Having the power go out in your home is never an enjoyable time. Our lives are so dependent on electricity nowadays that many times when the power does go out we have no idea what to do with ourselves. Luckily, most power outages only last for a short time. Typically the power comes back on after an hour or two of it being out. But, what happens when you experience frequent power losses at your home? Or, when you do have a power loss it lasts for days instead of hours?
These power loss situations go from being an inconvenience to a big hassle. With a prolonged power loss you risk losing all of the food in your refrigerator or freezer. If you are in an extreme climate then you risk not being able to cool or heat your home. If you work out of your home or run a small business then you are unable to work. All of these are reasons to look into a standby generator.
Using a portable generator is an option, but they can be a hassle. With a portable system you have to roll it out away from your home, fill it up with fuel, route the connection extension cords, then turn it on. Then hours later you have to refuel it. It is a pain. A standby system though does it all for your automatically. When the power does go out in your home you will just see a slight flicker of the lights and then presto! Your standby system is now on and running.
Over the past few weeks we have been writing numerous articles on the topic of standby generators. This is being done due to the complexity of these machines. A portable generator can be bought online without much consideration. You determine the wattage you need and then find the one to suit your needs. Purchasing a standby generator is a bit more complex. Standby systems are not only significantly more expensive then portable systems but they also require professional installation.
Where Can I Buy Standby Generators?
Now there are many places where you can purchase a standby system, but you should be aware of the pros and cons of each. Let me first start with online shops such as Amazon.com. While you can purchase standby systems on this site I would not recommend it. In my experience a standby system should be bought only after talking with an expert in the topic. These experts can be found in various areas.
In my opinion the best place to purchase a standby system is going straight to your local dealer. While you will get a sales pitch you will also get to interact with experts on the topic. These folks deal with generators every day and know what they are talking about. If you have your heart set on purchasing a unit online then I would still recommend visiting one of these dealers. Chat with them and learn exactly what type of generator that you need. Once you have educated yourself on the topic then you can purchase online with your newfound knowledge.
However, I am still going to steer you away from online purchases when it comes to standby units. You are investing a significant amount of money on this machine and I would hate for something to go wrong and the company you bought from is unresponsive. When purchasing through a dealer you know where they are. You know who to complain to. You also will most likely get offered installation services from them as well.
That is another point that has to be considered. How are you going to have this generator installed? You not only have to have a transfer switch set up, but you need to hook the system up to your circuit board, route fuel lines either to your natural gas supply or to a liquid propane tank. On top of that you also need to be compliant with city, county, and state regulations. In some instances you may even need a permit to install a standby system. Are you prepared to jump through all of those hoops? Or, would you prefer the ‘easy button’ and work directly with a dealer? I know what I would choose.
Now there are many different standby system brands and dealers out there. I am not going to review everyone of the options but instead provide you with two links to the top brands out there today. This first link will take you to Generac’s find a dealer website. Generac is by far the most recognized name when it comes to generators. They know exactly what they are doing and you cannot go wrong with them. This is who I would purchase from.
The other option I want to make you aware of is from Kohler. This link will take you to their find a dealer section. Kohler is another very reputable brand out there and they will be able to walk you through the process of purchasing a standby generator system for your home. Some other brands to consider are Briggs & Stratton, Cummins, and Champion. These are all great brands as well and it cannot hurt to shop around between all of these brand names until you find the perfect fit for your home and your wallet.
The last point I want to mention before closing this article is that many of these dealers offer installation service by itself. What that means is you can purchase a unit online if you find a deal and then contact the dealer to arrange installation. Again though, I am going to try and steer you away from this approach as you just do not know what you are going to get online. If this was a much cheaper purchase then I would say go for it… but when spending multiple thousands of dollars I get concerned.
What if you get a lemon? What if the online site goes down and cannot be contacted after purchase? What if you receive a knock-off? Or, what if after you purchase you have a certified dealer come out only to find that you are missing key components or the unit itself is broken? There is so much risk here that it is best to just purchase from the dealer. As to what dealer and brand, I am going to leave that up to you!
Thanks for reading folks,