Whether you live in an area with extreme weather conditions like hurricanes or winter storms, or you simply want the peace of mind that comes with knowing you can remain in comfort if your power goes out, you may be thinking about purchasing a generator for your home. While a generator is certainly a good choice for a homeowner who has their family's safety and comfort in mind, it's best to plan and prepare carefully before bringing a generator home. Consider the following tips for preparing your house for the use of a generator.

Choose Wisely

The two main types of generators that most homeowners are likely to consider are standby generators and backup generators. Each type has their own pros and cons, and the type you choose will depend on factors such as your home's location and power needs. Listed below is a brief comparison that may help you decide which generator is right for your home:

Standby Generators - This type of generator is permanently installed, meaning it requires less attention and maintenance than a backup generator. Standby generators also generally handle larger power loads, but this can make them a bit pricier than basic backup generators. They are a good investment if you plan to live in your current home for the long term or if you live in an area where the power goes out frequently and/or for long periods of time.

Backup Generators - Also known as portable generators, this type of generator (as the name implies) can be moved from place to place, but generally doesn't provide as much juice as standby generators. They must also be started up manually, which can be hazardous during bouts of extreme weather. Backup generators are a good choice for homes that don't need to use a lot of power, or for families who move frequently and would like to carry their generator with them to each home.

Propane and natural gas are good fuel choices for both types as these fuels are readily available. Whichever fuel you choose, make sure to have enough on hand for your needs at all times.

Take Precautions

Generators can be very dangerous if used improperly. Backup generators should never be used inside a home as they emit carbon monoxide and can run very hot, making them a burn risk. Place them outside at least several feet away from your home, but in an area where they can be refueled easily. 

An automatic transfer switch (ATS) should be installed in your home if you use a standby generator. These switches allow generators to automatically turn on and power the home when the main power goes out and prevent the risk of backfeeding, which is when power from the generator travels back through the grid, potentially causing injury to utility workers. That's why it's vital that once you choose a generator, you let a professional, like Genesis Electrical Service Inc., deal with the electrical components of the generator and ATS.

As long as you carefully consider your power needs and keep safety in mind, you should have no trouble choosing the most suitable generator for your home and family.