What To Consider When Buying A Home Standby Generator​

It happens every year.  A big storm comes through your town and sure enough, your power goes out. The city's electrical grid has failed once again and you are left without electricity. Whether you own a commercial property or residential property, nobody wants to have their daily life interrupted by an unexpected power outage or insufficient power supply. In some areas, generators are the only viable power source. These homes are considered off the grid and can supply the same amount of power as if you were plugged into the grid.  Your life can come to a standstill if a power outage occurs unexpectedly. Your phones and tablets will all eventually run out of battery, and the refrigerator, air conditioner, water heater, and all other appliances will stop working.  Since we are in the midst of summer, many homeowners are on the lookout for a reliable and affordable power source alternative so they are prepared for emergencies. Next are some key factors to consider while searching for a home standby generator  What Type Of Generator Do I need? There are many factors to think about when choosing a generator but none greater than the type. Some of these influences are the amount of power it generates, the ease of use, and cost. Generators also differ based on the type of fuel they require.  Portable generators are lightweight and easy to transport. Usually, they run off gasoline and produce a minimal amount of power given their extremely compact design. This is the perfect solution if you only need to power a few lights, charge a few devices, or if you need a portable source of power.  Inverter generators produce the cleanest energy of the three and are the quietest. The power is generated from converting AC current into DC current cyclically. The conversion process is what powers your home or business property.   Standby generators run on gasoline or propane. Most are equipped with a sensor that will detect when the power goes out and start supplying your property with power automatically. No need to pull a ripcord, refuel, or even press a button. Finding the Perfect Home Standby Generator Finding the best standby generator is way simpler than you think and it is a great investment.  SafetyFirst of all, a standby home generator is safe. You don’t have to worry about getting gasoline or messing around with power cords. Having a standby generator installed reduces the risk of fire, carbon poisoning, and the chances of an electrical shock. It also ensures that security systems, temperatures, perishables, and medical devices all can be maintained. Peace of MindSecond, it is extremely convenient and gives you the peace of mind knowing that power is automatically restored to your entire house. You can easily continue with your day with no interruptions like nothing ever happened.  Great ValueLastly, A standby generator is an investment that pays for itself every time the power goes out while simultaneously increasing the resale value of your home. It also delivers the cleanest power possible for sensitive electronics found in today's homes. How to choose the best home standby generator Choose a Fuel Source The first thing you are going to need to do is to identify the fuel type that would make the most sense for your property.  Standby generators up to 22kW will usually be either liquid propane or natural gas. If you are looking for a generator that runs on diesel, you will need to upgrade to a liquid-cooled whole-house type that would be costly.  Before the installation of your generator, a contractor will verify this with you, but you can find this information for your reference on the Generac website and our product pages on our website.  How Much Power Do I Need? After you know what fuel source your generator will run on, the next step is to find out how much power you will need during an outage and whether or not you want to only back up crucial appliances such as refrigerators and air conditioners, or power the entire house.  Larger generators are rated by the kilowatt (kW), which measures the generator's electrical power output. The best way to determine how much power your home needs depends on if you want to power your HVAC equipment or your central air conditioner during a power outage.  During the summer a blackout could happen amid a heatwave and could make life miserable and a deep freeze could happen in the middle of winter that could crash your holiday plans and leave your pipes susceptible to bursting.  If you do plan to run your central air conditioning, you will need a generator that can handle it.  So how do you know what size you need? It is not as complicated as you think. Just take a look at the air conditioning unit’s data plate which is located directly on the air conditioning unit itself. This will tell you the size of the generator either in tons or BTUs. Remember that there are 12,000 BTUs for each ton of capacity and 3.517 Kilowatts of energy.   Choosing A Transfer Switch Just like your porch light that needs a switch to turn it on, your generator will need one too.  An automatic transfer switch will allow your generator to automatically turn on the moment a power failure is detected. It does this by constantly monitoring the utility power and after an outage, it starts the engine and disconnects power coming from the line and sends energy to your home through the generator power.  Having the correct switch is just as important as choosing the right generator as they work as a team to restore the power lost. To know which will work best for you, you will need to know the amperage of your electrical service panel. You can see this by locating the main breaker in your electrical panel.  The average-sized house has a 200-amp main breaker, so the maximum amount of electricity your home can consume is 200 amps. Smaller, older homes may have 100 to 150-amp service. It's extremely important to get the same amp switch as your home's panel.   You Control The PowerRecently, several manufacturers are now adding Wi-Fi capabilities to their home standby generators. If you already have a home standby generator that doesn’t have Wi-Fi built-in. You can easily have a wireless monitor installed without having to buy a whole new unit.  You now have everything you need to get started choosing a standby home generator. Don’t wait until the last minute before a storm to install one. It takes time to acquire the necessary zoning permissions, professionally plan and install so depending on it being complete in a few days may not be a reality. Times may be even more backlogged for installers due to the expectations for extreme weather situations.  To make it easy, Oakwood Electric & Generator offers professional home standby generator installation in Westmont, Il, and surrounding Chicago suburbs.  Plan and protect your home against every kind of power outage. You will never have to worry about the power going out again!  Check out our selection of Generac Home Standby Generators. ​

