Winter power outages are potentially dangerous, especially for persons with medical conditions requiring comfortable warmth, oxygen, ventilators and other electrically dependent equipment. Even healthy persons are at risk in extreme cold. For this reason, consider the following tips to stay warm, and the installation of a whole house generator from Mister Sparky’s electrical contractors in Huntsville, AL.
Confirm the Type of Outage
Before assuming power loss is community wide, look at neighboring homes. If the neighborhood is dark, there may be a downed power line, or a community wide outage. However, if the neighbors have power, check your residential electrical panel for a tripped breaker. If the problem appears to be isolated to your home, contact our experienced electrical contractors in Huntsville, AL for diagnosis of your problem, and repair.
When the outage appears widespread, contact your electrical supplier for details, and the expected time of restoration.
Whole House Generators
When power outages occur, a whole house generator provides the ideal solution. Mister Sparky’s electrical contractors in Huntsville, AL can provide the installation you need.
Manual Whole House Generator
When comparing a manual generator to a fully automatic generator, the manual will provide the lower cost option. The disadvantage of the manual model is it will require refueling. In addition, its smaller size will limit what it will operate. Mister Sparky’s licensed electrical contractors in Huntsville, AL can install the generator transfer switch you require for the use of a manual generator.
Automatic Whole House Generators
Automatic generators feature the ability to sense a power outage, start automatically, and have the power on in 10 seconds or less. However, the automatic model requires professional installation by licensed electrical contractors in Huntsville, AL. The professional knowledge of a licensed electrician is required to provide installation. Mister Sparky’s electrical contractors in Huntsville, AL can provide a professional automatic generator installation for you. When compared to manual whole house generators, automatic generators offer significant advantages:
• Automatic generators use propane or natural gas. When available, natural gas offers a lower cost option, and a continuous supply without the worry of running out. Manual models require refueling with gasoline or diesel, and the storage of an ample supply.
• Automatic generators not only start on their own when the power goes down, they sense when the power comes back on, and automatically shut down, returning your home back to normal power supply. In addition, automatic start ensures the food in refrigerators and freezers is safe, and will keep the home’s heat operating during a power outage, even if you are away from home for an extended time.
• Automatic generators self-start once per week to ensure the engine is in good working order and ready for an outage.
• Automatic generators are capable of supplying the electrical needs of an entire home, (including the HVAC system) depending on the generator size.
• Automatic generators ensure the home security system is able to continue monitoring the home, and operate the lights on timers when you are away for an extended amount of time.
If you would like further information about the different types of generators, contact Mister Sparky’s electrical contractors in Huntsville, AL. We will be glad to assist you.
Alternative’s for Homes Without a Generator
Ideally, you have already prepared your home for winter by inspecting attic insulation, ensuring it hasn’t settled leaving roof joists exposed. Replaced cracked, torn or missing weather stripping on doors, Replaced cracked or missing window caulking, and sealed up the cracks, gaps and holes where cold air can enter (and pests). When the power goes out, the last thing you want is cold drafts entering your home.
If you have a functional fireplace, use it. As a precautionary measure, maintain enough firewood for a week. Before winter weather arrives, have a chimney sweep to inspect and clean the fireplace. This can prevent house fires due to creosote buildup.
The fire place may not seem to provide a lot of heat, though when you have no heat at all due to a power outage, even an ineffective fireplace is better than none at all, especially if you close off the room to prevent heat from escaping. In a worst case scenario, you can sleep in the room. However, ensure you have a functional smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector in the room before you need it.
Layer clothing, and wear a hat and gloves. Sweat pants are good insulators and can be worn in place of insulated underwear under other clothing if desired.
If you’re using candles ensure they are not located near curtains, or other combustible materials. Flashlights and generators are safest. In a pinch for lighting, outdoor solar lights are useful inside.
If you have experienced power outages, you know it is likely to flicker before providing a steady supply of electricity when it comes back on. To prevent damage to electronics and appliances from potential surges, unplug them. Investing in surge protection will also help to protect sensitive electronics, appliances, and the home’s wiring and other electrical system components. Mister Sparky’s licensed electrical contractors in Huntsville, AL can provide the installation you need.
Maintain a full tank of fuel during the winter. Without electricity, most gas stations are unable to pump fuel during blackouts. Charge cell phones with a car charger to stay informed of news and weather, and for emergency phone calls. Remember to treat nonfunctioning street-lights as four-way stops, and limit travel to emergencies only when poor travel conditions exist.
These tips can enable you to better weather winter power outages. However, consider a whole house generator to maintain your comfort, convenience and safety during power outages. If you would like our electricians to assist you in the selection of a whole house generator that will best suit your electrical needs and budget, contact us for additional information or to schedule a consultation. Mister Sparky’s electrical contractors in Huntsville, AL can provide a professional generator installation for you. We serve the North Alabama region, and are a member of the BBB with an A+ rating.