We all know why it is good to have a generator when the power goes out. A generator can keep your refrigerator, lighting, and (if you live rurally) water running. It can also be a lifesaver, literally, for those with certain medical conditions where electricity is required for home healthcare. In addition, the young and elderly are more at risk of heatstroke and a generator can help keep indoor temps down during a long-term outage.
Unfortunately, generators can also take lives when used improperly. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, generators caused more than 50 cases of carbon monoxide poisoning. We urge you to keep your unit at least ten feet from your house to make sure that carbon monoxide gas doesn’t give you a headache, knock you out, or even kill you!
Gasoline vs. Propane/Natural Gas
We also recommend that you go with propane or natural gas versus gasoline. Though gasoline is a handy fuel, it has a definite shelf-life and must be stabilized when stored for long periods. Old gasoline can gum up the carburetor of a gas-powered generator, requiring attention over time. Propane, on the other hand, is safe and simple—no messy spills as you try to fill it. Just hook up a filled tank or natural gas line and go! Natural gas and LP is stable indefinitely requires less maintenance and you can get whole house service vs enough to run your refrigerator and a few lights.
Wire it Right!
You can use extension cords to power up individual devices with plugs, but hooking up essentials such as your furnace, air conditioner, well pump and pressure tank requires a transfer switch. A manual transfer switch is essentially a small circuit breaker box that you mount next to your main electrical panel. For most homeowners, it is best to use professionals for these types of installations. We can match the capacity of the transfer switch with the wattage of your generator. This is the only safe way to connect your generator to your house wiring. We ensure you house is disconnected from incoming power lines when you switch on the generator. This prevents back-feeding powerlines which can be a lethal hazard for utility workers attempting to get your electricity up and running.
Call the Professionals!
At PECO Heating and Cooling, we make professional installation of a manual transfer switch for your generator safe and affordable! We also provide a wide range of other electrical and plumbing and home maintenance and repair services. Did we mention that we’re the go-to HVAC experts for upstate South Carolina? To make sure you are ready for the next power outage, visit us online or call 864-639-2424 today to schedule an appointment.