Finding the right backup power source for your home can be a tough investigation. With so many different options in a very abundant market, the everyday consumer can become easily overwhelmed. Any time your home loses power, you’re going to want a power source that can keep the appliances in your house operational, from the refrigerator to the microwave to the washing machine. In this case, we can confidently state that investing in a home backup generator is ultimately the right decision to make over a home battery backup. When nature rears its ugly head and takes you off the grid, you want to make sure you’re able to keep your food preserved, your heat, ac, and water running, and your family safe.
Here are 5 reasons why a home backup generator is the right choice to make over a home battery backup:
1. More Support
Both home backup generators and home battery backups supply electricity to your home when you are taken off the grid, but home backup generators can support many more appliances in your home than a battery backup. Whereas generators steadily output a continuous max amount of power, home batteries can only supply a fraction of the total amount of energy they are currently holding. Batteries do this to protect how long the battery can last. This means only supporting a fraction of the appliances that a home backup generator can support when the power goes out.
To elaborate, each of your appliances requires a certain amount of wattage to operate. A backup generator with 15 kWh of energy will be able to consistently output those 15 kWh’s to your home as long as it’s hooked up. On the contrary, a battery with the same amount of energy that generator will only be able to output about 20% of that energy, so around 3 kWh. Therefore, on a backup battery, you will have to be a lot pickier on what you decide to power and leave off. Assuming you want to keep your refrigerator running, your options become very limited.
2. Cost Effective
Comparing the costs of generators vs. batteries requires the consumer to consider long term investment. At the preliminary purchasing period, both options seem very similar in pricing. It’s only after you factor installation, consultation, and power inversion that a backup generator becomes the obvious choice.
Whereas you will only need to pay for the installation and the generator itself, getting a backup battery entails buying the battery, the installation, another installation of a power inverter (normally tacking on an extra $2,000), and then any replacements you will have to make in a few years or sooner depending on use. Not to mention, going back to the first point, if you’re trying to get the same amount of output out of your batteries as a generator, you’ll end up paying much more due to the limited kWh output of your regular battery.
Buying a backup battery is a much easier and readily available option to attain for your home than a home battery backup system. The home battery backup market is not yet developed enough to contain any full-scale distributors that have the products ready to go. Finding one is almost equally as difficult as getting it installed in your house. Especially in an emergency, buying a backup battery system is impractical at best.
Meanwhile, home backup generators can be found across the US at local appliance and hardware stores. For instance, a Generac home backup generator is supported by more than 5,200 certified dealers and there is no scarcity of trained installers ready to get one set up in your house at a moment’s notice. They even offer a support network line and a way on their website to find your local dealer.
To compare the length of time a backup battery will function next to a backup generator is a true “David and Goliath” situation. Simply put, with proper preparation a generator can last if you need it to with proper fueling. It’s not even a matter of how long, but how many resources you have. On the contrary, a backup battery, assuming a full charge, is estimated to run for 3-5 hours. This sort of duration in the event of an emergency power outage is unacceptable, and will not ensure your safety. Most power outages resulting from hurricanes and other natural occurrences take much longer than 3-5 hours to be fixed, which leaves you in the dark once that time is up. Not to mention the fact that with your home backup battery, you’re only limited to two or three appliances to power, tops. As far as longevity is concerned, there is no real competitive comparison between the two options.
5. Creation vs. Storage
When all’s said and done, the difference boils down to how energy can be continuously created with a backup home generator, whereas a home battery backup system can only tap into stored energy. When that pool of stored energy is depleted, you will be left with not very many options besides some blankets and candles. Meanwhile, if you have a fuel source for your generator, you will have power indefinitely. Generators produce power while batteries distribute it.