5 Things All Homeowners Should Know About Backup GeneratorsA power outage can mean more than just a minor inconvenience. Being without essential conveniences, such as heat, lighting and water, can cause emotional, physical, and/or financial distress for many Northwest Arkansas families. Backup generators can help alleviate this stress, supplying the power needed to run vital equipment to keep your home safe and comfortable.

Before you decide which one to buy, here are five questions you should ask yourself:

Which is Better: Manual or Automatic Start?

Both have their merits, with the differences coming down to cost and convenience:

  • Manual – This less expensive option is portable and easy to start, using either a key or pull cord. Extension cords or a transfer switch device are used for connection. However, keep in mind that appliances that don’t use a plug, such as a well pump or furnace, still won’t work.
  • Automatic –  The added expense for these backup generators are evident as they can automatically detect an outage, and power on in under less than a minute. Once power is restored, they can turn themselves off.  However, you’ll need to install plumbing to supply them with gas.

What Type of Fuel Does It Need?

If your home already uses propane or natural gas, you can opt to permanently install an automatic generator that’s tied in to your existing fuel source. You can use unleaded gas for a standard, manual generator, refilling as needed.

What Size Do I Need? 

The greater the wattage, the greater the power supply. Aim for a range between 5,000 and 7,500 watts. The lower end of the scale will consume more fuel and deliver less energy.

Which Appliances Should I Connect?

Consider connecting your furnace, light fixtures, refrigerator and sump or well pump for maximum comfort.

For more information about backup generators, call the experts at Paschal Heat, Air & Geothermal. We have more than 45 years of experience providing quality service to Northwest Arkansas homeowners.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Springdale, Arkansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about backup generators and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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