How much food do you have stored in your home refrigerator and freezer that would spoil if your home lost power? How much do you rely on your home computer for vital business or important socializing or significant family connections? How much do you depend on electricity every single evening for television, reading lights, or hot water, just to name a few? Imagine a winter storm that knocks out power in your part of town for two or three days or even a week; you and your family would be so grateful to have one of our mobile or installed generators on hand.
At Gwyn Services, we are always happy to answer your questions and give you the benefit of our professional advice. We know our generators inside and out and can guide you to the one that is best for your family’s needs and your budget. Also, Consumer Reports has some guidelines to help you.
As you would expect, portable generators are least expensive and are easy to store in a garage or basement when not being used. Stationary back-up generators that are installed outside are more expensive but they start automatically and use natural gas or propane so they can run longer.
Generators are “sized” by their wattage. The amount of watts they put out will govern how many appliances and lights they can power and how efficiently those items will function. You want to be certain you choose a model that can adequately run the things that are most important to your family.
On the consumerreports.com website, their generators buying guide has a wattage calculator to help you decide, but in general a refrigerator needs about 600 watts, a portable heater needs another 1500 watts, and lights need from 60 to 200 watts more, for example.
One professional do-It-yourselfer gives some general guidelines for selecting generators. If your home is in a municipality with water and sewer service, you will need to run, at a minimum, your refrigerator, a few important lights and maybe a computer or television. If your home has city water and sewer service and you have a gas furnace and water heater and won’t need air conditioning, 3,000 or 4,000 watt generators will be plenty to meet your family’s needs. If it is critical that you have hot water or air conditioning or heat, add 4,000 watts for each one.
So, just determine what you and your family will actually need to survive a few days without electricity and you will know which of our various generators will serve you best. We are always available to help you make a decision. Our technicians will be happy to give you a free consultation and estimate.
Be aware that some portable generators have electric starters but batteries that are required will cost extra. And some portable models don’t come with the needed wheels, which will be an added charge. So, when comparing prices, be sure your final cost includes everything you will need.
Also, you want to seriously consider buying a transfer switch, no matter which of our generators you choose. This will eliminate the need for extension cords and will protect your generator and appliances from being damaged by power surges when electric service is restored. Also, most transfer switches show the wattage levels being used so you can prevent trying to power too many appliances at once.
Carbon monoxide is a dangerous emission from motors. At Gwyn Services, we want you to stay safe. Always run your generator outside away from the house and any doors or windows. Never run a generator in a basement or garage, even with the doors and windows open.