Whether you are a homeowner or a tenant, a generator is an investment that should be considered. However, because generators are not the cheapest items on the market, there’s no doubt you are probably second-guessing if it really will be worth the purchase price. So we have listed five undeniable reasons why you should consider investing in a standby generator for your home.
- Keep The Power On During Blackouts
- Various Options To Choose From
- Avoid Throwing Out Ruined Food
- Prevent Frozen Pipes
- Work From Home Without Power Concerns
- What features matter the most when selecting a home generator?
- Learn about safety concerns with standby generators
- Five safety tips when setting up your standby generator
- Frequently Asked Questions
Keep The Power On During Blackouts
Blackouts are an ongoing problem worldwide, and while some countries are exposed to more blackouts due to lousy weather, others endure rolling blackouts due to a lack of maintenance on power supply systems. Regardless, if you have a standby generator, you won’t ever be left in the dark again as your generator will kick in as soon as the power goes out. To keep your generator reliably throughout the year, you will need a home generator service to help you keep up to date with regular maintenance and care.
Various Options To Choose From
There are many different kinds of home generators on the market, so you can find one that suits your budget and your power needs. Choosing the right generator will depend on a variety of factors, and you will need to calculate your home’s power consumption to decide if you want a generator that will keep your entire home powered or a smaller one that will only keep the essentials on.
Avoid Throwing Out Ruined Food
It can be frustrating to throw out foods that have gone off during the power outage, which can effectively be prevented by investing in a generator. Foods can spoil quite quickly when the refrigerator goes off, and most hacks to keep your foods frozen won’t outlast a lengthy outage, so the most practical solution is to invest in a generator.
Prevent Frozen Pipes
Frozen pipes can burst, and repairs can be quite costly, a problem for most homeowners during the winter. This issue is only made worse by power outages during freezing temperatures, as your pipes can freeze up pretty quickly. Investing in a generator is the best way to avoid a power outage from causing this type of damage to your home.
Work From Home Without Power Concerns
Most of the workforce of the world started to work from home during the initial rolling lockdowns. However, many stayed at home as businesses soon realized cost-savings benefits at the hands of employers and employees alike. With that said, one stress for employees working from home is the concern of power outages. With a standby generator, you won’t ever have to worry about not performing your job responsibilities, as the generator will keep you connected to the internet.
There are tons of reasons to invest in a standby generator for your home. And if the cost of a generator that will power your entire house is a bit out of your price range, you can consider smaller, more affordable generators.
What features matter the most when selecting a home generator?
Power outages can happen at any time, and for many reasons, from fundamental electrical problems to inclement weather and natural disasters. Standby generators are a wise investment to make, but they’re not cheap. It would help if you didn’t rush into buying one but spend some time checking out the models. Here are five features to examine when you want a generator for your household:
1. Automatic Shutoff
The automatic shutoff is an essential safety feature for high-capacity standby generators. It will automatically turn the unit off when it gets too hot. At the same time, a generator with automatic shutoff will turn on automatically in the case of a power outage. As a result, you won’t have to struggle in the dark to turn on the generator.
2. Generator capacity
It’s the most crucial feature to consider when buying a house generator. You need to identify your home’s total power needs. Then, you have to decide if you will need a backup power source for all your appliances or run only the essential ones during the power outage. You can find an online Generator Power Calculator to get an idea about the amount of capacity you need, according to your house’s size and equipment needs. For example, a 22kw generator will be enough for a 2,500sqft home.
3. Type of Enclosure
Standby generators are commonly set up outside the house. Therefore, they must be made of durable materials that handle many years of use, the elements, and environmental damage. Search for a model with an enclosure made out of steel or corrosion-resistant composite material. Generators can get loud, and if the noise level is a concern for you, you can add an enclosure around the generator units. Make sure you take it to a professional before you start building anything.
4. Generator fuel source
Large capacity standby generators use propane or natural gas to run. Even if it’s a tad more expensive than propane, natural gas is the most popular choice amongst homeowners. If you live in an area with no available gas line, you can plan the delivery and installation of a propane tank. Each of the fuels has ups and downs, so you should learn the details before deciding.
