Of course, such a device isn't cheap. Units range from around $2,500 and go as high as $15,000.

Here’s a few guidelines to help you decide if a standby generator is right for your home.

When Permanent Standby Makes Sense

A standby generator is like an insurance policy. You never know when or if it will be needed. So it depends on how much you can put up with and your budget.

Also, if you rely on medical equipment or work from home, having a backup will be even more important.

Assess Your Power Needs

Generators are rates according to how much wattage they produce. The larger the unit, the higher the price.

Wattage requirements also vary with each house. You can consult with your generator supplier or an electrician who can assess how much wattage your home needs. You can also do a ballpark assessment with and online calculator.

Next you need to decide what the generator will power. You can decide a minimum amount of needed items, such as AC, refrigerator, and a few lights and outlets. Or you can go with a maximum output generator that will power everything. For example, a 3,000-square-foot house might need as much as 25kW to 30kW.

You can also go with a newer options called a “load-management system." this is a system that can power everything, just not at the same time.

Consult the Right Professionals

Usually the generator supplier will set up your unit. this is the best option, since they already are familiar with the equipment. If you've purchased the unit online, then you can fire a plumber to connect the unit to the fuel source and an electrician to hook it into your house’s power supply.

Calculate Your Costs

On average an emergency panel unit of 7kW runs $2,500 to $4,500 installed, while a mid-size 17kW unit cost $4,000 to $10,000. A large-capacity 22kW to 45kW model costs from $9,000 to $15,000.

Fuel types also affect costs. You may need to add a gas line, or install a propane tank. Diesel units come with their own tanks, but diesel fuel is more costly and needs to be treated regularly so the engine doesn't clog.

Once you’re set up, you won’t have to worry about being stuck in the dark. What’s more, a standby generator can add to your home’s value, which should make you feel doubly warm all over.

Check back on our blog twice a week for more real estate news, ideas, and local events in Austin and Lake Travis. You can search for the perfect home on our website using our powerful home search tools. You can also get free listing alerts of homes as they hit the market at WelcomeToLakeTravis.com. And you can always feel free to call us at 512-657-4467‚Äč to talk to an experienced agent today.