The one thing you can depend on with Florida weather is that it’s undependable. It is not unusual for clear skies and picnic weather to turn into a downpour with gale-force winds within a matter of hours. When the weather does take a turn for the worse, you’ll want to make sure your loved ones and your property are both protected. This is where a Whole House Generator can provide complete peace of mind and security. If you’re ready to start the process, it’s time to decide on the best time to install a generator.
When is the Best Time to Install a Generator?
In Southwest Florida, the busiest time of year for generator dealers is storm season, also known as hurricane season. This is a time when residents are usually in a hurry to try to have a generator installed just weeks before the next big storm is expected. Hurricane season is actually the least opportune time to begin your generator installation! The entire process can take a few months due to permitting, so the best time to install a generator is well before storm season.
According to NFC.NOAA.gov “The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30. The Atlantic basin includes the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, and Gulf of Mexico. Based on a 30-year climate period from 1991 to 2020, an average Atlantic hurricane season has 14 named storms, 7 hurricanes, and 3 major hurricanes (Category 3, 4, or 5 on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale). The first named storm typically forms in mid to late June, the first hurricane tends to form in early to mid-August, and the first major hurricane forms in late August or early September.”
With that in mind, the best time to install a whole-home standby generator would be between the months of December and May. That way, your generator will be installed and ready to restore power to your home well before any serious storms are expected to make landfall.
A Portable Generator or a Whole-House Model?
There are options when shopping for a generator. One important thing to keep in mind is the number of appliances that will need to stay up and running during a power outage. It’s essential to choose wisely as the wrong size generator can cause a negative outcome down the road.
While portable generators tend to be less expensive than whole-house generators, there can be some significant drawbacks. During a power failure, the portable generator will first require installation under conditions that may not be exactly ideal.
Once the portable generator is located and pulled out of storage, it will need fuel to start working. Depending on the size of the load, the generator can require up to 20 gallons of fuel per day.
If the generator has been in storage for an extended period, repairs could be necessary before it’s operational. Assuming that an electrical repair professional is available, the restorations may cost more than the value of the generator.
Portable generators will also require protection from the elements under what could again be less than ideal circumstances. Safety must be kept in mind as a portable unit should never be operated inside. These systems must be operated at least 20 feet from home, and the exhaust should blow in the opposite direction.
The number of appliances that will connect to the unit can be limited. Maintaining a comfortable temperature inside the house during the hot, humid storm season is a top priority for most people. Keeping power active for the refrigerator and freezer prevents food from spoiling and can save hundreds of dollars.
The noise produced by a portable unit can also be a consideration, and this sound can be problematic if the unit will be running for several days. Portable units tend to be considerably noisier than most whole-house generator options.
Whole-House Generator Advantage
The main advantages of a whole-house unit over a portable unit are convenience and reliability. There are no guarantees that the fuel needed to power a mobile system will be readily available during a widespread power outage. Gas stations usually require electricity to pump fuel.
If you can locate an open gas station, there is the issue of transporting what could be dozens of gallons of gasoline to power your home for the duration of the outage, and again, this could be for days.
With a whole house generator, power to your home is restored automatically within seconds of a power failure. There are no trips outside to dig the unit out of storage to begin the process of powering it up. Additionally, the safety concerns of storing gallons of fuel to power the generator are no longer a concern.
The whole house generator is also built to be exposed to the elements for extended periods, so there are no worries about possible wind and rain exposure.
During the hot and humid storm season, many people want to prioritize power to the air conditioning, and with good reason! When selecting a whole house generator, the professional working with you will make sure that you have a unit that will power the entire home.
A whole house generator can also add to the resale value of the home if you should decide to place your home on the market in the future.
When is the Best Time to Install a Generator in Your Home?
The best time to have a Generator installed in your home is before you need one. The beginning of storm season is when quality installers will be the busiest, and this can cause unwanted delays in the generator installation.
Meeting with the professional during the off season can help to ensure a smooth process from start to finish so that, when the next big storm hits, both you and your new whole house generator will be ready.
Air & Energy has been in business since 1983 in Manatee County, Florida. We have a mission to provide our community with the best plumbing, air conditioning, and electrical services around. Please visit us at Air & Energy.