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Are Generators a Good Option for Backup Power?

If you live in Northern California, you’ve likely experienced a power outage over the last few years. Rolling blackouts, also called Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS), are commonly used to help prevent spreading or sparking wildfires on windy days, or may occur during severe weather. Whatever the case, having a backup power generation source in Sonoma County is extremely important. From preventing loss of electricity for quality of life to ensuring safety in wildfire evacuations, having power is essential for homeowners throughout the region.

When it comes to backup power, there are several options. With solar panels becoming more and more common, solar battery storage has drawn great attention as a popular backup power option. But what about the classic generator? Is that still a good option for homeowners? The quick answer is yes! We’ll take a look at some of the reasons you may want to opt for this backup solution for your home below.

Generators Provide Power & Peace of Mind

Having a backup generator is a great way to protect your home from unexpected power loss, ensuring you can run everything from the air conditioner to the fridge and freezer to the electric stovetop. Home generators from brands like KOHLER (which Firebrand recommends) are typically installed outside, similar to an HVAC unit, and hooked up to a home’s pre-existing natural gas / propane system. This means you won’t have to worry about fueling a separate unit with gasoline or selecting only a few appliances to be powered.

With a KOHLER or similar brand generator, you could power all these:

  • Refrigerator / freezer

  • Heater or air conditioner

  • Electronics (phones, laptops, TVs, etc.)

  • Lights throughout the house

  • Washing machines

  • Toilets, showers, etc. (when on well water / sump pump)

Safety and comfort are likely a priority for you and your family. Not only does having a home generator installed ahead of time provide peace of mind, it provides all the comforts of home, meaning you won’t sacrifice when a storm hits or PSPS is issued for your area. A permanent installation also means you don’t have to worry about firing up a generator and running extension cables all around the house - you can be confident knowing your system will get to work right away powering your home. That means even if you are away when the power is shut off, your home appliances like the fridge and freezer will continue working seamlessly, preventing loss of food and finances.

Combining Solar Panel Systems & Generators

Do you have solar panels? The good news is backup generators can be easily integrated into your power system to provide necessary backup power. Even if you have a battery bank, a generator can help charge it up when solar energy alone doesn’t cover your electricity needs, whether due to wildfire smoke or simply higher demand.

While solar batteries are still an option we highly recommend, you need to carefully consider your backup energy needs. Some households will need more than one solar battery in emergency situations, especially if the power is shut off for an extensive time. Backup generators can keep a home powered for weeks at a time in extreme situations, while solar batteries may not be able to meet energy demands for that long, especially during the winter months with less sunshine for energy production.

If you want an option you know will provide you guaranteed power in blackout situations, then a backup generator will likely be the best option. Again, we always recommend combining this option with green alternatives such as solar panels and batteries to ensure your home is running as efficiently and eco-friendly as possible.

Have more questions about backup power solutions? Firebrand Safety Systems is always ready to help. Reach out today to get connected.

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