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How to choose a backup generator for your home

I have always thought about getting a backup generator for my home, but always thought it would be immensely expensive and complicated.

Considering that we don’t lose power very often it seemed like an unnecessary expense. What finally got me motivated was hurricane Irene. My area was heavily affected by the hurricane and we all lost power for days.

Luckily our house was fine and suffered no damage but with a young child, it wasn’t an option to stay home with no power and no refrigerator, air conditioning, etc. for days on end. We ended up staying at a hotel for three days until power was restored. When we got home we had to throw away about $500 worth of food from the fridge and freezer.

Doing the quick math, the hurricane cost us almost a thousand dollars cash simply because we had no power. Factor in the fact that we were uncomfortable away from home and living out of a suitcase. I suddenly realized that if I had spent a bit more than what the cost of the hotel and lost food were on a generator for my home, I’d have been able to stay home and live comfortably and normally waiting for the power to come back on while watching TV and surfing the internet with a glass of iced water on my own couch.

You basically have to look at owning a standby generator like buying insurance. You may feel silly for spending the money on it if you don’t need it for a while, but when you’re suddenly in a bad situation and everyone else is scrambling to find a place to go and watching their food spoil, you are comforted to know you thought ahead. As the Boy Scouts say: Always Be Prepared!

Generator Options

I started my research and quickly found that there are two main options for home backup generators:

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