Backyard Power Plant

Installing a home generator keeps the power on in the event of severe storms.

Installing a home generator keeps the power on in the event of severe storms. 

I was checking out the weather for the weekend and noticed there is a big threat of tornadoes for the Midwest, especially Iowa, due to the movement of Tropical Storm Karen in the Gulf, and a cold front (with snowy weather in Wyoming) coming together. Dramatic weather such as tornadoes and hurricanes have heightened awareness about emergency preparedness and the importance of having reliable back-up power. During Hurricane Sandy, more than 8 million homes lost power along the East Coast, as as far west as Michigan. Heat waves, severe storms and an aging power grid have combined to make power outages a very real concern throughout the United States. Studies have shown that over 3.5 million Americans experience power outages each week, and more than 70 million people have experienced an outage of 24 hours or longer in just the past two years. And it doesn’t appear those statistics will improve anytime soon.

As a custom home builder we’ve responded to client’s concerns about  power outages by installing a standby generator in their homes. Commented Art Aiello, of Generac Power Systems,”The number of severe storms we can expect in the years ahead is on the rise. More people now realize the need for backup power, and many are interested in a permanently installed system that allows them to live their lives just as they would with utility power. Generators range in power from 8 kW to 150 kW and can power the entire home during an outage.”

A generator is permanently connected to the home like a central air-conditioning unit, so the homeowner does not need to be home to turn on the generator. It runs on propane or natural gas, offering greater reliability and convenience than generators running on gasoline.  They can power essential items like air-conditioning, heat,sump pumps, well pumps , refrigerators and freezers, security systems, electronic devices and more. When severe weather strikes, it may take a utility days or weeks to restore power. This can be a big concern for families with small children, elderly persons, or those with medical needs, professionals who run their businesses out of their homes, or homes with finished lower levels that rely on electric sump pumps for water mitigation.

Choosing the right standby generator depends on which systems and appliances the homeowner wants to back up, and of course, budget. Smaller, more affordable units may only operated essential circuits – sump pumps, living room lights, a refrigerator and a microwave, for example. A large generator that can back up an entire house, keeping everything running at all times with no need to prioritize electrical loads. Interested about learning more about what a standby generator can do for your peace-of mind during severe weather? Visit the websites of  two Wisconsin based companies that are leaders in generator technology: Generac Power Systems and Kohler Generators.