Here in North Carolina, we are no stranger to hurricanes and the power outages that come with them. Unfortunately, these storms and the accompanying hardships are not likely to diminish in the future. According to experts at Accuweather, in 2020, the Atlantic coast can expect “an above-normal [hurricane] season.” To prep for power outages, it’s wise to equip your home with a source of backup power, especially if you work from home or if anyone in your household relies on electricity for their medical equipment.
Next comes the choice between which generator type you should purchase: a standby (or backup) generator or a portable generator. While a portable generator can no doubt save you money initially, a standby generator can prove to be more effective, convenient, cost-efficient, and safer, in the long run.
1. Standby Generators Provide More Power
Portable generators only supply enough power for a few fundamental appliances. When you have a permanently installed generator, you'll get the power necessary to run your entire household during an outage: the refrigerator, stove, WiFi, etc. You’ll even be able to use your central heating and cooling system to stay comfortable while you're stuck inside.
2. Standby Generators Provide Consistent Power
Portable generators can easily burn through gallons of gasoline or other fuel in a day. Because standby generators are designed to hook up to natural gas or include a large, self-contained propane tank, you won't have to worry about filling up every time you use it.
3. Standby Generators Are Ready to Use
A standby generator will immediately kick on as soon as the power goes out. This can be especially important in homes where family members use medical equipment that requires electricity. If you own a portable generator, you have to start it manually. This means that you will have to go outside no matter how bad the weather may be to set it up for safe use.
4. Standby Generators Are More Convenient
Much like your air conditioner’s outdoor unit, your standby home generator always sits out of the way, in the same place. To use your portable generator, you’ll need to haul it out of storage, set it up in a safe location, and hook it up before you can use it. This can take a substantial amount of time, especially if there's wind, rain, sleet, or hail.
5. Standby Generators Are Quieter
One of the great aspects of having a permanently installed generator is that it is quiet enough to not interfere with what you're doing inside. Standby generators have an insulated casing that muffles the noise of the motor. A low noise level can be especially beneficial if you work from home and will frequently be on calls or in virtual meetings. Due to their size constraints, portable generators operate rather noisily in comparison.
6. Standby Generators Are Weatherproof
Standby generators have large, insulated housing designed to withstand all sorts of weather conditions. Because they never need to be moved, manufacturers can afford to make them heavy and sturdy. Portable generators, however, must be made smaller for portability, so they are not equipped with all of the weatherproofing features that standby generators have. If you don't have a covered storage place for a portable generator, you'll have to purchase a weatherproof cover that must attach securely. Additionally, you’ll need to remove this cover before you can use your generator.
7. Standby Generators Are Safer
When you choose a professionally installed standby generator, you won't have to worry about carbon monoxide poisoning. Portable generators produce considerable amounts of this deadly gas. In the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report provided by the Centers for Disease Control during Hurricane Irma, it was found that carbon monoxide poisoning from portable generators can cause more deaths during a hurricane than the storm itself.
CMC Electric brings you ease of use and peace of mind with a full line of reliable Generac generators, all backed by our world-class service and support. Give us a call today at (919) 694-4454 to learn about your generator options!