Most people don’t fully appreciate how fragile modern life and our modern society is. How utterly dependent we are on electricity and how easily the lights could go out for weeks, months, or even longer.
Think about the various things you do during the course of any given day that rely on electricity. You literally couldn’t read this article if not for electricity. During the simple act of getting ready for work, you probably use no less than a dozen different appliances that are tied to the electrical grid.
Now imagine how difficult it would be to do even the simplest things without it. It would be like instantly being transported a hundred years or more back in time, and most people would honestly have no idea how to get by. That’s why having a whole home generator in Great Falls, VA is so important.
The grid we all rely on is incredibly fragile. Sure, it could be taken down for an extended period by terrorists any number of ways, but that’s not the most likely thing that will cause the lights to go out.
Winter storms can and have knocked out the power grid in the northeast for weeks at a time. Hurricanes can easily leave tens of millions without power. The same is true of tornadoes, or even just strong gusts of wind. It doesn’t take much.
Unfortunately, despite the fact that the grid is so fragile, very few people have plans in place for how to deal with an extended power outage. Do you have a plan in place? If not, may we ask why not? After all, it’s not really a question of if you’ll eventually suffer an outage, it’s just a matter of when.
Since so few people have a whole home generator in Great Falls, VA, their plans tend to revolve around one of three things:
Needless to say, all three of these approaches leave a lot to be desired. Let’s take a closer look at each.
The first one is probably the worst of the lot. As we mentioned before, most people have no idea how to survive in the absence of electricity. Even simple things like getting ready for work in the morning or cooking dinner become vastly more difficult without power.
Sure, you can wing it for a day or two, but what if the outage lasts a week? A whole month? Trying to ride it out is just an all-around bad idea.
The second option, staying at a hotel, is the easiest to execute. Pack a bag, load up the family and head somewhere that still has power. That works, if you can afford it.
Even budget hotels are pretty expensive, and hotel chains tend to jack up their prices during times of crisis, so you’ll be paying even more. If you’ve got tons of cash or plenty of room on the credit card, you can make that work, maybe even for an extended period of time.
Honestly though, when the dust settles, if you’d put the money you spent on hotels into a whole home generator in Great Falls, VA, you could have just bought one, or at least put a solid down payment on one and not have had to leave home in the first place.
Staying with family and friends who have power could work, as long as the outage doesn’t drag on too long. If it lasts much longer than a week though, even if you’re on excellent terms with the people you’re staying with, nerves are bound to fray and tempers are bound to flare. More than one relationship has been ended by the stresses and strains associated with an extended power outage.
If you want to be truly prepared, the answer is simple. A whole home generator in Great Falls, VA is what you need. It’s not as simple as just forking out some money and bringing one home though. That’s probably the least efficient approach you could take. There’s a process involved, and we’ll go into that next.
The first step is determining exactly how much power you use, and that is accomplished via a comprehensive home energy audit. You can find spreadsheets and forms online if you want to do it yourself, or, if you want to make sure nothing gets missed, the best approach is to hire a professional, and that is one of the many services we provide.
The home energy audit is useful in a variety of ways, but the biggest and most obvious benefit is the fact that it will give you a high-level view of exactly what’s driving your power usage from one month to the next. You’ll have a list of every electrical appliance in your home and how much it’s contributing to your monthly power bill, based on its power draw. That’s good, hard-hitting information.
Once you know what your total usage is and what your major drivers are, the next thing you can do is start thinking about ways to decrease the size of your power footprint. There are lots of low-cost ways to do this and the more you can reduce your energy footprint, the less generating capacity you’ll need.
Generally speaking, the more generating capacity you buy, the more expensive the generator, so if you can reduce the amount of energy you need, you’ll save yourself money when you get to the point of buying your whole home generator in Great Falls, VA.
This can take any number of forms including using smart power strips and swapping out your incandescent bulbs for LED’s, to things like retiring your old, power-hungry appliances when they reach the end of their useful life and buying newer, high-efficiency models to replace them. While you can do a lot on this quickly, this is probably best viewed as a longer-term project that will see you making gradual, continual improvements where your energy footprint is concerned, over an extended period of time.
Once you know where your power is going and have taken some steps to rein in your use, the next step in the process is to sit down and figure out exactly what appliances you want to power should the lights go out. Even if you’re looking at a generator designed to power your whole home, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll want or need to power absolutely every appliance you own, so there is some planning involved here.
Some people like to keep it simple and just plan to power everything for as long as the outage lasts. Others take a more strategic view and again, the less power generating capacity you need, the less expensive the generator you ultimately buy will be, so it pays to at least think about it strategically.
Once you’ve done this, you’re at the point where you’re ready to go generator shopping.
There are dozens of companies that make and sell generators, and they come in all shapes and sizes, so there’s something for everyone at every price point. You can even find generators that run on just about any fuel source, from gas to propane, and there are even solar generators on the market today and ones that are designed to run on a variety of types of fuel.
Ultimately, there are no right answers on that front. It comes down to personal preference and what works best and makes the most sense to you. If you’re struggling to find the right whole home generator for you and your family, we can help. We carry and sell a full line of world-class Generac generators and can help you find the one that’s optimally sized for your home and energy needs.
If you buy one from us, we’ll install it for you and instruct you on its use, and can even put you on a preventive maintenance program so you won’t have to worry that it won’t work when you need it to.
If that sounds good to you, give our office a call today. We’ll be happy to assist.