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.
First 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 Mind
Second, 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.
Lastly, 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 Power
Recently, 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.
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