Power Backup Options – Generators vs. Uninterruptible Power Supplies

Thunderstorms and hurricanes are rather common in the U.S. during summers. This also increases the chances of a power failure. This is the perfect time to assess the options you have for providing backup power in your home in the event of a failure.

Thunderstorms can also cause power surges, and fluctuations in the normal functioning of heavy power appliances, like air conditioners and refrigerators. For example, they keep switching on and off due to the inconsistent flow of electricity. However, the good news is that a surge protector can easily protect your equipment against these risks.

This includes having battery backup systems such as uninterruptible power supplies (UPSs) for your home power protection. Homeowners tend to get confused over what are the various backup options, and which one fits their needs the best.

In this article, we hope to clear that confusion once and for all.

When is Power Protection Necessary?

So, when is it that you might need power protection? It’s obvious that you’ll need a battery backup in the case of a power loss in your home, which happens as a result of utility work, during thunderstorms, or as a precautionary measure.

For instance, if you’re residing in California, you will be warned of a power loss beforehand during dry weather and high winds. This is to prevent any recurrence of wildfires that are more often than not, blamed on sparks from utility equipment.

In fact, power outages are also becoming more frequent and widespread, as recent ones affected Southern American countries a whole lot. That said, even power surges have the ability to damage sensitive electronics such as TVs and computers.

Let’s look at the two power backup options you have: generators and UPSs.


In the case of an outage, you will need some type of backup power source. The options dial down to a generator or UPS.

Generators have the ability to provide a continuous power supply to meet all or some of your power needs. This ultimately depends on the size and power of the generator. Home generators usually run on natural gas, gasoline, or propane.

In other words, as long as the generator has fuel, it’ll make do. That said, there are a few downsides to generators. Firstly, they’re quite loud. If you stay in a densely populated area, your neighbors are bound to be unhappy when they have to listen to your generator on top having no power.

You probably won’t be that happy, either. Secondly, it takes some time for the generator to kick start. Now, this also depends on the generator model. A whole-house generator is tied to your electrical box and kicks in automatically once they sense the power’s out.

However, this process still takes a couple of seconds. This causes a hard shut-down for your other devices, which can cause data loss and damage to the device. They are portable generators that have to be started by hand, which takes an even longer time.

Finally, generators are quite pricey. Thus, it’s important to consider the size and model of the generator that you’re planning on buying.

Uninterruptible Power Supplies

On the other hand, UPSs supply power from an integrated battery that continuously charges whenever power is available. If the power was to go out, your UPS would kick in instantly. This ensures that your computers and laptops don’t go down so that there’s no data loss or damage to sensitive electronics.

This makes UPS a must-have for the home office, even if there’s a generator around. Moreover, UPSs tend to have surge protectors, which you’ll definitely need for office computers and similar devices.

However, you’re more likely to find a lot of other uses for a UPS within your home. For instance, if there’s a medical device in your home such as monitoring devices and CPAP machines, that have to be on at all times, a UPS will be very helpful.

A UPS can provide power for a good amount of hours during an outage. This also depends on the size of the UPS. In fact, you can run your route on UPS as well, and stay connected during an outage,

You might even be able to run your television on a UPS, especially if you’ve got children at home. Homeowners should also know how to protect their UPS so as to avoid any damage happening to it.


Well, there for you! A power backup is essential to staying comfortable during an outage, especially if it’s during scorching hot summers. We hope you now have a better understanding of how both generators and UPSs work.

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