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Angie’s List: Buying a Generator

(WGGB) — Well, like it or not, we’re heading into the thunderstorm season. You never know when the power might go out.

If you’re thinking about a generator as a power back-up, we have what you need to know in today’s Angie’s List report.

When it comes to generators, you have a couple of options.

Portable generators are cheaper than permanent units, but they’re 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.

“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,” says Chris Hinesley, an electrical contractor.

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 becomfortable in a power outage.

When deciding what type of generator you want or need, a lot depends on how much you think you’ll use it.

Angie Hicks from Angie’s List notes, “If you are living in the city and you may just need it for a few hours aportable 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.”

No matter what type of generator you buy, you should have it installed by a licensed electrician.

If a generator is installed wrong, it can have an impact on your home’s entire electrical system.

You should regularly check your generator to make sure it starts and is operating correctly and put the generator outside on a level surface in a well-ventilated area at least ten feet away from the house to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.


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