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      A generator can be an easy way to avoid the aggravation and costs of a power outage.

      With spring arriving in Mid-Michigan, the potential for severe weather is increasing. Lightning and high winds during severe storms can cause power outages. According to researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, power outages and blackouts cost the nation around $80 billion annually, not to mention the priceless aggravation and inconvenience. A good way to avoid being stuck in the dark is by using a generator. The concept is simple, when you lost electric power to your home a generator kicks on and provides electricity. Most generators are portable units that you plug in when needed, others are permanently installed and wired to your home. Permanently installed generators can be connected directly to your natural gas line or liquid propane tank. The generator will provide power as long as fuel is supplied. To use a portable generator, there are a few things you should know first. Most importantly, you never want to plug a generator into a wall outlet and turn it on. This can be very dangerous for you, your home and for any linesman who may be working on utility lines during a blackout. What you want to do is install a transfer switch. The transfer switch will allow you to isolate outside lines from electricity produced by the generator. When the switch is installed you can plug your generator into a special socket that will route the electricity to your home through a special circuit breaker. Once you TMve taken all the necessary steps for safety, when you lose power it TMs as simple as flipping the switch, plugging your generator in and turning it on. There are also permanent generators that you can connect to your home. With a permanently installed generator, you will also need a transfer switch. In this case the transfer switch can be automatic. An automatic transfer switch monitors your utility power. The switch will automatically turn on your generator when you lose utility power and it will turn the generator off when power is restored. Unlike portable generators, standby generators operate automatically with no human intervention. No generators to move. No power cords to connect. No gas tanks to fill. Using a generator can be a fairly easy way to avoid the cost, aggravation and inconvenience of a power outage during severe weather. For more information about installing a generator in your home, contact the professionals at Goyette Mechanical.