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That’s why everyone gets a generator

This article is reproduced with permission from The escape house, a newsletter for secondary owners and those who want to be. Subscribe here. © 2021. All rights reserved.

With the increase in extreme weather conditions – hurricanes, snowstorms, tornadoes (five of them alone have hit New England this month) and extreme heat – more and more people are turning to generators for s ‘ensure they maintain electricity. Danielle Hyams from The Escape Home spoke with a generator expert, real estate agent and landlord to get the inside scoop on what you need to know before buying one.

First of all, what is a generator?

According to Mike Krake, owner of Generator Specialist Inc., the best way to describe a generator is a device that will produce electricity that must be driven by some kind of motor that will be powered, typically, by natural gas or propane.

The type of fuel you use depends on what is available in your home. Diesel is also an option, but it is generally avoided due to its high cost.

Which type should you get?

For residential use, there are two options: portable or standby, the latter being the more popular choice.

A home backup generator is an automatic system, so it will start and run on its own the second the power is turned off and until it turns on again.

Portable generators are much less easy to use. You have to be there to turn them on. And because they run on gasoline, Krake said you have to be extra careful when using them.

“In addition, our gasoline today has a shelf life of around 30 days,” he added. “Our gas, after 30-60 days, starts to deteriorate. So we usually suggest running them out of gas.

Why might you need it?

Aside from the weather, there are many reasons why one can buy a generator.

“They want to prevent their basements from flooding, they want to keep their homes warm in the winter, people go to Florida for six months, they want to make sure their homes are protected while they are away, we have medical issues – them. people are on oxygen, ”Krake said.

Inquiries from his company have also nearly doubled since the start of the pandemic and have not stopped.

“When Covid hit there was a lot of stuff you couldn’t find at the grocery store, so people were worried about what was going on, and at least if they had electricity in their homes, they felt a little more secure. Krake said.

Gayle Marriner-Smith, a New York-based agent with Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty, tells all of her buyers to consider purchasing a generator.

“If you’re not there and your electricity goes out, your heating goes out, your pipes can freeze and then burst and then you have hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage. So this spending $ 15,000-20,000 to install a generator, even though it seems like “do we really want to spend the money on something so unglamorous”, it’s well worth the money spent, ” she declared.

What size should you take?

According to Krake, Home Standby generators typically range from around 9,000 watts to 30,000 watts.

“The size of the generator you need doesn’t depend on the size of your home,” he said. “I have a lot of people calling and saying ‘I have a 25,000 square foot house’, but the important thing is to know what electrical devices in the house are going to be using electricity.”

The most important are water heaters, clothes dryers, and depending on how you heat your home, furnaces.

Anusha Shrivastava, who lives in Short Hills, New Jersey, bought her first generator two years ago.

“We were hit very hard during [Hurricane] Sandy, losing energy for 14 days. Since my parents are now living with us, we don’t want to take the risk of this happening again, ”she said. “We got a Generac based on the reviews. We got as much as possible to keep all the electronics in the house working as we often work from home.

Where is it going?

There are codes that determine where the generator can be located on your property and while the manufacturers specify the general code, the local code is what prevails.

“These generators are designed to be outdoors. We try to stay as close as possible and within the gas meter code limits, ”Krake said. “In some houses the gas meter can be on one side of the house and the electricity on the other. It is easier and cheaper to run a wire through a house than through a pipe. We also need to be some distance from any opening through which exhaust fumes can enter the house, we need to be five feet away. “

What else do you need to know?

For the particular region of the country you live in, you want to make sure you get any starting assistance that may be needed in cold weather, including battery heaters, oil heaters, and breather heaters. All of these things will help your generator start in cold weather.

And then of course do your research. There are many brands of generators – Krake works with Cummins Onan, Generac, and Kohler – and plenty of places to buy them.

“The company you buy the generator from is important,” he said. “These generators are available from Lowes, Home Depot, you can probably buy them from Amazon, so remember that when you buy this generator you will need maintenance, unless you can change the oil and the candles yourself. “

This article is reproduced with permission from The escape house, a newsletter for secondary owners and those who want to be. Subscribe here. © 2021. All rights reserved.


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