Hurricane season spans from June 1st to November 30th. The National Hurricane Center tells us that we can expect an average of 14 named storms, 7 hurricanes, and 3 major hurricanes within an Atlantic storm season. Although technology has advanced and storms are far easier to predict than ever before, there is still a lot of spontaneity when it comes to tropical storms. It is important to prepare your home ahead of time in case a large storm develops. One of the ways many Floridians can prepare their home for the Atlantic hurricane season is by installing a whole-home standby generator on their property.
Residents may be inclined to purchase a portable generator for this upcoming storm season due to affordability. However, there are a lot of risks associated with using a portable to power certain appliances, let alone an entire house. The positives of installing a whole-home generator far outweigh those of purchasing a portable one.
Standby Generators are Dependable
When a powerful cyclone is heading towards your home, it can be incredibly stressful. If/when your power goes out, the last thing you want is for it not to come back on. You should be able to depend on a generator to keep your power on.
Unfortunately, in 2017, Hurricane Irma left an estimated 127,000 Manatee County residents without power for more than a week. Many of the residents purchased a portable generator in case of an outage, however the machines did not run very long.
Most portable generators only run for 10-11 hours at 50% load capacity, as they’re meant to be used for mobile applications (think camping or tailgating). If an individual attempts to run more than the portable is able to, there is an increased risk of fire hazards, especially when using a portable generator purchased for under $1,000.
Not to mention, if a portable uses gasoline to run, the fuel may be difficult to find once the machine has used it all up. Gasoline is known to be very scarce during natural emergencies such as hurricanes.
In comparison, the run time of a whole-home generator depends on whether it is fueled by natural gas or propane. If it uses propane, it should last anywhere from 3-10 days (subject to tank size). If it uses natural gas, it can continuously run for days on end.
Air & Energy can help determine which fuel source is best for your property and discuss the steps to ensure everything is installed and hooked up correctly. In addition, if you plan on using a portable generator during a power outage, there is no guarantee that it will turn on and run properly when you need it the most.
On the contrary, Kohler whole- home standby generators, the system Air & Energy recommends and installs for customers, performs a process every week called “exercising”, in which the generator turns on and runs for about 20 minutes at a time. This operation ensures that the generator is working properly and allows homeowners to detect any problems that may be occurring with their generator before they need it for an emergency.
Kohler even offers a mobile app from which you can monitor your generator’s system status. Once per year, an Air & Energy technician can also come out to your property to complete a full generator maintenance to ensure complete peace of mind.
Overall, whether you are preparing for a tropical cyclone in the Gulf of Mexico or a category 5 hurricane, whole-home generators are far more dependable for backup power than their portable counterparts.
In addition to a difference in dependability, portable generators are also much less convenient than whole-home generators. No one wants to be outside hooking up a heavy portable generator in the middle of strong hurricane winds.
Within 10 seconds of an outage, a Kohler automatic whole-home standby generator will automatically reset your home’s electrical power. Not to mention, it will be able to power a lot more.
As previously stated, portable generators can only power a couple of things in your home at once. Whole-home generators are designed to prevent your inside activities from coming to a halt. A portable generator will hardly be able to keep your refrigerator running, let alone your air conditioning system, washing machine, internet and television all simultaneously.
A whole-home standby generator allows you to be completely relaxed and comfortable within your home. This is a convenience factor that simply can’t be beat.
When purchasing a generator, it is essential to research a generator’s quality. Portable generators are not meant to hold up during multiple storm seasons. Within 1-2 years, they can stop working entirely. Due to this, most portable generators do not come with a warranty. Even the higher end portable generators that do come with one, only have a warranty that lasts around 1 year. Do you really want to trust a machine such as that to power your home during a hurricane?
Kohler standby generators possess tough composite enclosure, which means no rusting or corrosion. This is especially important in our coastal community of Manatee County. The weatherproof casing can withstand extremely high wind speeds, ideal for any Floridian caught in a hurricane situation.
With the power of a Kohler engine (one of the top engines on the market), the system can keep running without overheating. Additionally, each standby generator installed can register an industry-leading, 5-Year, 2,000-hour warranty. Lasting anywhere from 10-15 years, whole-home standby generators are meant to last multiple Hurricane Seasons.
Although a small detail, noise may be an important factor for some home-owners considering a generator purchase. Portable systems are known for being loud. Of course, this depends on their size.
The average portable can be around 67-75 decibels when running at 25%-50% load capacity. This can be compared to a vacuum cleaner. Portables should never be left alone as they can be a safety hazard (more on that later). Prolonged exposure to such a loud machine may be damaging.
Conversely, Kohler standby generators range from 54 decibels (a car idling in a driveway) to 65 decibels (a neighbor mowing their lawn). Standby systems are placed outside the home, allowing the noise to be a good distance away from any individual to harm their eardrums. If a property is in need of the generator running for multiple days, perhaps noise level is something to take into consideration.
Health and Safety
When it comes to your personal health, generator quality also matters. Many people tend to keep their portable generators running within their garage so that it is out of the rain and storm winds, often times with the garage door shut. This can be extremely dangerous as portable generators omit carbon monoxide as they run.
Carbon monoxide poisoning can be deadly, with many effected not realizing they have been poisoned until their symptoms have become severe. Even the slightest exposure may cause headaches, nausea and fatigue.
As a rule of thumb, the cheaper the portable generator, the more carbon monoxide it may be releasing. Whole-home generators are installed on the outside of your home, preventing carbon monoxide to ever be a concern.
As previously mentioned, fire hazards increase when a portable generator is hooked up. There are usually many wires that are associated with the engine. Danger occurs when the machines are not plugged in properly or are exposed to too much moisture (such as rain). When someone is in a stressful situation, such as a hurricane, an individual may be more prone to making small mistakes, causing a fire.
With a standby generator, professional, trained technicians install everything. This includes the fuel source, a power transfer switch and the actual generator itself. If a storm hits your property, you will not have to worry about getting your power back on by struggling to turn on a portable generator.
Additionally, Kohler standby generators are installed to meet hurricane standards. Our technicians will always use hurricane rated pad and anchors to keep the system in place.
According to the National Hurricane Center, Florida’s Hurricane Season lasts from June 1 to November 30. Although portable generators may be a good investment for some individuals, those wanting protection and reliability during Florida’s hurricane season should stray away.
Portable generators are difficult to trust, they are not convenient during a storm and lack production quality. For ultimate dependability, look into installing a whole-home generator.
Air & Energy is a Kohler Whole-Home Generator Platinum Dealer and the largest Kohler generator dealer in all of Manatee County. Start your Hurricane Season preparation today. Contact Air & Energy for a FREE estimate 941-778-0773.