Battery Backups and Standby Generators -What should you invest in?
Battery Backups and Standby Generators -What should you invest in?
We live in a bright world that relies on electricity to function. Lights, house appliances, air conditioners, mobile phones, and laptops need a fully functioning power grid, or they are just fancy-looking paperweights.
No matter where you live, there are always emergency events that could lead to power outages and leave you in the dark. In the long run, having a backup power system can keep your lights on, and help you save a lot of money by keeping you productive and preventing losses such as food spoilage if your fridge is off for more than a couple of days.
There are several backup power options available on the market today, from conventional generators to green energy battery systems. What is the best backup power system for your home? Let's go to dig it.
Assessing Your Needs
Before you start investing in backup power sources, it is vital to assess your needs to figure out how much power you are using and the amount you will require to keep the necessities running during power outages. The goal is not to keep all things running as they normally would, but rather to maintain power over these things that are necessary for survival and a basic level of comfort. It would be great to keep lights on, but turning off the lanterns or flashlights is worth the inconvenience if it means you can keep your refrigerator and cooking tools running.
Additionally, take a look at things that will be necessary for survival, like oxygen or CPAP machines and other medical equipment. Work your way down from there. Keeping your mobile phone charged is essential, especially in an emergency. If you have an electric range, running your oven for cooking is safer than setting up a propane stove in your home. If you already have a gas range, a power outage won’t affect anything.
Running your water heater for short periods of time might be fine for taking a hot shower, but it won’t kill you either to go a few days without one. The same goes for things like air conditioners. Comfort is great, but survival takes the most priority.
Pros — Battery Backups
Battery backups are growing in popularity like Enjoybot LiFePO4 batteries that have been featured as an essential part of any solar power system. However, they can exist separately as a way to keep house electronics running. Some of the advantages of installing battery backup systems include:
A battery backup system needs less maintenance and eliminates fuel costs. Set-up is easier, and you will have a clean, environmentally friendly backup power source. You can also get stable power longer if you connect your battery backup system to a solar system.
Providing clean and instantly available backup power sources for emergencies.
Offering backup power for solar systems at night or during rainy days.
It can be used indoors without worrying about ventilation or carbon monoxide buildup.
Battery backups provide a clean and quiet way to keep things running in your home if the electricity grid goes out. However, it is not the only option for keeping the lights on during an emergency.
Pros — Home Generators
When you think of secondary power sources for your home, standby generators are probably the first thing that comes to your mind. They go on sale ahead of hurricane season and are perhaps the most expensive disaster supplies you will add to your collection. They are the most popular choice for several reasons, including:
Accessibility — Using a standby generator is easier than installing a backup battery system.
A standby generator is lower initial costs than a battery backup system.
Providing continuous power as long as the generator has fuel.
Standby models can be connected to your home’s power supply and switch seamlessly if the power outages.
Smaller portable models of generators can be used for individual requirements.
Depending on the generators' size, these can run on various fuels, like diesel, gasoline, propane and natural gas
Anyone can pick up a portable generator and several cans of fuel. Larger standby generators need professional installation because they are wired directly into the home’s electrical system.
Cons — Battery Backup systems
There are a few problems with battery backup systems that buyers will be considering before taking the plunge and installing a system, including:
Higher upfront costs
It requires professional installation and careful calibration to ensure it meets the needs of the home.
A large number of parts require costly annual maintenance.
If the power goes out without a solar system or other backup power sources, it cannot be recharged. They are not the best choice for extended blackouts.
Battery backup systems are still fairly new technology and will likely become more affordable and accessible over time. While they do have some potential uses, they’re often not the best option.
Cons — Home Generators
Conventional Standby generators might be more common, but they are not always the perfect option for the home, either. They generally include:
It is very noisy, even to the point of violating local ordinances.
Be expensive to run, especially if you are powering the entire home.
Require constant fuel to run, so if you are not hooked up to a natural gas line for your home, you will need refillable tanks. Standby generators emit toxic fumes, and it is not environmentally friendly. Requires regular maintenance, especially after a day or two of consistent use
Other Alternative Solutions for Home Power Generation
As green and sustainable energy options become increasingly common and accessible, our reliance on the electrical grid is becoming outdated. There are plenty of choices for people who are looking for ways to either completely power their homes or provide a backup in the event of grid failure. These options include:
Solar panels, which are installed either on the rooftop or close to the home by people, can provide electric sources as long as there is enough usable sunlight.
If you need to power your entire home with solar energy. You will have to figure out the total power you daily use, and then install the number of solar panels that can provide the required electricity every day for your entire home. This will work if the power goes out and you can keep your house electronics running. On the other hand, you can save a lot of money on your utility bills.
These require a bit of space, however, if you have got enough property, wind turbines can be a viable backup energy source.
If you live near a naturally flowing water source, or live in a city that gets its electricity from existing dams, this is another potential backup water source.
We need to be ready for anything, from a hurricane to a wildfire to a drunk driver crashing into a utility pole, which can cause a electricity outage for extended periods. Even if you don’t intend to take your home completely off the power grid, having a backup plan can help you be prepared for anything the universe might throw your way.