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Is it time for a home generator?

If you have ever experienced a sustained power outage during a freezing Michigan winter, or a hot and humid August, you have likely considered purchasing a permanent standby generator for your home.

Units can be installed by a licensed electrician to power your entire house or only the main necessities such as heating, refrigeration, sump pump and medical equipment. Let’s explore some pros and cons.


  • Convenient as it automatically activates to power your home as soon as there is an outage; you don’t even need to be there!

  • Able to safely run for long periods of time.

  • Weekly self-checks, so you will know if it is failing or in need of repairs, making it always ready.

  • Ensures a working sump pump so you don’t experience flooding on top of losing power.

  • Maintains a comfortable temperature, particularly in areas of extreme hot and cold, with your furnace and air conditioner.

  • Avoids costly and wasteful food spoilage in your refrigerator and freezer.

  • Prevents the shut down of life-saving medical equipment.

  • Continues business as usual if you have a home office or schoolwork.

  • Keeps you connected to the outside world via your smartphone and modem.

  • Adds to your home’s value and can be attractive to home buyers.


  • Expense. The average cost is anywhere from “$12,250 to $27,150 upfront.”

  • Takes up outdoor space, typically about the size of an A/C unit, and will need a cement slab.

  • Necessitates yearly maintenance. “You will spend $165 to $485 per year in maintenance and repair costs.”

  • Can be noisy, although modern ones are much quieter.

In Conclusion

The decision on whether or not to purchase a whole house generator ultimately depends on how you experience power outages, your personal and/or family needs and your budget. The convenience and safety are a huge draw, while the expense can be a major obstacle. If cost is a barrier, consider choosing one equipped to power only the bare necessities. Finally, if you do decide a standby generator is right for you, make sure to have it installed by a licensed electrician.

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