Alternative Back-Up Power Solutions

With hurricane season approaching in Florida, many people will be thinking about alternative power systems for their homes. Gas generators take up space, require routine servicing and are loud. Having been in several Florida hurricanes, I have always relied on my inverters to light my home in all power outages. If you are not familiar with inverters, they are the devices that convert 12 volt power to 120 volts. 120 volts being the most commonly used power in the USA. Many motor homes and boats come equipped with an inverter as a standard feature of the rig.

You see I figure that most of us own cars, While not the most efficient way to generate power for your home certainly, it becomes the most convenient should you ever experience a power outage. Inverters can be very in-expensive and small. The one I own is light and small, capable of converting 1700 watts from a 12 volt battery is pretty good I believe. I use compact fluorescents to light my home. So I am able to have lights with out running my car. Use common sense when using an inverter. When you purchase one you can ask the store how long it will run the equipment you choose. I also keep a charger on a few batteries in my garage
so I actually have a few days worth of lights for my back power system.

You can develop a small or large back up system for your home. I was the only one on my block with lights for over a week. The people that had generators didn’t take care of them and had stale gas in them, so many of their generators didn’t start. You may not be able to cook or watch TV with this system but you will have lights and you can charge your laptops and run your items that require low voltage.

Inverters are rated by size according to the average amount of watts used and the amount of wattage the inverter surges to. My back up power inverter is rated at 700 watts average power and it surges to 1700 watts . Plenty enough power to run the lights I require and a few computers. I haven’t found that any of the inverters that I have purchased have been better that the others. I have never had a problem with any of them. Keep them stored out of the moisture and test them almost every year.

I find it best to have a few extra batteries in the garage charged. I have a plug installed on my car, like the ones you see on some cars and trucks up north. This plug should be hooked to your battery with a fuse. On older cars its pretty easy to do and doesn’t cost very much. Then you can hook up your inverter just by plugging into your car. It is easy and once you have it set up you wont be worried if the power goes out you will already have an alternative power source that works with USA standard voltage.

You can buy inverters online starting around $50.00 US . If all you are going to do is run lights you can get set up really inexpensively. Remember to always read the instruction manuals , it sure makes sense. You will come up with all kinds of creative solutions for using an inverter. All you need is a 12 volt battery and an inverter anywhere to use your power tools directly from your car. You can buy small solar panels and have them charging a few battery hooked to an inverter. Many of the solar panels have charge regulating diodes built right in to the systems. So your battery wont be over charging.

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