This is why everyone gets a generator

This article has been reprinted with permission from escape houseNewsletter for second home owners and those who want to be. Participate here. © 2021. All rights reserved.

With the increase in extreme weather — tornadoes, snowstorms, tornadoes (five of which alone hit New England this month) and extreme heat — more and more people are turning to generators to ensure energy conservation. Danielle Hyams of The Escape Home spoke with generator expert, realtor and homeowner to get the scoop on what you need to know before buying one.

First things first, what is an alternator?

According to Mike Crick, owner of Generator Specialist Inc. , the best way to describe an alternator is a device that produces electricity that must be powered by some type of engine that will be fueled, typically, by natural gas or propane.

The type of fuel you use depends on what is available in your home. Diesel is also an option, but is usually avoided due to the high cost.

What type should you get?

For residential use, there are two options: portable or backup, with the latter being the most common option.

The home standby generator is an automatic system, so it will start by itself the second the power is turned off and until it comes back on again.

Portable generators are less easy to use. You have to be there to run it. And because it runs on gasoline, Crick said you need to be very careful when using it.

“In addition, the life of our gasoline today is about 30 days,” he added. “Our gas, after 30-60 days, is starting to deteriorate. So we usually suggest we run out of gas.”

Why might you need one?

Regardless of the weather, there are many reasons one might buy a generator.

“They want to keep their basements from flooding, they want to keep their homes warm in the winter, people go to Florida for six months, they want to make sure their home is protected while they’re gone, and we have medical issues,” Creek said.

Inquiries to his company have also nearly doubled since the pandemic began, and they haven’t stopped.

“When Covid hit, there were a lot of things you couldn’t find in the grocery store, so people were worried about what was going on, and at least if they had the power in their home, they felt more secure,” Crick said.

Gail Mariner Smith, a New York-based agent with Danielle Gill Sotheby’s International Realty, tells all buyers she has to consider purchasing a generator.

“If you’re not there and the electricity goes out, the heat goes off, and your pipes can freeze and explode, and then you have hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage. So the cost to build a generator is between $15,000 and $20,000, though it sounds like ‘Do We really want to spend money on something that isn’t impressive, “it’s worth the money spent,” she said.

What size should you get?

Home standby generators typically range from about 9,000 watts to 30,000 watts, according to Crick.

“How big a generator you need doesn’t depend on the size of your house,” he said. “I have a lot of people calling me and saying ‘I have a 25,000-square-foot house,’ but the important thing is, what electrical appliances in the house are going to be using the electricity.”

The main ones are hot water heaters, dryers and depending on how you heat your home, ovens.

Anusha Shrivastava, who lives in Short Hills, New Jersey, bought her first generator two years ago.

“We were badly injured during [Hurricane] Sandy, she loses her potency for 14 days. “Since my parents live with us now, we don’t want to take the chance of that happening again,” she said. “We got Generac based on the reviews. We got the biggest device possible so that all the electronics in the house are working because we often work from home.”

Where does he go?

There are codes that specify where the generator is located on your property and while the manufacturers indicate what the generic code is, the local code takes precedence.

“These generators are designed to be outdoors. We try to stay as close as possible, within code limits, to the gas meter,” Crick said. “In some homes, the gas meter may be on one side of the house and the electric on the other. It is easier and cheaper to pass wires in the house than pipes. We also have to be a certain distance from any opening through which exhaust fumes can enter the house, and we have to be five feet away.”

What else do you want to know?

For the specific area of ​​the country you live in, you’ll want to make sure you have any starting assistance that may be necessary for cold weather, including battery heaters, oil heaters, and breaker heaters. All of these things will help get your generator started during cold weather.

And then of course do your research. There are many brands of generators – Krake works with Cummins Onan, Generac and Kohler – and many places to buy them.

“The company you buy the generator from is important,” he said. “These alternators are available from Lowes and Home Depot, you can probably buy them on Amazon, so remember when you’re buying this alternator, you’ll need servicing, unless you can change the oil and spark plugs yourself.”

This article has been reprinted with permission from escape houseNewsletter for second home owners and those who want to be. Participate here. © 2021. All rights reserved.

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