What are some of the most devastating effects of extreme cold spells, including the recent polar vortex? Minneapolis resident Brooks Grace stepped outside on his way to the bank during the record-breaking January temperatures; “It’s not cold — it’s painful,” Grace told The Boston Herald about the minus 23 degree weather with a wind chill factor of negative 48. What is most troubling, however, is that many Americans faced the extreme cold without power.
At least 40,000 Indiana residents lost power when they needed it most (during January’s polar vortex). On Tuesday, a winter storm left thousands of Americans in Pennsylvania and New Jersey without power. Fox News reports that many are investing in whole home generators to guarantee livable conditions during the frigid cold. Here’s what to look for in a reliable residential generator:
- More Than Sufficient Energy Output
- Think Carefully About Extras and Frills
Whole home generating sets can pack as much power as a commercial generator, and typically cost a minimum of $6,000 to $10,000. Before purchasing a whole home generator, consumers should carefully estimate how much power they are likely to need. Consumer Reports provides a Wattage Calculator for that exact purpose. The free online tool enables homeowners to calculate how much energy they will need for heating, light bulbs, coffee pots, and much more. Always purchase a generator with a little extra wattage. Exceeding wattage can trip the circuit breaker, causing a temporary outage, Consumer Reports adds.
Residential generators, commercial generators, and industrial generators are an investment. High quality generators last longer and keep you most comfortable during power outages, winter storms, and natural disasters. Purchase a generator that will automatically switch on during an emergency. High quality generators are also much more likely to accommodate more appliances without overheating.
Don’t go without power when you need it most. Stay comfortable and warm — with a reliable source of food and heat — during the extreme cold. Use a wattage calculator to make an investment in a residential generator that will get you through the worst weather. Learn more.