Are Home Generators Worth the Cost?

Are Home Generators Worth the Cost?

Before the Christmas power outage of 2021, investor-owned utility PSE had experienced 160 hours of service downtime across its Washington state service areas due to major weather disturbances that year. The total outage hours were almost three times more than the number of outage hours due to severe weather in 2020.

Will that trend continue in 2022?  Following the excessive heat of summer weather patterns, none of us should be caught unprepared for what fall and winter have in store.

For many of us, the most obvious reason to add a home generator is to keep our refrigerators and freezers running smoothly to avoid food spoilage. But increasingly, the utility of having your own power on hand is critical to your home office if you work from home or telecommute. Perhaps most important is the need to prevent the outage of any necessary medical devices.

The question to ask yourself: What are the necessities you need power for and for how many days?

Here is a short list of reasons we hear from our customers for installing an automatic standby generator — and the return on investment.


Preventing Flooding. Powering A Sump Pump.

Sump pumps work to help prevent flooding in your home. They gather excess water collecting in a sump pit. If water rises to a predetermined level, the sump pump automatically disposes of the water by transferring it out and into a local sewage drain. Without power, a sump pump isn’t able to work.

A generator would help keep your sump pump running, even if bad storms and rain have caused an outage, thereby protecting your home from flooding.



Powering and Charging Your Home Office

A power outage is a serious disconnect for a work-from-home business. A generator, especially one that powers your whole house, can keep your power steady so you don’t need to worry about being cut off from colleagues when Wi-fi goes off-line, or being able to upload, download or communicate by text or post to co-workers or clients.

Powering Electronic Medical Devices

If you or anyone in your home relies on electronic medical devices, a generator could very well be a lifeline for in-home health maintenance or monitoring.

Any type of medical device that requires electricity to operate is at risk in the case of a power outage. Having a generator, however, will keep these devices working smoothly.

Powering Well Water

If your home’s water is supplied by well water, you already know that the water stops flowing when the power is out. It might even get brown and rusty. To make sure you always have running water that’s drinkable (and flushable!), try getting a generator.

Immediate Power Restoration

Are home generators worth it? Well, if your home is equipped with a permanent standby generator, you might not even notice when the power goes out because it can power your whole house in the blink of an eye.

Usually plugged directly into a natural gas line (or a propane tank), these home generators work with your home’s existing transfer switch and will activate mere seconds after detecting a power outage. Standby home generators don’t require fresh fuel or any external fuel storage at all. Because most options will connect to your natural gas line, you don’t have to worry about keeping fresh fuel around or the dangers that come with it.

Once installed, you won’t need to lift a finger to activate this appliance, whether you’re home or not!

What To Look for in Buying a Generator

Installation Requirements

When it comes to buying a generator, you not only want to make sure there’s enough space for installation but it should also be installed in an accessible area while being out of reach from any water.

There are some code requirements for generators with minimum distances from walls and buildings when installed outside since most generators require ventilation.

Talk with a licensed HVAC professional to understand the best place for your generator installation and to see what size unit you’ll be able to install.

In terms of safety, ease of use, and convenience, the automatic standby generator wins in all categories.

If you’re still asking yourself, “Should I get a generator?” then it’s probably time to consult your neighborhood  professional at Derr  Heating and Cooling for specific details. [DHC].