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Do I Need a Home Backup Generator?

Mar 13, 2018

home backup generator









Spring is off to a wild start in Northern Virginia. After a pleasant February heat wave, storms in early March knocked out power for days in parts of the region and now even more snow is expected this week. The unpredictable weather may have you wondering: if the weather keeps getting weirder, how often am I going to be stuck without electricity?

What is a generator?

A generator is a device that can provide your home with electricity (even when power outages occur) by creating electrical energy from mechanical energy. It’s a great tool to have in emergency situations. 
A permanent home backup generator is able to create enough power to meet all of your daily needs. You and your family can count on peace of mind during a power outage when you have a whole home generator. 

Should I get a home backup generator?

Do you think you need a generator? Here are some of the scenarios that make a generator a great investment.
Power Outages. Over 3,000 power outages occur in the U.S. each year, affecting millions of people across the country. Power outages can last anywhere from a couple hours to several weeks, and can be caused by a variety of situations. Big storms can take out lines or poles, animals may stumble into transformers, car accidents take out utility poles, and people who should know better make catastrophic errors (Clark Griswold, we’re looking at you). 
More serious, however, are natural disasters that cause long-term damage to power infrastructure. While you can’t control the weather, when you have a home backup generator installed by one of our five-star technicians, you and your family can feel at ease knowing you’re prepared in the event of an emergency.
Critical Services. Some homes need power for emergency systems to operate. Home security systems, emergency medical devices like oxygen machines and appliances like refrigerators and freezers that preserve food are critical when an emergency occurs and usually require a continuous source of power. 
Unnecessary Expenses. Think about how much money can go to waste when a long-term power outage occurs — spoiled food, eating out, even moving out of your house because it just isn’t safe. Maybe your insurance covers that, and maybe it doesn’t — but, in the moment, it’s still a huge hassle that could’ve been avoided with an at-home generator.

How much does a generator cost?

At this point you may be thinking, “This sounds great, but is the cost of a home backup generator really worth it?” A permanent generator capable of powering all of your lights, appliances, electronic devices, as well as a gas furnace starts as low as $12,000 (or roughly $333 a month), including installation. 
This may seem like a hefty expense, but generators can pay for themselves within a few years or even months, depending on weather conditions in your area. Here’s a breakdown of just much it actually costs to go without power for just one day when you don’t have a generator:
Food waste. Even if your power is only out for a few hours, you’ll likely have to toss most of what’s in your fridge. The total cost of perishable food in  the average U.S. household can range anywhere from $250 to $500, so let’s say you’re looking at roughly $350 going to waste in just one day without power.
Hotel stay. If your power outage lasts more than a day or two, you’ll likely need to check into a hotel — unless you’re someone who can get by taking cold showers and having no heat or air conditioning. On average, an affordable hotel costs about $150 per night, more if you have a pet. Your insurance may cover the expense, but it’s still cash out-of-pocket until you’re done wrangling with the company.
Dining out. A power outage that lasts more than a few hours will result in a fridge full of spoiled food and no means of keeping new food fresh — which means you’ll likely need to dine out for your meals. For just one day, the cost for a family of three to dine out for all meals and snacks is around $150. 
Total Cost = $650 (plus $300 or more per additional day)
Keep in mind this total doesn’t cover the cost of additional damages that powerful storms could cause, like burst or frozen pipes, which can cost tens of thousands to repair and clean up after — not to mention the emotional cost of damaged personal items, like photo albums.


Let CroppMetcalfe put your mind at ease.

Northern Virginia sees its fair share of crazy weather throughout the year. Whether it’s a winter blizzard or a summer hurricane, be prepared to handle the storm. To have a home backup generator installed in your Northern Virginia home, call one of our 5-Star technicians at  1-877-740-6657 or contact us online today.
Even better news? For a limited time, CroppMetcalfe is offering a 7-Year Parts and Labor Warranty on all CroppMetcalfe installed generators. Don't forget to ask about our Service Agreements on generators as well!


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"I've been a CroppMetcalfe customer for 9 years and you have always provided outstanding service. I just had my semi-annual maintenance done, and I wanted to thank George for the truly outstanding service, professionalism, and excellent advice. He is definitely one of the best 5-Star Technicians I've had! Thank you CroppMetcalfe!"

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