Is a Home Generator Worth the Expense?

Home generators are usually installed as backup power supplies to a house in case of a power outage or blackout, rather than as a primary power source.

Costs of a Home Generator

If you have an average-sized house with average power needs, expect to spend at least $4,000 for the initial purchase and installation of a standby home generator. After installation, maintenance costs are limited to an annual routine inspection and oil change, similar to changing the oil in a car or riding mower. The main operating expense is the fuel. Fuel costs depend on whether the generator uses propane or natural gas, and the fuel prices in your area; a natural gas generator costs a few dollars an hour to run.

Financial Benefits of a Home Generator

Though a standby generator may increase your home's value and provide a selling point, many of the financial benefits of a home generator are in the expenses it prevents. Connected to a home standby generator, sump pumps keep operating in a severe rainstorm, preventing flooding damage; freezers and refrigerators continue running so the contents don't thaw or spoil. Having furnace blowers, air conditioners and well pumps on a home generator keeps a house habitable, allowing you to wait out an extended outage in your home rather than paying for a motel.

 

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