(ANGIE'S LIST) - You never know when the power might go out, especially during severe weather. Here in the Northeast, that can include N'or Easters, ice storms, hurricanes, and even severe thunderstorms.
In today's Angie's List report, what you need to know about home generators to keep the lights on even when the power fails.
Angie Hicks say, " Generators can be a great safetmeasure in case of a power outage. It can prevent food from spoiling in your home, it can help you do your everyday things, keep pipes from freezing, and if you have any medical equipment that runs off electricity it can be a lifesaving tool as well."
When it comes to generators, homeowners have a couple of options.
Portable generators are cheaper than permanent units, but are designed to run for shorter time periods and are powered by gasoline, so they'll need frequent refueling.
Permanent units can start automatically or with the flip of a switch - and can power everything in your house.
Chris Hinesley, an Electrician says, "Portable is more common than permanent and there is a few reasons. I think that the ease of use is one. Probably the biggest one is its cost-effective. We can install your transfer switch, emergency panel, for around $500-$600, then there would be the cost of the generator, whatever generator you would pick. That's pretty cost-effect for a homeowner on a house around 1,500 to 2,000 square feet to have emergency power so that they would be comfortable in a power outage."
Angie Hicks suggests: "When deciding what type of generator you might want to have its dependent on your potential usage. If you are living in the city and you may just need it for a few hours a portable generator can be a great option, they cost about $1,000. But if you live in a rural area where you may be without electricity for a longer period of time or if you have medical issues that require equipment to be plugged in you are probably going to go with a whole house generator."
If you go that latter route... You'll need to hire a licensed electrician to install it. And between the generator itself and the labor involved... It'll set you back anywhere from a few thousand dollars to as much as 10-thousand dollars.
Generators do require some maintenance. You should regularly check your generator to make sure it starts and is operating correctly.
And always follow specific safety instructions when using generators.
Put it outside on a level surface in a well-ventilated area at least ten feet away from the house to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.