As the summer comes rolling in, being without electricity during a heat wave can be more than a little uncomfortable.  In addition to being convenient for standard, low-risk power outages, having a backup generator can be a lifesaver in more serious emergencies as well.  If a storm knocks out your power for the whole neighbourhood, or if there is an event that affects the whole city, having a generator might be the best way to keep you and your family safe and comfortable while the power is fixed.

Cost

A portable generator, as opposed to a large, permanently installed generator, can cost anywhere from $500 to $2000, as opposed to the minimum of $4000 with a permanent standby generator.  Smaller generators can be stored in your basement, garage, or shed with easy access in case of an emergency.  They also run on gas, so be sure you have enough fuel for your generator otherwise you are back to square one.

Safety

Be sure that, if you need to use your generator, you keep it in a ventilated area.  Because a portable generator runs on gasoline, it creates noise and exhaust, just like a car engine.  Make sure it is outside or has proper ventilation before you turn it on.

Care

Machines fuelled by gasoline can sometimes ‘gum up’ when they have not been used for a long time.  If you end up owning a portable generator, it is important that you run it for short periods of time a couple times a year to keep it in shape – that way, when an emergency does come, your generator will be running smoothly.

Ultimately, you should try not to let your electrical situation get so far out of hand that you need to use your backup generator.  By getting regular maintenance checkups from Gavin Electric, you can keep you home’s electrical system in tip-top shape and rely on your backup generator only for serious emergencies.