Best backup power: Gas vs. battery
When Hurricane Katrina came back in 2005, I was stranded in New Orleans for days without power. That lesson taught me to always have a backup plan because you never know when you will find yourself in a desperate situation.
In the past most people have used fuel-fired standby generators. However, a new option is now available, and it may be a safe bet.
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What is the difference between standby and battery backup?
Standby generator Connect to your home’s electrical panel and turn on automatically when the power goes out. These generators run on fuel to keep your power running during an outage, typically natural gas, liquid propane or diesel.
Other generators have a “dual fuel” feature, meaning they can run on either natural gas or liquid propane. Those fuel-powered standby generators, or whole-house generators, have proven to be a major risk of carbon monoxide poisoning in the past.
So you can now choose to use more environmentally-friendly and potentially safer Home battery backup system. These systems store energy to power your home during an outage. Charging power comes from solar panels or tapping into the electric grid.
Plus, home battery backups can help you save money on your energy bills. Instead of paying high electricity rates during peak usage hours, you can use energy from your battery backup.
So which type of generator is ultimately better to use? Let’s look at the pros and cons of a battery backup versus a standby generator.
Advantages of having a battery backup
- No required running fuel costs
- They do not make noise, require almost no care and do not emit emissions
- Can save you money on energy bills.
Disadvantages of battery backup
- High upfront purchase and installation costs – may take years before seeing a return on investment in terms of energy savings
- Keeps your home running for hours, not days
- Loses ability to hold charge over time.
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Advantages of having a standby generator
- Low upfront cost
- Keeps your home powered for up to 3 weeks at a time
- Can last up to 20 years if properly maintained.
Disadvantages of having a standby generator
- It is noisy and requires constant maintenance
- More work is required to install
- May cause fatigue.
Whatever you decide to get, it’s important to calculate your power needs, all costs including installation for each and any potential rebates available in your area before buying. Below are some options you can choose from.
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This is a great standby generator option available on Amazon for $5,532.50 at the time of publishing. It uses natural gas and comes with smart, user-friendly controls with an LCD that allows you to monitor its battery status and track maintenance intervals to ensure That your generator is always in top operating condition. At the time of publication, this product had 77% of consumers giving it 5 stars.
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The Tesla Powerwall is an excellent choice for a battery backup system. It stores your solar energy for backup protection, so your power stays on when the grid goes down. Your system detects shutdowns and automatically recharges with sunlight to keep your devices running for days.
You can add additional Powerwall units to your order to further reduce your carbon footprint and prepare your home for a power outage. You can also use the Tesla app, which will allow you to monitor your solar power in real-time. The product costs between $12,000-$14,000, depending on which model you buy.
Does this help you decide which generator to get? Let us know if you have any questions.
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