When a bad storm knocks out the power in your area, it can be days - or longer - before emergency crews can get the power back on. A residential standby generator system will automatically restore the power to your house within seconds, but they're expensive. If you're trying to decide if a standby generator is worth the cost, there are two major things that you should consider.
1.) What You Are Risking
On one hand, you're running the risk that you'll buy a standby generator and never actually need to use it. Since the average amount that you might invest in one is around $11,800, that's a significant enough risk to make most people pause before purchase.
However, you also need to consider all of the things that are at risk if the power goes out, and you don't have electricity for just 24 hours.
- Anybody in the household who uses electrical medical equipment, like a CPAP machine, will be deprived of that equipment.
- Not being able to turn on the air conditioning during a summer outage will put elderly or very young family members at risk of health damage, because their bodies cannot tolerate extreme heat very well.
- You will probably lose the value of everything in your refrigerator and freezer, once things start to warm and thaw.
- A winter power outage might make your house so cold that your pipes freeze and burst and cause massive water damage.
- If your children go to an e-school from home, they won't be able to attend their classes.
- If you work from home online, you won't be able to work.
- If you have a home security system, it won't be able to operate, leaving you vulnerable to break-ins.
- A power outage can wreak havoc on a pet's health. Exotic pets, like lizards, can get sick and die very quickly if they aren't kept in a temperature-controlled environment. Suffering through even a day of sweltering summer heat can be very difficult for an older cat or dog that's used to air conditioning.
- You might be left without a phone, once the battery in your cell phone dies, unless you have also have a land line phone.
That's a lot to risk. The cost of not having the generator can be tremendous over the long-run.
2.) The Value It Adds To Your Home
Adding a backup power generator to your home also adds value, letting you recoup almost 68% of the cost of installation, if you decide to sell your home.
Having a backup generator also increases the marketability of your home. Because of growing concerns about climate change and the resulting storms, the number of U.S. households with standby generators has risen recently, and the trend is continuing. If you decide to sell your home in the future, having a standby generator is an asset that can attract buyers.
Owning a standby generator can relieve you of a lot of worry, and increase the value of your house. The two factors together can easily make a standby generator well worth the expense.