Spring has finally sprung, Chicagoland! But before we can really start enjoying some warm weather, it means making our way through spring wind, storms… and the power outages that come with them. But thankfully Arnold Electrical Services — Chicagoland’s Electrical Experts — can help set you up with the ultimate spring storm preparation to ensure your home will never go more than a moment without power: a home generator.
What Is A Home Generator?
Nearly every home across Chicagoland is connected to the electrical grid. Simply put, electricity is generated by a power source and delivered directly to your home through underground wires or power lines. It’s a tried and true method that’s served homes across Chicagoland since the 1890s, but like any system, it’s not perfect. When wind or falling tree branches knock down power lines, it can leave your home without power until the electric company gets out there and fixes the problem. But when you have your own personal source of power, your lights can stay on while your neighbors are still waiting in the dark.
Home Generator Benefits
When your power does go out, there’s a lot more at stake than just inconvenience. Sure, you might have to light some candles to avoid bumping into furniture or tripping over the cat, but a refrigerator without power is just a big (temporarily) cold box!
Perishable foods like milk, eggs and vegetables can go bad in as little as 4 hours without proper cooling, and that doesn’t even include the melting ice cream and thawing frozen food in the freezer. And aside from the kitchen, a power outage can also leave you without your security system, air conditioning and access to your garage. But if you have a personal home generator, you can keep your freezer freezing, your fridge fridge-ing and your tv going so you don’t have to miss the game.
Choosing A Home Generator
There are several of different types of home generators, but our experts at Arnold Electrical will be more than happy to help you assess your home to make sure you’re getting the one that suits your needs best. Factors that can go into making the right choice include how much power you need, how you want it to be fueled, how much you have to spend — and maybe the most practical question: how you’ll be using it!
Portable Home Generators
The most basic and versatile option is a portable generator. Like the name suggests, they’re small and can be moved around — most even have wheels to make repositioning even easier. They’re typically powered by gasoline, which can limit where they’re used, but they are a solid option for most homes.
Inverter Home Generators
The next level up is an inverter generator, which takes everything a standard portable generator does to the next level. While they still use gasoline power, inverter generators are smaller, lighter (which means even more portable!) and give off fewer emissions. But as the benefits go up, so does the price… by a lot.
Standby Home Generators
The grandaddy of them all is your own personal standby generator. These bad boys are fixtures Arnold Electrical experts can permanently install in or near your home that are programmed to kick in as soon as power is interrupted. That means when the grid goes down, your personal power source is already up and ready to take over for your appliances, AC, security system and everything. If your main priority is safety, this could be the best option for your home.
Home Generator Maintenance
The most important and often overlooked aspect of owning a personal home generator is maintenance. Every type of generator has its own quirks, but it’s absolutely necessary to make sure they are maintained regularly to not only keep them performing, but to keep your home safe as well.
For example, you’ll always want to store a portable generator inside and away from debris like leaves. You’ll also want to change the oil for every 100 hours of use and ensure that you always run it dry so that there isn’t fuel sitting in the lines that can greatly shorten your generator’s lifespan.
But the nice thing about maintenance is when you sign up for an Arnold Electrical annual maintenance contract with a one-time fee of only $99, Arnold Electrical experts can check the status of your generator free of charge for as long as you’re an Arnold Electrical customer. So let’s all enjoy the spring, Chicagoland. It only gets brighter from here!