Dec 222014

Let’s face it, we are so used to flipping the switch to turn on a light that when the power is out you still will flip the switch when you walk into a dark room (you know we’ve all done that before). Then you go ‘Duh, I already knew that wouldn’t work.’ Well there is a way to make sure that light will almost always work, and that’s by installing an Emergency Power System.

There are a few different ways you can set these up and the best systems will cost you a bundle. A fully automated, whole house system that you will never notice when the utility power is out is pretty much way out of most of our price ranges. This would include a large enough generator to power the entire house, a completely automated switch over system, and a very large battery bank (UPS) to run the power during the 30 to 60 second switch over. This type of system is usually only used in commercial systems due to the high cost.

There are home versions that are a bit simpler and more affordable. The basic option is a gasoline powered portable with a few outlets on the unit. These usually will power a handful of things depending on the size of the unit. Larger portable units are often setup with a single hookup to plug into the home’s wiring system. This wiring system is installed by an electrician and is properly sized so that only the important items in the house will be powered and thus you can still use a portable unit.  Having the wiring ready is key as then you can use any properly sized portable generator and plug it quickly into the house circuit when needed. The wiring system also isolates the home from the commercial power grid so when workers working on the power lines will not get shocked from your generator!

Fully automated backup generator

Fully automated backup generator

The next step would be a larger permanently installed unit with an automatic switchover system. These typically will run on natural or propane and sit somewhere outside the home ready to go when needed. With the generator, wiring, and automated switch system these can get expensive fast. These only make sense if you live out in the middle of nowhere and sometimes lose power for days.

The best way to figure out what’s the best method is to look at your own needs, and how often do you go long periods without power. I think for most of us, the quick connect to the house system is reasonable in price and worth the safety to know that within a few minutes, you can flip that switch again and this time you’ll have light!

Our listing in Brownsburg is setup with a fully automated backup power system.

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