A storm strikes, and the next thing you know, your home has no power. That can be cold, dark, and miserable, but it’s even worse in many situations. For instance, if you work from home, you lose money during outages. If you have health conditions, you may not be able to run critical care equipment. So, how do you stay online during power outages?
Two of the biggest solutions in the Northeast right now are solar batteries and generators. Wondering which approach is best for your home? Here’s a breakdown of the similarities and differences to help you decide.
According to Bankrate, solar batteries can range from $9,000 to over $20,000. The exact cost varies based on the capacity you need, the manufacturer, and installation costs. High-quality whole-home generators are about in the same cost range. A Generac Generator, for example, costs $10,000 to $23,000 depending on the capacity and installation considerations.
You have to put fuel in most generators, and if you forget, you may not have power during an outage. However, if you invest in a whole home generator, the installers can connect it to your natural gas or propane lines. Then, you don’t have to worry about topping up the generator on its own. As long as you get regular fuel deliveries or are connected to central fuel lines, your generator will be ready to roll when you need it.
With solar batteries, however, you don’t ever have to worry about paying or thinking about fuel. The batteries will automatically harness and store the energy they need from the sun. Remember this only applies to batteries. If you get solar panels without batteries, you won’t have backup power during outages.
Both solar batteries and generators come in a range of capacities. The price points seem to align fairly closely with different capacities, but again, you also have to consider brand, installation challenges, and other elements that can affect cost.
Before choosing either option, work with a specialist. Tell them what you want to stay on during an outage, and they’ll guide you toward the optimal capacity. For example, if you want everything in the house to run, you’ll need high-capacity equipment. If you just want essentials like the fridge, a laptop, and your heat, you can get by with a lower-capacity system.
Whole home generators and solar batteries are both highly convenient. The installer wires them to your electrical system, and then, when you lose power, these backup sources kick in immediately.
However, if you’re considering a standalone generator, the process won’t be as convenient. You will need to go outside and grab the generator from the garage or shed. Then, you’ll need to make sure it’s full of fuel and connect it. This can be time-consuming and annoying, especially in inclement weather.
But it’s definitely better than being without power. A lot of consumers start with a standalone generator as a backup for power outages. Then, when they discover how effectively the generator works, they upgrade to a whole home generator.
When you work with an experienced installer, they will help you with the logistics of setting up solar batteries or a whole home generator. If you already have solar panels, the good news is that you can easily retrofit that system with batteries, and because the panels are already connected to your electrical system, there won’t be too much additional electrical work.
With a whole home generator, the installer will need to connect the equipment to your electrical system. This is also true if you are starting from scratch with solar and need both batteries and panels. The installer will also have to connect everything to your electrical system.
Note that if desired, you can add a whole home generator to solar panels. Then, you get the benefits of solar power, such as reducing your carbon footprint and saving money on electricity. But you also stay online during power outages, without having to worry about expensive and clunky solar batteries.
Both solar batteries and generators can blend in with your overall property, but they aren’t invisible. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide which look you like the best for your home.
Solar panels tend to be mirror-like panels that sit on your roof. Some people love the slick look, while others find it distracting from their roofing materials. There are batteries that integrate into the panels, but more commonly, the panels connect to a standalone battery that’s stored in the garage.
A whole home generator takes up about as much room as an AC condenser, and it looks similar. Typically, it sits on the side or front of your home in a relatively discrete spot.
If you want to stay online during power outages, we can help. At N.E.T.R., Inc., we can help you install an energy-efficient HVAC system and talk with you about backup power sources. Want guidance on the right choice for your home? Then, contact us today.