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Preparing For A Power Outage-

by B.Annie on August 6, 2018

Is your home ready for a power outage?

The changing seasons are one of the great things about the State of Maryland.  However, with the changing seasons come different threats to our area. Our summer thunderstorms are infamous for causing power outages. Our snowstorms have been known to leave residents home locked for days. Whatever the case, your home should be prepared for any emergency situation.

Winstar Home Services can help determine what would best suit your home in terms of emergency electricity. One solution we may recommend would be a backup generator.

Power Outage – What’s the Best Generator?

Portable Generator:

You don’t have to be a pro to use a portable generator. It can be manually operated in case of an emergency. By carrying it out and setting it up appropriately, it is ready to receive propane or gas and it can power your home while you wait for BGE to get you up and running again..

A portable generator has enough energy to power well pumps, septic systems, refrigerators, gas hot water heaters, circulation fans for gas furnaces and ignition power for gas furnace appliances. However, we do not recommend it be used as a backup generator, only in case of emergency.

Since it must be manually started and stopped, the homeowner must be home during the power outage to avoid hazards. Portable generators require refueling every few hours. which could become dangerous during a major storm.

Since a portable generator creates electricity from fuel, they create carbon monoxide and should always be started up outside.  Always exercise caution!

Standby Generator:

 

A professional should always handle standby generators. Unlike a portable generator, a standby generator requires installation and explanation. Installed on the side of your home like an AC unit, a standby generator will be hooked to an existing gas line or propane tank, creating a nearly unlimited fuel supply.

 

A standby generator will power things like a well pump, water tank, furnace, lights, and small appliances, the stove, microwave, and home security system.  Although, of course, these should not all be run at the same time for risk of overloading it.

Standby generators turn on automatically when the power shuts off. A transfer switch constantly monitors utility power and transfers the electrical load to the generator if power is lost, protecting the home even if the homeowner is away.

Ready For Anything-

Maintaining Your Generator and Emergency Preparedness:

Maintaining your generator between emergencies is critical. It will ensure it is working safely and efficiently

  • Learn how your generator works.  During the installation process, our certified electrician will go over how everything works and show you the key components such as: how to refuel and change the oil, what resources you may need in case of an emergency (backup fuel, oil, etc.) and how the connection to your house works.
  • Remember: Fuel and oil are flammable and caution should always be taken when handling them. Exercise caution when refueling your generator, especially if it has been running for some time.
  • Run your generator once a month for a few minutes. This keeps the system working smoothly without idle and alerts you to possible problems.
  • Make sure to have sufficient fuel ready. Power outages are unexpected and unpredictable. You should always be more prepared, not less.
  • Leave the installation to the pros. We know we can’t have installation without ventilation. Generators should never be installed in closed spaces, as they produce hazardous carbon monoxide.

Living by the ocean in Baltimore/Annapolis is pretty amazing but we should always be prepared for what the waters can bring. Ensure your home is stocked with emergency supplies. Batteries, flashlights and a portable radio should be must-haves in your emergency kit. It is never too soon to begin thinking about the next situation in which you may need a surge of power.

Let Winstar Home Services help you. Call us today.