuits as long as it has fuel. When the city’s power is back up again, the transfer switch moves your home’s electrical load back to the public grid.

What to Consider Before You Decide

As with many complex home energy upgrades, installing a standby generator takes a little planning. A unit sized to power your essential appliances requires about as much space as an air conditioner’s outdoor unit. Because generators can be noisy, they shouldn’t be installed close to a neighboring home. The average unit is rated at around 65 decibels from 25 feet away, around the same noise level as a vacuum cleaner or somewhat loud conversation.

Choosing and installing a standby generator requires help from a professional. A technician can accurately calculate the combined load of the electronics and appliances you want to run, including the startup current of appliances that run intermittently, such as your refrigerator. If you plan to connect your generator to the public gas supply, you’ll need a larger gas line installed in your home.

You can get a rough idea of your optimal generator size by considering exactly which electronics and appliances you’ll truly need during a power outage.

  • The essentials – Small generators, usually between 7 kW and 12 kW, can power the furnace, refrigerator, sump pump and lights. You may be able to use a few other items, but you’ll need to be careful how many you use at once.
  • Extra comfort – With power between 12 kW and 20 kW, a mid-size generator keeps the essentials going and lets you use the TV, computer and other non-essentials. You’ll also be able to use more appliances simultaneously. Unlike smaller models, this generator size can power the A/C in summer.
  • Whole-house – With rates between 20 kW and 48 kW, this size generator can power everything in your house, even your washer and dryer. Naturally, they’re the largest and most expensive of all.

Learn about Nicholson’s electrical generator options or contact us today at 828-697-2638 to schedule an appointment for your Hendersonville home.