Why a Standby Generator is Your Best Backup Power Option

From seamless transfers to robust power outputs, permanent standby generators are far more dependable than portable models

Wednesday, Oct 3, 2012  |  Updated 5:01 PM EDT
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Why a Standby Generator is Your Best Backup Power Option

A permanent standby generator is far more reliable than portable models in the event of a power outage.

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This article is sponsored by Kohler Generators. In the event of a power outage, Kohler Generators bring a sense of safety, security and convenience to a home. Learn more about Kohler Generators at KohlerSmartPower.com.

Whether we've slept through an important meeting because our alarm clock didn't ring or we've had to deal with a flooded basement at the beach house due to a sump pump that failed to kick in, we've all been at the mercy of an ill-timed power outage.

But rather than miss important updates from work because you couldn’t charge your phone or make an unplanned trip to repair the vacation home, most of these problems can be avoided with a handy permanent standby generator, which automatically kicks in the moment your home loses its main power supply. Portable generators can be helpful as well, particularly in a pinch, but due to lengthy setup times and the lack of an automatic transfer switch, they aren't the best long-term solution for your home.

In order to help you better understand why a permanent standby generator is your home's best backup power option, let's take a closer look at their advantages over portable generators. 

Set Up 
A permanent standby generator is installed outside the home by a licensed professional, much like a central air conditioner, and will restore power in as little as 10 seconds. Here's how it works: A transfer switch automatically monitors utility power and transfers the electrical load to the generator if power is lost. Homeowners don’t even need to be present to operate the generator, which is ideal for those who travel frequently or own multiple properties. Permanent standby generators also run on a home's natural or LP gas, meaning there is no refueling necessary. 

Portable generators are ideal for camping, cookouts and tailgating, but less practical when it comes to powering your home during an electrical outage. Because this type of generator runs on gasoline, you'll need to place it outside, at least 15 feet from a window so that carbon monoxide fumes won’t get inside, and run extension cords between the device and any appliance it's running. Should the power outage last more than a few hours, you'll need to refuel the portable generator. And should the power go out when you’re away, you may lose everything in your refrigerator and freezer. Or, worse yet, you could suffer flooding due to burst pipes or a powerless sump pump.

Power Capabilities 
During an outage, a Kohler standby generator can accommodate the high electrical loads of a modern home, powering virtually every appliance without harming any of your electronics. Meaning you won’t have to turn off your refrigerator to use your stove, and you won't have to worry about the sump pump, heating or other critical systems not kicking in when you need them most. It's safe to say that owners of a standby generator can deal with a power outage without making any changes to their daily routine. 

Conversely, a portable generator can only power a limited amount of appliances due to its smaller size (typically 3-8 kilowatts). Instead of curling up on the couch in front of a movie while a storm rages outside, homeowners will be busy deciding where they need to deploy power most and adjusting to the inconvenience of being unable to run certain appliances.   

Noise Level
Not only is the electrical load transfer to a permanent standby generator seamless, it's also neighborhood-friendly. Like central air, a permanent standby generator gently hums while powering your home. A portable generator, on the other hand, is loud enough for the neighbors to hear.

If you're looking for a simple, reliable, hands-free way to weather the next power outage, consider a permanent Kohler standby generator. Click here to locate your local Kohler generators dealer -- it is a great resource to help you find a standby generator that suits your needs, respond to any questions that you might have, and provide you with a quote and further information customized to your situation. And to learn more about standby generators, visit KohlerSmartPower.com.

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