We've got a natural gas Generac. and it's hard to believe we've had it for more than a decade.
We had had several neighborhood power outages here, and the "utilities" were constantly digging up the street, almost always with zero notice.
And then there was hurricane Sandy. That didn't affect us, but it sort of put the fear of the Weather Gods in us.
We have a sump pump protecting an almost fully finished and furnished lower level. It's walk-out at one end, but not the other.
When we moved in, we had a dual battery backup put in, but... that's not going to last for "days", not even close, not without more batteries than we wanted, etc.
Plus, that would ONLY cover the sump pump... what about the pipes freezing if there is an extended winter storm, etc.?
So we had our HVAC "guy" get us an estimate. He's worked for us for quite sometime. We didn't think to do comps, which was foolish in retrospect. Fortunately, our little Generac has worked like a charm thus far.
In fact, IF we had done comps, we may well have paid more for a different brand, but we've had pretty much flawless performance from the Generac. I can't think of any complaint (and I rarely say that, ahem).
We HAVE had occasionally additional power outages, and the Generac worked just fine. We also have an automatic transfer, in part so we don't have to bother, but also because we travel, so if we aren't "here", we still want that generator to kick in, of course.
Ours probably isn't sufficient for "everything" if that includes the AC, so we didn't have that connected.
We plan to have the wiring changed to load shedding capabilities, so we could keep most of the rest "off" IF we wanted the AC. We didn't know about that, then (or perhaps I didn't understand when they were explaining various choices?).
Our main concern was, first, that sump pump (dual backup), and second, safety issues such as stairwells. And as long as we've got a generator, well, might as well get one TV and some reading lights, etc. We also included the main fridge/freezer and the microwave, but not the electric dryer or electric ovens. The stove is gas.
It's also connected to the electrical thermostats and the electric starters, even though both furnaces are gas.
The generator could clearly handle some of those, which is why we'll have the wiring redone.
We are surprised that apparently *none* of our neighbors have generators, for the stupid utilities or for heavy weather, even though this is a relatively affluent area (we are the "little house" in the neighborhood).
When there are outages, there's not a single other light on in any house nearby, as best we can tell.
It IS noisy. There is only one neighbor who would would be affected, and he's never complained. (Maybe he actually cannot hear it inside, as he's the cranky type...)
OTOH, we have a very old house, with single pane windows, and a window just above the generator. But this isn't something we are using as our regular power source, after all.
DH and I initially joked how the neighbors might come over during a long outage, at the least to charge their cell phones/laptops/etc.
It felt like a lot of money at the time (price range similar to your quotes), but now, quite a few years later, we feel that it was a VERY good decision, just for convenience. We haven't yet *needed* it for severe weather complications, but... that could happen at any time.
It does a weekly self-test, and because we aren't always home at that time (or even that day, etc.), we've got it set to send us a text message about the status. That's been reassuring, too, and minimal cost for that set up. (We'll be changing the phone numbers to add the new maintenance company, too.)
Thus far, the ONLY problem is that when snow slides off the roof, it can bury the unit, which would deprive it of oxygen, presumably.
So we arranged for our snow plow "guy" to shovel a narrow path to it, and then keep it clear, especially where there are vents. We keep considering having some little temporary "shed" built, but... haven't done anything like that. [Sheesh, some neighbors had little plywood tents over some special bushes; this is more important, so we probably *should* do it...]
Don't forget to have a nice solid/thick concrete pad installed to mount it on. I assume that's standard (?)
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