The Illinois Electric Vehicle Rebate: Get $4,000 Back on Your New Electric Car​

Are you looking to purchase a new electric vehicle in Illinois? If so, you're in luck! Thanks to the Illinois Electric Vehicle Rebate, you can get up to $4,000 back on your purchase. Not only can you take advantage of federal electric vehicle rebates and tax credits, but you can also take advantage of the Illinois tax rebate. If you purchase an all-electric car from an Illinois-licensed dealer, you can apply for the rebate during an open rebate cycle within 90 days of purchase. Get the details and access the application on the Illinois EPA website. ​What is the Illinois Tax Electric Vehicle Rebate? The Illinois Tax Electric Vehicle Rebate is a program created to help residents of Illinois purchase new or used all-electric vehicles. This rebate provides up to $4,000 for the purchase of an all-electric vehicle that is not an electric motorcycle, and $1,500 for the purchase of an all-electric motorcycle. To be eligible for the rebate, purchasers must apply for the rebate during an open rebate cycle and within 90 days of vehicle purchase. Applications are available on the Illinois EPA website.  What do I need to do to apply for the rebate?  Illinois residents who purchase an all-electric car from an Illinois licensed dealer can take advantage of the $4000 Illinois Electric Vehicle Rebate. To apply for the rebate, applicants must submit a completed application form within 90 days of vehicle purchase. Along with the application form, applicants must submit FOUR types of documentation as listed in Section 4 on the second page of the form: a copy of the bill of sale, purchase invoice, or purchase agreement from an Illinois dealership; documentation of proof of purchase such as a copy of a canceled check, invoice or bill showing that the applicable amount has been paid or that no remaining balance exists, or loan documents; a copy of the Illinois vehicle registration or temporary permit provided by the dealership at the time of sale/delivery; and an IRS W-9 or W-8 form (substitutions for these forms using other government documents or financial statements are not acceptable). Applicants are asked to only submit the requested forms and documentation and not include other items not needed to process the application such as those related to warranty coverage, insurance, vehicle title, power of attorney, and similar. If all requirements are met, the applicant will receive the Illinois Tax Credit for Electric Vehicle. When can I apply for the rebate?  The Illinois Electric Vehicle rebate is available on a rolling basis, but the application period is currently closed. Rebates from round 2 will be issued to eligible applicants based on funding availability. Low-income applicants are given priority in rebate disbursement. If funds are still available, rebates will be issued based on the date received by the Illinois EPA. Residents who purchase an all-electric car from an Illinois licensed dealer can apply for the Illinois Tax Credit for Electric Vehicles within 90 days of the vehicle purchase. Applications are available on the Illinois EPA website.   

Cold Weather Generator Reset

Sometimes in extreme cold, you might notice the red light on your Generac Generator – DON’T PANIC! Winter temperatures can cause your battery to freeze up. Instead of calling in one of our technicians, you have the opportunity to resolve the situation yourself. Just follow these steps and/or watch our YouTube video below to see just what to do.  Locate the key to your generator (see above for an example of what key looks like) Unlock both locks on either side of the generator, you will need to push down (relieving pressure) on the lid to get locks to turn Control pad will have a message as to why the generator is on a red light (RPM Sense Loss, etc) Press the black switch above message screen to OFF Press ESCAPE, then ENTER, this will change screen to read SWITCHED TO OFF Press the black switch to MANUAL and generator motor should start up Press black switch back to AUTO  If all has gone well, your generator has been reset – the green light will be on and the message reads READY TO RUN  For a video reference to these steps, SEE THIS. 

Home Electric DIY Failure And Acts Of God 

Are you a DIY addict? Do you find yourself watching all of those home improvement shows and thinking, “I can do that!” Buying home improvement services that you can easily do is so last year and you can pretty much DIY any project. As the old saying goes, "Is the juice worth the squeeze?" Service specialists are out there for a reason and doing it yourself could end up costing you more time, money and effort than just going to the expert in the first place. Today, we are answering the question, "Is it better to call an expert or try to DIY a project?"If you  Well, if all home improvement projects were that simple, then why do they have experts hosting the shows? Hopefully, your projects have turned out well, or even better than expected, but if they haven’t and if you find yourself in a pickle, give Oakwood Electric & Generator a call. Take note of how many DIY projects you see online, there are so many! From projects that are simple enough to do with your kids to larger more complicated projects for your home or property; it feels as if you have an issue there is a DIY video or blog for that. Some better than others but taking on any DIY project requires patience, due diligence, and excitement for learning a new skill but accepting failure should also be part of your mindset but knowing a job well done can be extremely cost-effective.   Here is a couple of home electrical DIY fails that we found that homeowners should take note of next time they are thinking of committing to a home electric project. 

How To Reset A GFCI Outlet​

The term GFCI stands for Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter meaning that your outlet protects you from electrical surges that would try to use you as a grounding rod (essentially, electrocution). It senses when there is too much current coming out of the circuit and shuts it down before the levels become dangerous. Usually, when an outlet goes out, the solution is simple and you can save costs by fixing it yourself. Here you can find how to troubleshoot a dead outlet and where to look when the simple solutions don't work. Your GFCI outlets are a safety feature most homes have today and is required by law to have GFCI outlets installed in all new homes. So not finding the solution can result in compromising your home's safety. How Do I Locate A Tripped GFCI Outlet? To find the GFCI outlet that was tripped, locate any outlets that have one of the small buttons popped out. Most GFCI outlets have all the buttons exposed on the front of the outlet so they shouldn't be too hard to find. How Do I Reset A GFCI Outlet? As soon as you find the outlets with the tripped GFCI, it is simple to reset, you just press the reset button on the outlet (as seen above). It may seem like a simple procedure, but there are many people out there that don’t know the point of those buttons on their outlets.  If you cannot locate the tripped outlet, you can call an electrician and they will be able to locate it fast and easy but can be costly and slightly unnecessary. Taking the time to find the tripped outlet can save you a ton of time and money. If you need any help feel free to reach out to us here and one of our professional electricians will be happy to help you out. 


Expert Electrician Tips For Homeowners & Businesses​

Expert Electrician Tips For Homeowners & Businesses​

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237 North Cass Avenue  |  Westmont, Illinois 60559  | beckyandrob@oakwoodelectric.com

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