Do you remember the last time there was a power outage in your area? If you’ve lived here any length of time at all, you probably don’t have to think back all that far to remember one. It happens. It’s a fact of life in this part of the country. Storms are going to knock down power lines. In the wintertime, ice will wreak havoc.
Even if we get lucky and go a year without those kinds of things happening, there are all sorts of accidents that can lead to an outage. It’s not a question of if, it’s a matter of when it’s going to happen. That much is a statistical certainty. The question is, when the next outage comes, will you be prepared? What sort of plans do you have in place?
Most people don’t have much in the way of formalized plans in place, but a growing number of families in the area are taking advantage of our Generac generator installation in Mclean, VA to make sure they’re ready the next time the lights go out.
We’ll talk more about that in just a moment, but before we do, let’s take a closer look at some of the alternative approaches people take to dealing with power outages. Broadly speaking, there are three things people tend to use as their go-to responses.
The first is simply to try and ride the outage out. You know, treat it like camping, but in your living room.
This really isn’t a strategy so much as it is a response, and as responses go, it’s not a very good one. The biggest advantage it has is that it doesn’t cost anything, at least not initially.
The big problem here is the fact that when an outage starts, you have no way of knowing when it will end. If you get lucky and the outage only lasts for a day or two, then camping out in your living room isn’t such a bad thing.
If it goes on much longer than that, though, you’re in trouble. Remember, no lights, so no way to cook your food, take a shower, or flush your toilets. No way to set an alarm clock, make coffee, or recharge your phone. You’re going to stink. Your house is going to stink, and you’re going to be increasingly miserable, the longer the outage lasts. Not good.
Staying with friends and family is another highly popular option. Again though, this is more of a reaction to the outage than an actual strategy. It can work, especially if you’ve got a good, strong relationship with your friends or the family members you’re staying with but there’s a catch:
The more time you spend underfoot, the more strained things are going to become. If the outage runs on for more than about three days, things could boil over.
More than once, when we’ve come to a client’s home to perform a Generac generator installation in Mclean, VA, we’ve heard horror stories of friends and family who are barely on speaking terms after spending too many days cooped up together, so it’s a very real risk. Is it one you’re willing to take? For many people, on reflection, the answer is no.
The final common response to an outage is to find a hotel in the area that’s just outside the outage impact zone but still close enough that you can use it as a kind of temporary base camp and ride the outage out in comfort and style there.
The problem with that idea is that you’re not the only person thinking it. That’s what pretty much everybody who hasn’t taken advantage of our Generac generator installation service in Mclean, VA would like to do, which means that demand for the available rooms in the area skyrockets, taking the price up through the stratosphere along with it.
If you move quickly, you may be able to secure a room. You’ll pay a hefty premium for it, but it’s possible. And if you’re one of the lucky few, you will indeed be comfortable.
Of course, given the inflated room rate, if the outage lasts more than a couple days, you’re going to rack up mind-boggling credit card charges, and it won’t be long before you will have spent more money than you would have if you’d just purchased a backup generator and taken advantage of our Generac generator installation service in Mclean, VA!
That brings us full circle, so let’s talk about generators. You could decide you need one and go out right now and buy one. We don’t recommend that approach. If you do that, you’re almost certain to get a generator that’s either too big or too small to serve you well.
Get one too big, and you’ll be paying for capacity you don’t need. Get one too small, and your generator won’t be powerful enough to actually help you ride an outage out.
The process we recommend when you decide you want a generator starts with a home energy audit. Don’t let the fancy name fool you. At the root, all a home energy audit is, is a means of tracking and accounting every electrical appliance in your home. Add up the energy use of each appliance, and you wind up with a snapshot of your total power needs.
Naturally, during an outage, you can probably find at least a few appliances you can live without until power is restored, so armed with the information from your home energy audit, it’s time to sit down and start making some hard decisions. What could you do without at least temporarily?
Those items you can deduct from your total power needs, giving you a scaled-down home energy snapshot. This is what you’ll use to determine how much generating capacity you need.
Every family is different, and there are no right or wrong answers here. It comes down to what you can live with, and just as importantly, what you can live without.
Once you make those kinds of decisions, you can start looking for a specific generator that’s big enough to meet your power generation needs.
You’ll discover very quickly that there is an almost overwhelming number of options available. Not only will you find generators of all shapes and sizes, but you’ll find generators that accept a simply staggering variety of fuel sources. Do you want a simple gas generator? You can have that. You can also find generators that run on diesel, LP, and solar power. There are even generators that are designed to accept a variety of different fuel sources, so what’s your preference?
If you find this part of the process to be overwhelming, there’s a simpler solution. We carry a full line of world-class Generac generators and would be happy to look over your home energy audit results and make a professional recommendation.
Then, assuming you’re comfortable with our recommendation, we’ll handle the Generac generator installation in your Mclean, VA home, instruct you on its use, and if you like, we can even put your new generator on our preventive maintenance program.
This is an incredibly popular and cost-effective program that gives you tremendous peace of mind. After all, when the grid fails and the lights go out, your generator just has to work. Putting it on our preventive maintenance program and giving our skilled technicians the opportunity to maintain it for you will ensure that it does.
No one can predict the future, but you certainly don’t have to have a crystal ball to know that the power is going to fail again. It’s not a question of if, it’s only a matter of when. When it does, will you be one of the people who run around reacting to the lights going out?
Will you try to camp out in your living room and hope the outage doesn’t last too long? Will you flee to a family member’s house or take refuge in a hotel, or will you simply flip your generator on, sit back and carry on with your day, riding out the outage in comfort and style from home?
If that latter option sounds good to you, give us a call today. You’ll be very glad you did.