Category: Sponsored content

You’ve got generator questions, we’ve got answers

Posted by Eric Berger at 10:00 AM

Last year, after a sponsored post about generators, we received an extraordinary number of questions from readers on the site, on Facebook, and on Twitter. So as we gear up for hurricane season this year—when homeowners are considering whether to make such an investment—we decided to go back to Reliant for answers to some of the most commonly asked questions.

Will the noise from a generator upset my neighbors? Are there Homeowner Association Deed Restrictions? 

Generators are fairly quiet and generally quieter than your air conditioner running today. The thing to keep in mind is that the generator only produces noise when it is activated, either in an emergency situation or during its weekly test cycle to ensure systems are running properly. These cycles only take about five minutes and can be scheduled for the most convenient time for customers, often during the day when you’re at work or running errands. The cycle checks battery function, oil levels and other diagnostics to keep the engine primed and in good shape.

Regarding HOA restrictions, Reliant generators typically meet all noise requirements. However, if you live in an area with stricter regulations, the company can also provide additional solutions to suppress the sound.

When the power goes out, do you need to turn your generator on?

This is the most frequent question the Reliant home services team receives from customers. If you have a fully automatic backup generator, these require no action on the customer’s part. The Smart Transfer Switch monitors the household’s electricity and sends a signal to activate the generator if it detects an outage. It only takes about 5-8 seconds for the generator to automatically turn on once you lose power. For non-fully automatic solutions, such as the Reliant Portable Home Power Kit, all you have to do is flip a switch and you’ll be up and running.

Incrementally, what size generator will I need to power basic services, such as lights, phone, alarm system, Wi-Fi, refrigerator, etc?

Reliant provides free in-home assessments, in which Reliant’s generator specialists help determine the best generator for your needs and budget. In general, 10-14 kilowatt (kW) generators are enough to run individual survival appliances, such as a refrigerator, sump pump, or lights. A 15-20 kW generator could run a small home with one AC unit, and a 21-25 kW generator could power a small to medium-sized home. Read More…

Thanks to our December sponsor, Murray Newman

Posted by Eric Berger at 10:15 AM

For the month of December, Space City Weather has been sponsored by The Law Office of Murray Newman. This means the site was provided for free, without advertising, for the entire month thanks to Murray. 

Here’s a bit more about him, and the legal services he provides:

I’m a former Felony Chief Prosecutor who practices Criminal Defense in Harris County and the surrounding areas. I’m an 1995 graduate of Texas A&M and a 1999 graduate from the University of Houston Law School. I represent people accused of crimes, both misdemeanor and felony. I’m a trial lawyer who doesn’t back down on even the toughest of cases.

Thank you to Murray for supporting the site this month!

The holidays are upon us. For some, this means travel away from homes for an extended period. For most of us, this means the delivery of packages and the potential for theft. In this sponsored post from Reliant, we discuss a security system that offers peace of mind for homeowners whether you’re traveling, at work, running holiday errands, or otherwise on the go.

Total Home Protection

With Security by Reliant, customers can get around-the-clock security that can be controlled from anywhere so your family and home are always protected. (One need not be a Reliant electricity customer to sign up for security services with the company, the program is open to everyone). Reliant offers a variety of packages and services to fit your unique security needs—Essential, Advanced or Premium plans—each of which offer 24/7 monitoring, access via an app, professional installation and more.

The Perfect Power Partner: Speak and Save 12 plan

Want to bring some tech to your thermostat? The new Nest Thermostat E lets you control your home’s temperature, plan for sudden weather changes and adjust settings while you’re away. This smart thermostat learns your schedule and adjusts automatically based on whether you’re home or away, letting you save energy without lifting a finger. And now, you can control it with a Google Home Mini, simply by saying, “Ok Google, make it cooler.”


When you sign up for the Reliant Speak & Save 12 plan, you’ll get a Google Home Mini and Nest Thermostat E on Reliant. Additionally, with this plan, you’ll also enjoy 12 months of price security on your electricity.

As a homeowner, I just want things that are supposed to work, to work. I’m not particularly handy, so when something breaks it always frustrates me. Even worse, if there’s a plumbing problem, it can damage a home. Or if the AC breaks down in August, heaven help us all. Frankly, there’s never a convenient time for a major system in your home to break down. In today’s sponsored post from Reliant, we discuss one option to address this.

Reliant has created a package to help protect your home from potential AC, heater and plumbing issues. The idea behind the Reliant Home Maintenance Package is to alleviate the stress of the homeowner who relies on their major home systems to perform all year long.
For $249 a year, a homeowner can enjoy the benefits of a full plumbing inspection once a year, two seasonal air conditioner or heater tune-ups per year.

The details of each inspection are as follows:

Heating Tune-up (October – November)

  • Inspect and test the gas valve
  • Inspect and test the pilot light (manual or electronic)
  • Visually inspect the heat exchanger
  • Check flue for proper ventilation and clearance
  • Inspect and test the electrical disconnect
  • Check amperage readings on heat strips
  • Verify proper wiring size on heat strips
  • Inspect and test the electrical power switch
  • Inspect blower motor for proper ventilation
  • Check the evaporator drain line
  • Check the overflow pan drain line
  • Inspect all air filters
  • Inspect and test thermostat

Plumbing Inspection (January – February)

  • Check the water pressure
  • Visual inspection of faucets for leaks
  • Visual inspection of toilets and tanks for leaks
  • Check the drain speed in bathtubs and sinks
  • Visual inspection of shower pan
  • Inspect flexible hoses/water supply lines to: Toilets, sinks, washing machine, dishwasher, refrigerator, water heater
  • Drain and sewer line inspection (if accessible)
  • Water heater: Check temperature, inspect venting system, ccheck water and gas connection, inspect drain and pan piping

AC Tune-up (March – April)

  • Inspect condenser coil
  • Clean and clear debris
  • Inspect all electrical connections
  • Adjust the system for optimal cooling
  • Check for refrigerant and oil leaks
  • Check the expansion valve and coil temperatures
  • Check refrigerant levels
  • Check condensation drain
  • Run the cooling cycle
  • Inspect and test the thermostat
  • Inspect all air filters
  • Perform a wash-down of the condenser coil

Although such a service cannot fully guarantee there will be no unexpected problems with your home, it can often find problems before they happen. There is nothing worse than waking up in the middle of the night to rain showers falling onto your bed. Which has happened to me. When the water heater burst about a decade ago in the attic.