Generators: What you need to know

Know your options: Standby generators are installed professionally in advance and automatically turn on when an outage occurs. Portable generators must be manually operated after an unexpected outage.

HOUSTON - A loss of power is definitely a possibility with Harvey approaching. Local generator distributors say they've already seen a large increase in sales thanks to the big storm. 
 
Customers have several options when buying generators. It all depends on what your needs are. 
 
The smaller portable generators run on gas and can be moved from location to location. They will source enough electricity to power stand alone appliances like a refrigerator or lights. 
 
A portable generator must be filled with gasoline every few hours. Many gas stations will not be able to pump gas during the outage so your gasoline will need to be stored to last through the outage.
 
Your other option is a standby generator. These are much more expensive, but do not offer much hassle. A standby generator is permanently installed outside the home similar to a central air conditioning unit.
 
A standby generator runs on natural gas or propane and hooks up to existing gas lines, which do not turn off during outages. 
 
A standby generator can power your entire home, including your air conditioning units. They can power critical and sophisticated appliances and systems in your home, including lights, refrigerators, sump pumps, home security systems and more. 
 
With a portable generator, appliances will need to be plugged in. 
 
Standby generators are installed professionally in advance and automatically turn on when an outage occurs. Portable generators must be manually operated after an unexpected outage, which can lead to some safety precautions being overlooked.
 
You can find portable generators at your local home store, including Lowe's of Home Depot. They will cost roughly $1,000. 
 
Generator Supercenter near Tomball will be offering a "Hurricane Special." They promise to temporarily install your standby generator within 24-48 hours so it will be active before Harvey approaches. The generator and installation will cost $14,800. 
 
To contact Generator Supercenter, call (281)738-2156 or visit here.

 

© 2017 KHOU-TV


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