Do I Need an Emergency Generator for My Home?

Portable electrical emergency generatorToday, many people are considering buying an emergency power generator in case a power outage strikes. But should you join the bandwagon? Here are 5 questions that you should first answer before plunking down some cash for a unit:

How critical is your need for electricity?

For example, if you’re running a home-based business and have to be always on the grid even during an outage, then a purchase is warranted. But if you just need it to keep your creature comforts, you may be able to defer it or get a smaller one instead.

You should also think about the frequency of power outages in your area. For example, if you live in an area that has a high probability of getting hit by a storm, then always having a back-up source of electricity is a good investment.

Do I have enough space for the generator in my home?

A generator that can power an entire house isn’t exactly small. Some generators can be as big as a car. That's why when we say you need space, you will need a lot of it.

On top of that, some building codes mandate that generators have to be installed away from flammable materials and entry/exit points. Hence, you first have to check if the space where you want to put your generator is big enough under existing building regulations.

Is it allowed in my neighborhood?

Emergency generators don’t just produce energy. They also create a lot of noise. Since there are some city ordinances that regulate noise (as measured in decibels), it’s important to check if something that’s noisy will be allowed in your neighborhood. After all, you don’t want to wake up your neighbors!

Do I have enough time to arrange setup and maintenance?

Sadly, not all generators are plug-and-play. Some generators have to be installed by a licensed electrician, especially the ones that are wired directly to your house’s electrical system. This is to ensure that the installation is compliant with city regulations—and for your safety, as well.

Meanwhile, regular maintenance and testing are also needed for emergency generators. You don’t want your generator to fail just when you need it most.

Can I afford it?

Generators aren’t cheap, either. Some models cost up to $20,000, and that’s excluding the money you have to shell out for the fuel to power it.

If you’ve answered a big YES to all of these questions, then contact us at Pettett Electric. We install emergency generators and other power back-up systems for both residential and commercial properties in North Texas. Our service area covers the following counties: McKinney, Plano, Garland, Richardson, and Allen. Call us at 972-388-3560 for a free estimate.