Boston homeowners use generators to avoid blackouts
Many Boston area homeowners are warding off brownouts and blackouts with the installation of an emergency power generator, also known as a stand-by generator.
Available to buy or rent from specialty companies, as well as many big box home improvement centers, emergency generators are like personal electrical power plants. However, instead of coal or wind turbines, emergency generators convert gasoline, natural gas, propane or diesel fuel into electricity.
Some emergency generators are portable on wheels, while others are stationary, resembling air conditioners. Exterior models often come with sound-deadening technology in an effort to be more neighbor-friendly.
According to the Country Living Association, consumers should select an emergency power generator based on their specific wattage needs. The recommended formula for figuring wattage is: Volts X Amps = Watts. In addition, the CLA says, those hoping to operate large appliances like refrigerators, stand-alone freezers and air conditioners need to factor up to four times the wattage to get them started.
Heed the following advice for running emergency power generators safely:
- Never run the generator in an enclosed space like a basement or garage; this will prevent the possibility of carbon-monoxide poisoning. The recommended distance for running a generator is at least 15 feet away from the building.
- Always turn off the generator before refueling it to reduce the risk of fire.
Before buying or renting an emergency power generator, consumers may want to consult with a highly rated Boston electrician to ensure they are getting an adequate system for their needs.