5. Warranty and Delivery
We recommend you check out the fine print in the warranty before you buy a house generator. Most manufacturers provide you with a 4 to 5-years warranty and you should decide if that’s fine for you. Learn about the delivery method. Since standby generators are large and heavy units, you need to ensure that yours is delivered safely and sound. Always buy from a qualified generator dealer that manages everything from delivery and installation to generator maintenance and servicing.
Learn about safety concerns with standby generators
Typically, standby generators are safe, but they’re still complex equipment that runs and produces electricity. Four main safety issues are connected with standby generators. Keep reading for the details.
Every time you handle equipment that generates electricity, there’s a risk of electric shock. Standby generators are made with weatherproof housing to operate outside safely. However, you still need to be cautious and protect it when it’s raining.
The essential safety issue when using a generator, regardless of its type, is carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide is a toxic gas that has no color or smell. Any time gas is burned, carbon monoxide is also generated. Breathing in carbon monoxide is dangerous and can be lethal. Additionally, carbon monoxide is highly flammable and can cause an explosion.
Similar to electric shock, fire is another safety concern with electricity. Carbon monoxide that the natural gas supply generates can cause a fire.
Overloading the unit is one problem that you shouldn’t overlook. Overloading happens when you exceed the load capacity of your unit. It can fry the generator, the appliances, and the equipment that is plugged in. Read the owner’s manual to learn about the load capacity of your generator.
Five safety tips when setting up your standby generator
Even if installing the generator sounds straightforward, you will need to do a lot more than plugging it in. Safety comes first, so we recommend you hire a professional for the safest installation. If you want to do it yourself, please follow our safety recommendations:
1. Read the owner’s manual
Always take time and go over the owner’s manual. Pay attention to the operation directions, voltage warnings, and instructions for use.
Always set up the standby generator outside your house on a concrete pad. Never run the generator, portable or standby, inside the house. Place the generator at least 5ft away from windows, doors, and vents. The carbon monoxide and fumes could get inside otherwise.
3. Size it properly
Your generator should be large enough to power your house without overloading the system. Always verify the power needs for your essential appliances, devices, and equipment. Don’t forget to add the wattage of the lights you want to use. Your unit should generate more than the minimum amps you need. It’s because generators need a lot of power when they are turned on, which is why you should have some extra amps.
4. Power cords
See that the power cords that go into/come out of the generator don’t sit on the ground. On a rainy day, they will stand in the water and will be ruined.
If you have natural gas, you should connect the generator to the gas line or have a unit that runs on propane. A unit that is easy to connect to the natural gas line is ideal, as you won’t have to switch out the propane tanks.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much is a standby generator for the home?
Expect to pay anything between $1,000 and $6,000 for a whole house generator. Some models can be as pricey as $10,000, but you will be able to find a reliable unit for a lot less. Needless to say, the more you play, the more durable and highly performant the generator will be.
What’s the life span for a house generator?
As long as you keep up with maintenance and necessary repairs, you may use a generator for 20-40 years. How often you use it and how well you maintain the unit affect the durability.
How long should you run a generator continuously?
Most reputable manufacturers recommend that you run the generator for more than 500 hours at a time or for 21 days. You have to check out the oil and coolant levels during the running period and allow the generator to cool down.
Do generators need maintenance?
Routine maintenance keeps the standby generator reliable. All units require regular oil and filter changes so that they provide the best performance for decades. Get a maintenance kit to use if for your generator. Read the owner’s manual for routine maintenance and schedules.
Can anyone install a generator?
Reputed manufacturers provide clients with prepacked and prewired systems with complete installation guides. You can prepare the site and call the professionals only for the electrical panel and fuel connections, or install the generator yourself. Due to safety reasons and the necessity to follow all local, state, and national electrical codes, we recommend hiring an authorized dealer/licensed electrician.