generators, electricians, installations
Written by Larry Cook

Best Backup Power Choices for Homes – Part 2

As mentioned in Part 1, power outages can occur any time of the year. Well-prepared homeowners will be best able to deal with blackouts whenever they happen. Making sure your home’s electrical system will continue working despite severe weather and power system failures promotes safety. Part 2 will discuss  Portable Generator and Renewable Energy backup power options for your home. Remember to call a professional licensed electrical services company in your area to get the best results.

Portable Generator

Popular for homes in the suburbs, portable generators have the advantages of being able to be used in different areas and stored conveniently.  They are fuel powered and travel well. This flexibility allows them to be brought along on a camping trip or a vacation home. However, their portability makes them easier to steal so they should be locked up when they are used outside.

Powered by gasoline or diesel, portable generators require its owners to have a means of storing and sometimes transporting fuel safely. Other drawbacks include generating pollutants and noise when being used. Proper grounding and wiring into an auxiliary breaker panel will also be necessary.

Costs will range between $600 and $3,000 as determined by size. Portables can provide electricity for the most important needs, such as for refrigerators, lighting, pumps, and furnaces. A portable generator will be overloaded if it is used to power every appliance.

Renewable Energy

Gaining traction in the U.S., affordable single panel and multiple panel photovoltaic solar generators are now available for roof or ground mounting. Generating DC electricity, solar panels can provide power for lighting and appliances. Homeowners are now augmenting backup power systems by attaching an AC inverter to broaden its capability. The battery banks used by a solar system require maintenance and replacement after eight to ten years. Solar backup power systems start at $1,000 for a portable single panel to more than $4,000 for twin panel systems that are capable of providing power for all essential electrical needs during a power outage.

Wind turbines can be a better fit for homes in rural areas but must follow zoning laws and do require specific weather patterns that bring adequate and consistent wind speeds.  As wind speed is not constant, the power generated must be transmitted by an inverter to a battery bank. A new breaker panel for the system will need to be installed. When there is a surplus, power can be returned to the grid through a reverse meter. Wind turbines are capable of powering the essentials, such as heating units, wiring, pumps, and refrigerators. However, a specialist will be needed for installation, and regular maintenance will be required. Pricing will depend on location and size.

Electrical Peace of Mind

Providing professional electricians since 1988 in Maryland, Cook Electric is the company you can rely on for all your electrical service needs, including:

  • Commercial & Residential Electrical Installations
  • Marina & Residential Pier Wiring
  • Electrical Service & Repair
  • Specialty Electrical Services

For knowledgeable, fair, honest, reliable, and conscientious service, call Cook Electric today at (410) 266-9040. They will be very glad to help you.