Buy a whole house generator?
December 11, 2012 1:05 AM Subscribe
Whole house generator: Good planning, or overkill?
posted by Marky to technology (30 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I has lucky in the aftermath of Sandy, the falling trees missed everything, no property damage to speak of, no flooding.
But man, eleven days without power sucked. We coped. We have a gas stove for cooking. I wired my water heater to run off of a computer UPS so I could get a shower, recharging it every day at work. Got the the cell phones charged there as well. Every flashlight we have uses AA batteries which weren't that hard to find. Ditto the radio. But the last few days were getting colder, and we were considering evacuating my mom upstate to Rochester for a month. Fortunately, we got the power back.
But some things were a little more serious. I have severe sleep apnea, and really need the CPAP to sleep. Mom was a trooper, but I could see she was cold, bored and hungry.
So, I've been thinking about a whole house generator. The price has jumped, the general range is $8,000-$11,000 fully installed. Powered by natural gas, auto start, auto transfer switch. Most of these guys offer a yearly service plan as well.
As I look at this logically, this seems a little nuts. I've lived here more than 30 years, and while we do get outages almost annually, I've never had one longer than about 18 hours.
But my hind-brain, Boy Scout mentality says to "be prepared, if it happened once it can happen again."
Then the paranoia creeps in, I start wondering what if there's a longer outage, and the natural gas pumping stations go down, or the town water pumps stop. I know this way lies madness...
But a generator really isn't an unaffordable extravagance, I can just make my car last a few more years.
Any other pluses to this plan? Does a generator add resale value?
I know if we get it we'll probably only need it on average a few hours a year, so it's probably overkill... but damn I hate the cold... and the dark... and the feeling of helplessness.