Why Your Southwest Florida Home Needs a Standby Generator

[fa icon="calendar"] Jan 30, 2017 12:14:04 PM / by Jaron Henkel

As a resident of Southwest Florida, you understand that hurricanes are a fact of life. And you know that hurricanes will possibly result in power outages that can last for hours, if not days—or even weeks! You know that you need to stock up on water, food, and batteries when the hurricane is coming, but what about a generator? Let’s look at the ways that owning a generator impacted one homeowner’s hurricane experience.

Joe’s Story

Let’s call our homeowner Joe. Joe and his family are Florida natives, and they understand the kind of damage that a hurricane can wreak. They had to evacuate to avoid living in the dark during Hurricane Andrew in 1992, and they weren’t eager to repeat the experience any time soon. Rather than being forced to leave their home the next time a hurricane was spotted near Fort Myers, Naples, Cape Coral or any other community in Southwest Florida, they decided to invest in a backup generator.

Sure enough, a hurricane hit their home in Cape Coral—and it was a doozy. The storm was intense, and the city’s power was out for a whole week! While most of Joe’s neighbors were evacuated, Joe was able to stay in his home. Why? Because he chose to install a backup generator!

With Joe’s backup generator, the family stayed comfortable in their own space. They had lights, sure, but there’s a lot more that a backup generator can power when a hurricane shuts down the city. Most refrigerators are powered by electricity; Joe could rest easy knowing that the food he’d purchased before the hurricane hit would not be spoiled, costing him hundreds of dollars in wasted groceries. Their electric stove was up and running, so the family could enjoy a hot meal in their home.

Joe’s home has an electric water heater, so with the generator, Joe and his family had hot showers. Joe’s electric washer and dryer were functioning, thanks to the generator, so they were able to do their laundry without dragging everything to the laundromat. Bonus? Joe’s kids were able to keep their electronics charged, so he was able to relax without hearing complaints about boredom as they waited for school to be in session again.

General Generator Knowledge

Backup generators come in a number of sizes and can be fueled by natural gas, diesel, or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). How do you know how much power you’ll need? It’s a matter of creating a list of the appliances you want to power during the outage. Next, determine the amount of power required to start and run each appliance, and then total the numbers to determine the wattage you’ll need from your generator. Typically, a home will need between 5,000 and 7,000 watts to maintain essential functions; with this in mind, it’s smart to choose a standby generator, which is rated to offer you anywhere between 10,000 to 20,000 watts of electricity. You will be able to carry on normally without fear of exhausting the generator’s limits.

Southwest Florida Electric is happy to help you determine what size of generator would be best to keep your home up and running during a storm, and we’ll help you with the regular maintenance that will ensure that your generator will be ready to run when you most need it.

We proudly serve customers in the greater Fort Myers and Naples areas, as well as all areas between Sanibel Island and Marco Island. Whether you’re looking to power your whole home or if you just need partial home backup, we have the generator that fits your unique needs. Don’t wait to install a backup generator— you might find yourself sitting in the dark.  

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Topics: Home Generators