Article
Millions of Americans have spent hours or days over the last several years without power, thanks to hurricanes, winter storms and deliberate outages related to wildfire risk. With severe weather conditions like these on the rise, many homeowners now are looking for ways to keep their houses up and running even when their utility’s grid is down.

Three Ways to Add Value to Home Transfer Switch Installations

Chuck Ross
Millions of Americans have spent hours or days over the last several years without power, thanks to hurricanes, winter storms and deliberate outages related to wildfire risk.

With severe weather conditions like these on the rise, many homeowners now are looking for ways to keep their houses up and running even when their utility’s grid is down. That means generator sales are strong – and so are the numbers for the transfer switches needed to move household electrical demand from the grid to the backup supply. But today’s transfer devices do more than just switch loads. Many of them have features a contractor’s customers could find useful any time of year.

Here are a few options those customers might want to consider:

  • Automatic operation means the transfer switch has its own intelligence to know when utility-supplied power has dropped. While it might not be that big a chore for a homeowner to flip a manual switch next to their main panel when the lights go off, that action is only possible if they’re both home and awake. An automatic transfer switch helps ensure refrigerators, freezers and HVAC equipment keep running whenever an outage occurs.
  • Active load management is another way today’s transfer switches help customers manage utility outages, by taking the guesswork out of whether the next light switch or appliance to turn on will push the generator past its capacity. This feature can also help consumers choose a smaller generator, rather than one sized to carry their entire household’s load. It also means the generator can run at full capacity, without having to reserve power for a connected circuit that’s not running.
  • Surge protection can provide valuable safety and security even when utility power is flowing normally, and it’s a feature now showing up in some automatic transfer switches. Lighting strikes and irregular utility operations can send power surges through to residential customers’ homes. Even minor events can damage appliances and electronics, and major surges can damage home electrical panels and even pose fire risks. A transfer switch with whole-house surge protection can be like having an insurance policy against such occurrences.
Photo courtesy of Eaton
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