The Surprising Costs of Power Outages

Power outages aren’t just an inconvenience – they are a complete disruption to our lives and our wallets. This is especially true on Long Island, where blackouts are a year-round threat due to thunderstorms, hurricanes, and blizzards.

According to, more than 500,000 Americans are affected by power outages every single day, and the number is growing each year. Combined, these blackouts are estimated to cost households upwards of $150 BILLION annually.

Where do these costs come from? Let’s take a look at some common problems that occur as the result of power outages, and the dollar amounts associated with resolving them:

  • Frozen pipes: $10,000. Loss of heat can cause the pipes in your home to freeze and burst, resulting in costly water damage.
  • Flooded basement: $21,000. Flooded basements are a common occurrence during power outages due to frozen pipes and overflown septic tanks.
  • Mold removal: $500-$30,000. Water damage often leads to mold, which can cause structural damage and health problems.
  • Food loss: $250-$500. According to the FDA, refrigerated food will only last four hours without power.
  • Alternative shelter $110 per night. Hotels are a convenient escape from your power outage, but they don’t come cheap.

Fortunately, there is a way to prevent power outages, and all of the costs related to them. Automatic standby generators can automatically detect blackouts, and power on within seconds to provide your home with power. Since they connect directly to your home’s gas line, they never need to be refueled and can generate enough energy to run all of your lights, appliances, HVAC equipment, and electronics.

TFC Electric provides professional standby generator installation and repair services to Suffolk County, Long Island. With more than 20 years of experience, you can count on our trained technicians to equip your home with the perfect system. Contact us online for more information, or call (631) 589-2800.

How to Prepare Your House for a Generator

If there’s one thing all homeowners should make it a priority to get at some point after settling into their home, it’s a generator. Although major storms that cause outages lasting a week or longer don’t happen too often, recent hurricanes such as Hurricane Irene and Hurricane Sandy are proof that generators are essential.

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That said, if your home doesn’t already have a generator installed, now’s the time to look into getting one. As you do so, here are a few things you can do to get ready and prepare.

Determine your load.
First things first – you’ll need to determine what you want you generator to be in charge of should the power go out. For example, are you looking for something that will turn on the lights in your main living spaces? Or, are you looking for something that can turn on everything, including electricity in your garage, basement and attic? Consult with an expert electrician to determine what size generator you’ll need.

Have a transfer switch installed.
If your home isn’t already equipped to handle a generator, you’ll need to have some work done to change that – most importantly, you’ll need a transfer switch. These are crucial because it can be very dangerous to plug your generator into your typical wall outlet. Here at TFC Electric Inc., we can help with all kinds of electrical upgrades and installations!

Make space.
Generators aren’t small objects, so you’ll need to make sure you have a space big enough for it. Keep in mind that portable generators should never be used inside your home, so your best bet would be to make some space outside of your home for storage purposes (remember, generators should always be kept dry). Additionally, if you’re having a stationary generator installed, you’ll want to make sure there’s enough space for it outdoors.

Once your home is ready and it’s time to pick out a generator, you’ll want to look for these key features in all of the models you look at. Of course, though, you don’t have to go at picking out a generator on your own – our electricians will help you make an educated decision for you and your home on a generator, then we’ll install it for you!

To learn more about our generator installation services or to make an appointment with one of our electricians to have a generator installed, please give us a call at (631) 589-2800 today.

5 Key Features to Look For In a Generator

When we flip on the light switch, most of the time we don’t think twice and just expect that the lights will turn on. But what about those times when storms cause our power to go out? Situations like these reiterate just how important it is for all of us to have a generator at home, but all too often we wait until the last second to buy one and therefore don’t take the time to do as much research as is needed.

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Since buying a generator without putting too much thought into it isn’t a smart idea, though, today we wanted to provide a few key features that you should look for when you head out to make a purchase – they are:

Automatic start capabilities.
You have enough to worry about in the midst of a storm that’s strong enough to knock out your power, so don’t let turning on your generator be something else you have to be concerned with. Automatic start capabilities are also useful for times when you may not be home the moment the power is lost.

This one is specifically for portable generators – it’s extremely important that you’re able to move your generator with ease, especially if you have to do so by yourself.

Low-oil recognition.
When the oil falls below a certain level, it’s possible that your generator could become damaged. So, look for a generator that has the ability to shut down once it recognizes that the oil level is too low.

A removable console.
Removable consoles connect right to your generator, which eliminate the need to have extension cords outdoors just to turn on your appliances – this is a must for safety purposes.

Fuel gauges.
Fuel gauges can help you keep track of how much time you have before you have to fill your generator up again – this is especially helpful for when your power is out for an extended period of time.

If your Suffolk County home doesn’t already have a generator, now is the time to start looking for one so that your home is always prepared. At TFC Electric Inc., we can help you figure out which type of generator best suits your needs – stationary or portable – and can work with you to find the right model.

