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Cleveland HVAC Blog

Shopping for a Generator: Factors to Consider

Posted by Paul Wadsworth on Wed, May 14, 2014 @ 11:43 AM

generator for cleveland home comfortAn increasing number of Cleveland homeowners are buying generators to combat power outages caused by bad weather and downed power lines. When selecting a generator, you have two primary options: portable and standby. Here are the factors to consider with each type.

Portable Generator Benefits

Portable generators are powered by gasoline or liquid propane. Because they generate pollution, you must keep portable generators outside (never in the garage, not even with the door open) and away from the windows. They can be quite noisy, though sound dampening materials come with some models to lessen the noise pollution. The benefits of portable generators include:

  • Low cost - Portable generators are available at a lower price than standby generators.
  • Versatility - If all you need is to supply power to the fridge, a lamp and a space heater, simply run a couple of heavy-duty extension cords from the portable generator to the appliances you want to power. If you want access to the furnace or more lights during a power outage, you will need a transfer switch, which transfers control of these circuits from the utility grid to the generator.
  • Portability - The power doesn’t black out every weekend, but if you’re an avid camper, a portable generator serves another useful purpose. You can take the portable unit with you camping to power lights, heaters and other appliances.

Standby Generator Benefits

Standby generators are a more permanent option. They're mounted to a slab outside your home and stand at the ready to provide temporary power in case of an outage. The benefits of standby generators include:

  • No refueling necessary - Standby generators are usually permanently connected to existing natural gas or propane lines, so you never run out of fuel or have to take a trip to buy more.
  • Convenience - With a standby generator that powers on and off automatically, there’s no need to venture out in the storm to kick the generator into gear.
  • High-power capabilities - If you want to power all or most of your home like normal during a power outage, a standby generator is the right choice.

Finally, you have to decide who to hire to do the job. Standby generators require multi-disciplinary abilities: engineering to size the unit, electrical to wire the unit and piping for the fuel to run the unit.  It is best to have a single source with experience for all three requirements. For help deciding which type of generator is right for your greater Cleveland home, contact P.K. Wadsworth Heating & Cooling today.

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Paul WadsworthPaul Wadsworth is the President and Owner of P.K. Wadsworth Heating and Cooling. For 37 years, Paul has been providing heating and cooling services to the Greater Cleveland area. P.K. Wadsworth has been a trusted Cleveland HVAC service company for over 75 years. The company understand the area's construction and local heating and air conditioning needs. Paul has an MBA from the University of Michigan and a B.S., Industrial Engineering from Purdue University. Paul is the Chairman of COSE's Energy Advisory Council. He's been President of the Cleveland Air Conditioning Contractors of America and a founding member of the local chapter. Paul was born and raised in Cleveland and has been active in the local community. He resides in Cleveland, Ohio with his wife and two sons.

The opinions and statements contained in this article are for general informational purposes only and are not instructions. Only trained, licensed and experienced personnel should attempt installation/repair. The author assumes no liability for the opinions/statements made in this article. Any individual attempting a repair or installation based on this article does so at their own risk of loss.

Topics: Cleveland Home Comfort, portable generator, generators, standby generator

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