When there is a power outage in your neighborhood, you only have two emergency power options to consider. You can invest in a portable generator, or you can have a permanent, natural gas home generator installed before the crisis strikes.
Most of our clients have attempted using portable gasoline powered home electric generators and ended up calling us because they were not satisfied with the results. These units produce carbon monoxide, which is a lethal substance when inhaled. This makes it very difficult to operate these units safely because there is always a judgment call required on where you can stand such a unit without asphyxiating yourself or putting yourself at risk of high winds and rains if you have to go outside to refuel the unit.
A portable emergency power generator can only power a portion of your home anyway, and if you live in a larger home of 5,000 square feet or more, you will have to accept that most of your home is going to be dark and unusable in a hurricane or tropical storm situation. This is why natural gas home generators are a much better option for residential emergency power, and an even better option for large homes and bigger estates. Few homes in River Oaks, Rice Village, Memorial, Bellaire, or West University can be powered with anything less than a professionally-selected and installed standby emergency generator.
We recommend that homeowners invest in a natural gas home generator rather than the diesel units that are commonly used for emergency power in industrial environments. Diesel tanks are larger and harder to fit into home mechanical rooms, or even behind the garage. Diesel storage is also something that is a nuisance for homeowners to have to bother with. Natural gas home generators, on the other hand, draw fuel directly from a pre-existing home system and burn much more cleanly than gasoline or diesel ever can. There is less risk of asphyxiation from these units, if installed correctly in well ventilated areas.
You really do not want to try to install one of these units yourself, though. Selecting the right sized unit for your home and coordinating its installation with subcontracted specialists is a job better left to licensed residential electricians who can provide you with both the unit itself and a turnkey installation. ILD techs will examine your main service and electrical panels to see what your total power needs of are. They will then call the electric service provider to double check on historical records of home power usage at your residence.
The electric company keeps detailed records on every house in Houston and records both normal usage curves and spikes in power usage during emergency situations. By looking at the all time high, so to speak, for your home’s power usage, we can pinpoint exactly how much energy your entire house will need in a worse-case scenario natural disaster. This electrical residential installation information, combined with the normal usage requirements of home systems and appliances, will enable ILD licensed electricians to know exactly how large your natural gas home generator needs to be to give every appliance and piece of equipment in your house the necessary power to operate in a time of crisis.
We then order the appropriately sized unit and obtain from the manufacturer the CFM requirements on how much gas the generator needs. A licensed plumber is then brought in to handle the installation itself. The plumber first checks the regulator to ensure sufficient flow of gas needed for the standby unit and the other gas-powered appliances inside. The plumber makes all necessary adjustments at this time and physically connects the unit to the line.
We normally install natural gas home generators behind the garage or in a service area provided there is enough space to meet local codes. Additionally, ILD will bring in a masonry contractor to pour a concrete slab on which we can mount the unit. Once everything is hooked up, your home will have a reliable and clean-burning source of emergency backup power with automatic transfer capabilities that can keep your entire house and lifestyle operational until the storm passes.
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