Automatic Backup Generators vs. Portable Generators: What to Choose and Why
Odds are if you’re reading this, you’ve had to deal with a portable generator before. Simply put: it’s a pain. For those reading this who have not yet decided on what generator to buy and would like me to elaborate, allow me to paint this wonderful picture for you: amid a massive blizzard or hurricane, your power goes out. In the chance that you are home when it happens, you do not have an abundance of time to react. You must head to the garage, shed, or wherever you keep your generator, wheel it out to your transfer switch or inlet box (or worse, run extension cords throughout your home), go through the process of turning your breakers off while the generator warms up and activates, then turn the breakers on one by one hoping that you do not overload the system.
Then, when the power eventually is restored to your home, you must perform all of these steps again in reverse order. In times of crisis or emergency, this whole process is the last thing any homeowner/ family member wants to worry about. What if you’re not home when the outage occurs, you may be wondering? Simply put, nothing happens. Your food in your refrigerator will spoil and any other maintenance appliances within your home will shut off. Certainly not a very enjoyable situation to find oneself in during a natural disaster or emergency.
Luckily, companies like Generac have begun to offer automatic backup generators. These generators aim to be the solution to any woes that the average homeowner has with portable generators. We’ve decided to lay out exactly what solutions choosing an automatic backup generator brings to the table.
Running portable generators inside is very similar to running an automotive vehicle indoors. Burned fuel is converted to carbon monoxide gasses which can be dangerous, and even fatal to any occupants of the home its running in. As simple as it may seem to just run it outside, that’s when you encounter problems. Will the generator be able to reach your inlet box from an outside location? Will the generator be damaged during the course of any natural disasters passing through?
Having an automatic backup generator properly installed outside of your home eliminates this risk completely. The automatic backup generator will be preinstalled outside, eliminating the hassle of dragging your generator back and forth. You’ll be certain that it is connected to your inlet box already. Generac automatic generators are also contained within a reinforced aluminum enclosure, severely decreasing the risk of damage to the backup unit.
As was painted in the situation above, if you are using a portable generator you’ll need to go through the laborious process of turning it on when the power goes out and then turning it off when it is finally restored. This can be even more of a problem if you are not currently at your home to manually activate it. If you do not act quickly or return home immediately, you run the risk of losing any personals that depend on constant electric maintenance.
This entire issue is completely resolved with the use of an automatic backup generator. Whether you are in or out of the house, the generator will kick on within seconds of an outage and automatically supply power to your inlet box. When power is restored, the generator turns itself off automatically too, so no energy is wasted. The necessity to monitor the unit is completely eliminated, and the protection it provides for your house is active 24/7.
Worrying About a Refill
If you own a portable generator, odds are it is running on gasoline. This means that eventually the generator is going to run out of gas and will require a refill in order to function properly again. During an emergency outage, this just adds to an already-extensive list of problems/worries that are present. You may be safe for the time being, but what if that gas supply runs out while you are asleep or working on another task? You are then left in the same position you were in when the power went out preliminarily, and must react and refill quickly.
Automatic Backup Generators run on the home’s natural gas or LP fuel supply, eliminating the need to worry about refilling out of the blue. It is also much less expensive than running on gas! You are then able to dedicate your time accordingly and rest assured knowing the power will stay on indefinitely.
Using a generator, portable or automatic, means you run the risk of an electrical overload. With portable generators, this can mean serious damage to your home or inlet box if the generator is not equipped with overload protection.
Generac automatic generators come pre-equipped with overload protection, meaning in the event of an electrical overload the generator will automatically turn itself off. Then its just a matter of adjustment and resetting the breaker within the generator. This can save your home and fuse box from serious damage that portable generators may cause.
Even the experts at the American Red Cross recommend an automatic backup generator, stating it’s a much safer and more efficient alternative for your home than a portable generator.