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Whole Home Generators

Thunder is rumbling outside and the rain is pouring down and it doesn’t seem to be letting up. Or maybe it’s snowopolis and the wind chill is -39° outside. We have had both scenarios here in Indianapolis in the past few years. Was your family without power? How would you like to look out your window and see the entire neighborhood dark, yet your home is still lit, the heat or A/C is still running and dinner is still cooking in the oven? This can be a reality.

With foul weather come power outages. Are you prepared to deal with the loss of power? You are if you have a whole home generator.

First off, when we talk about a whole home generator, we aren’t talking about portable generators. Portable generators are for tailgating, camping or jobsites. We are talking about one that is installed at our home and sits outside just like your condensing unit. Whole home generators run on natural gas or propane, so there is no battery that runs out or refueling necessary. A whole home generator will turn on automatically, within seconds of your power going out. Sounds great, doesn’t it? But how do I know what to get?

When it comes to generators, size matters. To determine what size generator you need for your house, you will need to consider the square footage of your home and what you want to be able to use in your home should the power go out. Do you expect to have air conditioning or heat? Do you care if you can watch TV? How about your toaster or coffee maker? Do you care about your food getting spoiled? Lights too, of course. Every bit of wattage you plan to use, needs to be considered.

You will also need an ATS (automatic transfer switch) for your generator. An ATS monitors your power intake and will automatically turn on your generator when your home loses power. When the ATS detects a loss of power from your utility company, the switch turns on your generator. This switch is so smart that it makes sure you are safely off the grid before it transfers power from your generator to your electrical panel. When the utility company is able to restore your power, the generator turns off and reconnects you to municipal power. Pretty snazzy, huh?

The cost of whole home generators is what usually stops people from purchasing a whole home generator. On average, a 2,000 square foot house, where you have your space conditioned, lights that turn on, are able to watch (one) TV, use the washer/dryer, have hot water, can use the stove and oven and maybe make coffee and toast, would need a 14 or 20 kW generator. These generators tend to start around $3,500 – $4,300, just for the unit. You will also need an automatic transfer switch for the generator and have it all installed. This can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000. Don’t panic and keep reading.

What can go wrong if you simply let your power go out? Well, here is the list- food loss (refrigerator and freezer out), burst pipes (pipes freeze and burst due to no heat), basement flooding (due to burst pipes and/or no sump pump power), mold needing removal due to excess water in the home and lastly, needing to stay else where (like a hotel). Think these are no big deal compared to having a whole home generator? Burst or frozen pipes alone can cost you $10,000 in repair. Think this is an exaggeration? Imagine you are gone for the holidays, only to come back to a house full of water.

Still worried about forking out that much money? Were you aware that Godby Heating Plumbing Electrical offers financing? The safety and security of your home for only a small fee each month is a great trade off.

A whole home generator is not only convenient for a family, but a must for others as well. If you own a home business, it will ensure that you can still run your business without any interruptions. How about someone with medical issues that relies on power? Their medical equipment will keep running, ensuring yours or a loved one’s health and safety. Whatever the reason, Godby can send a certified electrician to your home to help you determine what size whole home generator from Kohler would work for you.

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