To learn more about our generator services, please call (631) 589-2800 today.

Generator Safety Tips

Anyone who has experienced a power outage that lasted more than a few hours knows what a lifesaver a generator can be. However, having a generator at home, whether permanent or portable, puts a lot of responsibility on the homeowner, especially where safety is concerned.

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If your Suffolk County home is equipped with a generator, here are some safety tips we’d like for you to follow:

  1. Never, and we repeat, never, use a portable generator inside of your home, including in garages and basements.
  2. When positioning your generator outdoors, keep it away from windows, doors and vents so that carbon monoxide (CO) does not enter your home.
  3. Always keep your generator dry and do not operate under wet conditions – this could result in electrocution.
  4. If you need to refuel, turn the generator off and let it cool down for a bit. Should gas spill onto the engine while it is still hot, a fire could ignite.
  5. Store fuel for future use in the proper containers and keep it somewhere that can be locked for extra protection (preferably outside of your home).
  6. Do not attempt to provide power to your home by plugging your generator into a wall outlet.
  7. Have carbon monoxide detectors installed in your home, and check the batteries regularly to make sure it can still alert you during an emergency.

Although generators are a huge help, keep in mind that they do pose some safety risks when not operated properly – especially due to the CO that is produced. Since CO cannot be seen and cannot be smelled, you must also monitor yourself and your family members for the following symptoms while a generator is in use: feeling nauseous, feeling weak, feeling dizzy (more symptoms here). If anyone in the home exhibits these characteristics, it is imperative that they get fresh air immediately and seek medical attention.

Here at TFC Electric Inc., our electricians are available to install backup generator systems so that your home is prepared for a power outage. We’ll work with you to decide which generator is best for your home, and can certainly answer any questions you have about the operation of such a system so that you and your family are kept safe at all times.

For more information or to speak with us about our generator installation services, please call (631) 589-2800.

How To Prepare For A Power Outage

When a storm strikes and a power outage hits, young children may not think twice as they sit and wait for the lights to come back on – in fact, they might even say sitting in the dark is fun for a bit. However, as we get older we realize that a power outage is no longer just fun and games, especially when you have a family and a home to care for.

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Although a power outage can be frustrating, being properly prepared can take away a lot of the stress that ensues as you sit and wait for help to arrive. Thanks to the Red Cross, today we’re sharing a few of our favorite things that you can do to get your home ready for an event like this:

Put together an emergency preparedness kit.
Especially in the event that a power outage lasts for more than two hours, you’ll need to have certain supplies handy to keep everyone comfortable, safe and healthy. A few things to include in your kit are:

  • Water – you should have one gallon of water available for each person in your home, for each day of the outage.
  • Non-perishable foods that are easy to prepare – for example, crackers, cereal, canned soups, dried fruits and canned vegetables.
  • A flashlight with an extra set of batteries in case the current ones should go bad.
  • A battery powered radio for weather and news updates (especially important if your phone, computer or tablet should run out of charge).
  • First aid materials, such as medications, bandages and a thermometer.
  • Important family documents and an emergency contact list.

Prepare your kitchen with the right items.
A common concern with prolonged power outages is that they can cause our food to spoil. In addition to having a supply of non-perishable food items at the ready, you’ll also want to have these items in your kitchen:

  • Ice – even if your refrigerator and freezer aren’t working, you can place your cold foods in a cooler with ice to keep them good for longer.
  • A styrofoam cooler (or two) – though any cooler should help you with your food preservation efforts, the Red Cross specifically recommends using styrofoam products.
  • A quick-response thermometer – it’s extremely important to make sure that you’re being safe with the foods that you are able to eat, so use a digital thermometer to check the temperature of cold foods before preparing and serving them.

Have a backup generator.
One of the best things you can do to be prepared for a power outage is to have a backup generator ready for you to use. Especially in situations like the recent Hurricane Sandy where Long Island residents were without power for days, and some even weeks, a backup generator can help restore power while you wait for professionals to arrive.

At TFC Electric Inc., we can help you figure out whether a stationary or portable generator is best for your home and assist with the installation process so that you’re as prepared as possible for any future power outages.

To speak with one of our electricians about our generator installation services, please call (631) 589-2800.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Portable Generators

When the power goes out in your home, whether unexpectedly or due to a major storm, nothing feels as good as knowing that you have a generator to back you up. But before you run right to it and turn that baby on, you need to know how to properly operate such a large system in a way that won’t pose any threat to you, your family or your home. Let’s take a look at some of the top three do’s and don’ts for doing so.

