Most American homes lose power a few times a year for about 3 hours each time. However, if you live somewhere that experiences extreme weather (e.g. hurricanes), you can lose power for days or weeks at a time. When this happens it isn’t only inexpensive, it can also be expensive (e.g. spoiled food, frozen pipes, flooded basements, mold).
Defending Yourself Against Power Outages
A diesel generator is your first line of defense here. It can be challenging to determine which one you need though. This is because models range from small recreational units costing only a few hundred dollars that can only power a single appliance to standby models costing thousands of dollars that can power your whole home. Most experts do agree that you should buy the smallest diesel generator to meet your needs so you don’t have to have a lot of fuel on hand to run it.
Finding the Right Power-Outage Scenario
First, you must determine which of the following applies to you:
- Your power frequently goes out due to weather related incidents: You should consider a diesel generator that can power your entire household by connecting directly to its circuit breaker panel. You will need a transfer switch installed in your breaker box though – something a licensed electrician can do for you.
- Your power occasionally goes out: This is when you want an inexpensive diesel generator that you can simply pull out of your garage and hook it up when you need it. You should still have a transfer switch installed for these too though.
- Your power rarely goes out: At these times you simply want some peace of mind. Here’s a diesel generator that’ll run your fridge, window AC, and space heater. It’s also ideal because it’s compact enough to take camping or to a tailgate party with you.
Choosing the Correct Wattage
An easy way to find the correct diesel generator to fit your needs is to add up the wattage for everything you’ll need to power when the electric goes out. Remember, some appliances (e.g. air conditioner, refrigerator, sump pump) will require more wattage when they’re cycling on, causing a surge that you must also account for. You also need to know how much wattage you’ll need for any hardwired appliances.
There are several choices available here, including:
- Power up to 2,000 watts for $400 – $1000: This is good for a fridge, some lights, and a phone charger.
- Power up to 3,500 watts for $1,000 – $1,700: With this quiet, yet efficient option you can run your lights and fridge for 8 – 18 hours with only 2 – 3 gallons of gas, but you won’t have any air conditioning because this only powers 110-volt items with a two or three prong plug.
- Power up to 7,500 watts for $700 – $2,800: You can connect this to your breaker panel and manage all your home’s power demands, but it’ll be noise and require a lot of gas.
Of course, there are also some generators that are much bigger than these, but they’re ones that the typical American home won’t have any need or use for. For instance, you can install a standby generator for $2,000 – $6,000 that’ll kick on when an outage occurs, leaving you not even realizing that the power is out. Unless you live somewhere that experiences continual power outages, you won’t need one of these though.
Obviously, all these things can be really confusing if you don’t deal with generators on a regular basis. This is why you should stop by Mid Florida Diesel so we can help you find the right generator to power your home through its next power outage.
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