Although people in southwest Florida never have to see a snowflake, the summer months bear their own threat: tropical storms and hurricane seasons. This looming fear came to fruition in 2005 with Hurricane Wilma. This hurricane made landfall right in the heart of southwest Florida causing billions of dollars in damage and disabling residents’ electricity for as long as 15 days.
Can you imagine living in southwest Florida without electricity for 15 days… we can’t imagine 15 minutes without power! All the food in the refrigerator turns to brown mush, you stub your toe walking around the living room in the dark of the night, you huddle around the radio like it’s the 1950s, and even after you finally fall asleep, you wake up a few minutes later covered in sweat.
If you don’t want 15 days of cooling yourself with a battery-powered fan, a home generator is the best way to keep your home cool after a serious weather incident. To keep your home cool even after the worst of storms, you can either purchase a portable generator or a standby generator.
Standby generators are the ones you typically see at your local home improvement store. These generators can handle a capacity of 1,000 to 8,000 watts, but they are not hardwired into the home’s energy supply.
This requires the homeowner to run an extension cord from the unit (which must be outside the home to prevent poisonous carbon monoxide from leaking into the home), to a power strip. Once the generator is set up, you have to pull the appliances away from the wall, find the cord, and plug it into the power strip.
Not only does the standby generator lack the capacity to power much more than a fan - let alone your air conditioner - but it also needs a constant supply of fuel. And as you might know, before any hurricane there is a mad rush to stock up on gas and other fuels. So being ready for this rush is key, or you could run the risk of fuel stations running out of fuel.
Homeowners looking to keep their home cool and functioning with some normalcy during even the worst power outages usually invest in an automatic backup generator. These permanent generators are installed outside the home and can handle a capacity of 7,000 - 40,000 watts.
Once you install an automatic generator, the automatic generator immediately restores power to the air conditioning and certain appliances in the home. Even those days after the storm when the power is still out, you won’t have to leave the home for more fuel because the generator is already tapped into a supply of natural gas or propane.
When the next storm hits southwest Florida, don’t be stuck wondering if you traded your home for a sauna. If you want to learn more about generators, or learn about protecting your home from the next outage, the team at Southwest Florida Electrical is ready to flip your switch!