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The “Do’s”

  1. Inspect all cords and wires that you plan to plug into your generator to make sure that they aren’t frayed or in poor condition.
  2. Always use heavy duty, grounded extension cords when it comes time to plug things into your generator. Without the proper grounding, you put yourself at risk for being electrocuted.
  3. Use fresh gasoline to power your generator, especially if it hasn’t been used in quite some time. In cases where your generator sits for a while, you’ll also want to consider using a gasoline stabilizer.

The “Don’ts”

  1. Run your generator indoors or in an attached garage. Being that generators are systems that produce carbon monoxide, they should also be kept a good distance away from your windows and doors so that the fumes don’t take over your home.
  2. Refill your gas supply while the generator is turned on and running. If you need to add more gas to your system, turn it off completely and give it some time to cool down first.
  3. Allow your generator to run when exposed to rain or snow. Should you need to use it during a storm, make sure it’s covered – portable generators should always be kept dry.

For those of you on Long Island like us, you’re certainly no stranger to power outages, which makes it even more important for you to be prepared with a generator! Here at TFC Electric Inc., we can help you determine if a portable or stationary generator is best for your home and will provide all of the instruction you need to use it safely.

To learn more about our generator installation services, please call (631) 589-2800.

Generator Myths Debunked

Are you an expert on generators? If not, that’s okay! The electricians at TFC Electric are generator experts. We’ve debunked myths about generators below. 
Myth: I don’t need a generator 
If you live on Long Island, your home should have a generator. Think about all of the storms that sweep through the area and leave Long Islanders without power. This is a frequent occurance. A generator will allow you and your family to carry on with your daily routine, without skipping a beat! 
Myth: Generators are too expensive
There is no denying that generators come with an upfront price tag. If you are working with a limited budget, a portable generator is the way to go. A generator is the best defense against power outages. It will give you and your family peace of mind, and you can’t put a price on that!
Have you found the generator of your dreams and need to have it installed by a reputable residential electrician? If so, turn to TFC Electric. With years of experience,  TFC Electric can install the perfect backup system for your particular home. Call 631-589-2800 today to schedule service.
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​Frequently Asked Questions About Generators

If you are not an electrician, you may not have a wealth of knowledge when it comes to generators. That’s okay! The professionals at TFC Electric are knowledgeable in this field. Below are some of the frequently asked questions we receive regarding generators. 
Question: What Type of Fuel Should I Use?
Answer: The type of fuel you should use is dictated by the type of generator you have. For example, stationary generators need propane or natural gas. Best of all, natural gas can power your generator for as long as you need. 
Question: How Many Watts Will I Need? 
Answer: Before you purchase a generator, you should find out how many watts your appliances need in order to run. You can accomplish this with an online wattage calculator. That way, you will know how many watts your generator should have. 
We hope this blog cleared up any questions you had about residential generators. If you are in the market for a generator, the professionals at TFC Electric can help you make a smart decision for your home. With years of experience, we can help your family with the perfect backup system. Call 631-589-2800 today to get started.
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​Safety Tips For Using A Portable Generator

Portable generators can supply your home with power during an outage. Portable generators also have the capacity to leak carbon monoxide, an odorless yet deadly gas. To prevent this from happening, check out the safety tips below. 


  • Do not use a portable generator inside your home. You should not use a portable generator in a partially enclosed space, such as the garage.
  • Remember that a portable generator is only a temporary solution. It should not be used as a long term power supply. 
  • Be sure to install a carbon monoxide detector in your home.
  • Never overload a generator with too many appliances and electrical devices.
  • Only use extension cords with a three-pronged plug.
  • Portable generators should be at least 20 feet away from your home.
  • Generators should only be installed by a qualified electrician. 
We hope that these tips keep you and your family safe this fall. If you ever encounter an electrical issue with your portable generator, turn to TFC Electric for a speedy repair. Call 631-589-2800 for all your electrical needs.

Tips For Purchasing A New Generator

Imagine not having to deal with power outage ever again. Sounds nice, right? With a generator, this dream could be your reality! Below are some tips to keep in mind as you search for the perfect generator.

Set a Realistic Budget
There is no denying that purchasing a new generator is an investment, and a worthwhile one at that. Nonetheless, it is important to set a realistic
budget for yourself. Decide how much you can spend
from the start.

Decide Between Portable or Stationary
There are two types of generators; portable generators and stationary generators. Stationary generators can supply power to multiple appliances at once. On the other hand, portable generators are cost effective and easy to store and move. It all comes down to your personal preference!

Fuel Type
Different generators run on different types of fuel. For example, stationary generators usually run on natural or propane gas. Portable generators typically run on  gasoline. Fuel type can also play a part in figuring out which generator is right for you and your home.

Have you found the generator of your dreams and need to have it installed by a reputable residential electrician? If so, turn to TFC Electric. With years of experience,  TFC Electric can install the perfect backup system for your particular home. Call 631-589-2800 today to schedule service.

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