Do you live in an area where power outages are a part of life? Perhaps you live in a windy area where trees are continually taking out the power lines; or maybe in the winter, the weather is so horrible that it takes the power out (you certainly wouldn't want to be left in the cold, would you?). Or for anyone living in a high tornado area should also consider hiring a generator installer.
You have probably walked through some stores and seen those small, more portable generators, but consider their drawbacks: though affordable, they do not provide a lot of power and the power they do provide does not last for a substantial amount of time. You also need to continually check it to be sure that it does not run out of gasoline. Perhaps most importantly, these small units build up carbon monoxide, which is why you must place the unit outside of your home and a good distance from your windows (you certainly would not want carbon monoxide poisoning!).
If you are new to this whole "generator" thing, fear not! There are plenty of installers in your area who you can call for some tips and advice. You can ask family, friends, neighbors and hardware stores for names of generator installers in the area, or do a quick Internet search and check your phone book for names.
Once you have at least five names, it's time to start calling! What you want to check for is:
- Do they have a valid license and certification in your area?
- Do they hold a membership to any relevant guilds in your area?
- Do they have liability insurance?
- Do they hire employees to assist with the job? If so, how many would be required for the job?
- Do they offer free written estimates?
- Do they offer any sort of warranty or guarantee of their workmanship?
- Do they do a thorough check of all of the lines and wiring of the generator before they take off?
- Can they be called for assistance later on?
I particularly like for the last question to be answered as "yes" since generators are a fairly complex and potentially dangerous unit. There are gas line hookups which, when disturbed, can put you and your family in danger. There are also electrical wiring that, should it malfunction, puts you and your home in jeopardy.
Because of these issues as well as just the very weight of the generator, unless you are 100% sure of what you are doing, do call a generator installer to do the job. You will be glad you did.