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Permanently installed generator
Portable generators are great in a pinch, but they’re often noisy and they
require frequent refueling. They also have to be stored when not in use,
and connected and started when the power goes out.
A standby generator is permanently connected to your home’s electrical
system and goes on automatically when the power goes out, providing
seamless power. Standby generators can run on propane or natural
gas, eliminating the need to monitor the fuel. And they’re quieter.
You can buy one large enough to power everything in your house, or you
can buy a smaller unit and choose the most critical circuits to power.
Standby generators start at about $1,800, plus installation. (And they do
need to be installed by a pro.)
The difference in cost between a portable generator and a standby unit
may not be as great as you think. Remember, a portable unit requires either
expensive extension cords or a transfer switch. Standby units can run on less expensive natural gas, which will save you money in the long run.