Air & Energy | Air Conditioning, Plumbing, Electrical – Simply Better

Saving Money With a Generator

Jun 7, 2021 | Blog

Most Florida homeowners know about the obvious benefits of installing home generators. They keep the lights on and the home’s appliances running during even serious power outages, protecting families and keeping them comfortable. There’s another benefit to generator installation, though, and surprisingly, it doesn’t receive as much attention: generators can save families money. Read on to find out how.

Lower Insurance Rates

Many insurance companies in Florida view generators as a means of protecting properties and deterring theft. It makes sense when given a little thought. When most families are forced to move out and stay in hotels, leaving their homes completely unprotected with no running security systems or exterior lights, those who have generators can stay comfortably at home with all their essential systems running. A burglar looking for easy targets during or immediately following a storm isn’t going to choose the house that still looks lived in.

Even if homeowners decide to evacuate, they can leave the lights and security systems running and just make sure their generators have enough fuel to power them until the family returns. Insurance agents know that generators offer an extra level of protection, so they’ll often offer reductions in homeowners insurance rates to households that have them.

Increased Property Values

Not all home improvements raise property values, but in most cases, installing a generator will do just that. One recent study showed that homeowners who choose to install generators will recoup at least 54% of their initial investments. The reasoning here is simple: homeowners appreciate having generators because they protect the property and help to maintain the residents’ comfort during power outages. Buyers will appreciate those same factors.

Keep in mind that purchasing a cheap portable generator will not have the same impact on property value, even if it’s going with the house when it gets sold. Homeowners who want to recoup more of their investments need to purchase whole-home generators capable of keeping all the household’s essential systems running, not just the lights and perhaps a small refrigerator.

Avoid Food and Lodging Expenses

The costs of weathering a storm can add up fast if a power outage drives a family out of the home and into a hotel. The cost of lodging alone is usually over $100, and paying for restaurant meals in the absence of a kitchen is equally expensive. To make matters even worse, families will lose all the food in their home refrigerators, often tacking another $100 to $200 onto the ultimate bill. It’s far more sensible for families to install generators that allow them to stay in the home, avoiding all those unnecessary expenses.

Those worried about the initial investment required to install a high-quality home generator should note that financing is often available to qualified buyers. Companies that install generators in Florida know how important it is to keep the lights on and essential appliances running when storms hit, so they’re usually happy to help customers figure out their financial options.

Avoid Damage to Essential Systems

Grid-tied homes don’t just rely on their connection to the municipal grid for lights and charging electronics. Just about every major system in the home, from its HVAC system to many components of the plumbing system, requires at least some amount of electricity to run. Without power, key systems designed to help modern homes weather storms will go out.

Let’s take a look at just one likely scenario. Say a serious hurricane hits and the family’s power goes out. The sump pump in the basement will no longer be able to function, which means water will start pooling at the lowest point and there won’t be a way to remove it safely from the home. The flood will damage the foundation, plumbing system, and anything in the basement, leaving homeowners with a hefty water damage remediation bill whether they choose to stay in their houses or move the family to temporary accommodations. Families with generators don’t have to worry about that.

What About Portable Generators?

Homeowners working on a strict budget often turn to portable generators to supply power during storms. Unfortunately, they don’t offer all the same benefits described above. While they’ll be able to run a few essentials, and some large portable models can even run up to 10 circuits and power most of a small home, they’re not as convenient or efficient. 

Portable generators can only be run outside to avoid unintentional exposure to carbon monoxide, which means homeowners will have to run extension cords from each appliance or an electric device. They’ll also have to run out to refuel the generators any time their reservoirs get low and choose what devices and appliances are most essential very carefully since the rest of them will be offline for the duration of the storm.

To make matters even worse, insurance companies don’t offer policy discounts for portable generators, nor are potential buyers willing to pay higher premiums for homes with these basic backup systems installed. Whole-home generators are a far better option for anyone who wants to get a good return on investment. They turn on automatically when the municipal grid goes down and are integrated into the homes’ electrical and gas systems. Even a standard model can produce 17 kilowatts or more of power.

How to Optimize Fuel Consumption

While installing generators is a great way for homeowners to keep their families and properties safe during storms, it does require at least one ongoing expense: fuel. Families who want to save money on fuel costs can take a few steps to keep them low. They can:

  • Improve the home’s insulation level
  • Install more energy-efficient lighting
  • Install a more energy-efficient hot water system

Admittedly, these renovations cost money. However, they’ll also save homeowners money even when the electricity is turned on.

Trust the Experts in Home Generators

Ready to look into generators and not sure who to call? Air & Energy are experts in all things electrical. This family-owned business has a well-earned reputation for excellence when it comes to providing reliable solutions for energy independence. Call (941) 778-0773 or schedule an appointment online to get started today.

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