Prepare for winter storms by installing a backup generator. Winter Storm Dion is sweeping across the country and the weather is turning cold. Get ready Northeast, you are set to get hit the hardest this week with lots of snow and low temperatures. Whether you live in the Northeast and want to prepare for this impending storm, or if you simply want to be proactive in getting your home winter ready, installing a back up generator is a great way to prepare your home.

According to Remodeling magazine, a standby backup power generator will cost an average of $11,401 with 52.7% return on investment. At first the return on investment doesn’t seem that high, but it is important to remember that a backup generator doesn’t just help you stay warm and keep your house lit, it can prevent pipes from freezing, ensures that your security system will work, and keeps your food refrigerated. All of which can save you money in the long run. So for people who live in parts of the country like the Northeast and Southeast, that get hit with hurricanes and severe storms on a regular basis, a backup generator could be a great addition to consider.

For people who live in other parts of the country where a generator would be a nice convenience but may not be deemed a necessity, portable generators may be a better option. Portable power generators are a smaller and cheaper alternative to standby power generators. They do not need to be installed by professionals, and smaller generators with lower wattage will only cost you around $150. However, make sure you get a generator with enough wattage to power your house, and keep in mind that the more wattage needed, the more expensive the generator will be. Also, when using a portable generator you should always have a carbon monoxide detector near by. The generator’s exhaust can cause carbon monoxide levels to rise if you have it too close to your house.

Whether you choose to have a standby generator installed, or you buy a portable generator, look into all your options. Talk to a professional in your area about your needs and concerns to determine what the right investment is for you.

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Top image credit: Eggleston Farkas Architects