Nobody likes to lose power during a windstorm or other severe weather. That’s why there are standby backup generators. Find out how one of these could help you.
We’ve all been there. A huge storm hits, and you end up throwing out ruined fridge food and tripping around lighting candles. You swear that next time you’ll invest in a standby backup generator to save the day.
After all, even an emergency portable generator can be a hassle. While it can help power a refrigerator and some lights, there’s still a lot of effort involved with it.
Next time make sure you’re not caught in the dark and get yourself a standby backup generator. Keep reading to learn more.
What Is a Standby Backup Generator?
A permanently installed Generac generator means you don’t have to lift a finger, as it protects your home or business automatically. Generators run on natural gas, liquid propane, or diesel as a fuel source, and are placed outside a home or business like a central air conditioning unit. It sends power to your home or business electrical system, either protecting your entire electrical system or the most important items, depending on your choice.
Generac home or business standby generators come standard with WIFI enabled link, enabling you and your Generac Authorized dealer to monitor your generators status on a phone, tablet, or computer from anywhere in the world. Dealer monitored subscriptions give added peace of mind, knowing they are monitoring your generator status and are able to respond immediately at the first sign of an issue.
Why Purchase a Standby Backup Generator?
There are many advantages to purchasing a standby backup generator for home or business power, and it’s easier than you think.
First, a standby generator is safe and prevents you from messing around with gasoline and power cords. This means there’s a reduced risk of fire, carbon monoxide poisoning, and electrical shock.
Additionally, a standby generator helps maintain security systems, sump pumps, well pumps, safe indoor temperatures, food freshness, and more while you’re home or away. This offers great convenience and peace of mind when you leave your home or business unoccupied. If a windstorm is to occur while you’re away, power is automatically restored to critical systems, including A/C, the fridge and freeze, or the entire home or business.
Standby generators range from $4,000-$19,000 or more, and installation fees can range from a few thousand dollars to $5,000 or more.
However, a standby generator is an excellent investment that pays for itself every time the power goes out. It also increases your property’s resale value, delivering the cleanest power available for sensitive electronics in today’s homes and businesses.
Home standby generators are generally worry-free, too. They’re usually sized to power a whole house if an outage occurs and they start automatically. They can power the house for days or even weeks without refueling, they’re quiet rather than noisy, and their weatherproof design means you don’t need to mess around with weather covers.
How Do I Choose the Right Standby Backup Generator?
The first step in choosing the optimal generator for your home or business begins with identifying what fuel source you will use.
Air-cooled home standby generators up to 24kW usually operate on natural gas (NG) or liquid propane (LP), whichever is available. If you’re seeking a generator that runs on diesel, that too is an option. Diesel generators are liquid-cooled and have proven to have greater life expectancy, they also run more efficiently and burn less fuel. However, diesel generators typically cost a bit more.
Both LP and diesel generators require fuel tanks with ample fuel supply to power the generator for an extended power outage. Typically, >200 gallons of propane or 95 gallons of diesel fuel are recommended. Additionally, when dealing with gas pressure the natural gas meter and gas lines must be the right size. Before installation, your contractor will review this with you, but you can usually find this information in the generator spec sheets or installation manual.
When choosing a standby backup generator, you’ll also need to understand how much electrical power you’ll require during a utility outage. To do this you’ll need to decide which essential systems and devices you want on standby backup power: refrigerators, freezers, heat and air conditioning, water heater, sump pump, well pump, cooktop and oven, washer and dryer, lighting, and. It’s hard to pick and choose all of the correct electrical circuits without missing some key circuits. Most often customers opt to have the whole house on standby backup power, this decision not only saves a headache but provides more satisfaction when power is lost.
Home standby generators are rated by kilowatts (kW), one kilowatt equals 1,000 watts. A generator certified electrician can measure the homes electrical power requirements by performing a load calculation. The load calculation translates into the optimal generator size (kW).
During the hot summer months, a boiling blackout could make life without air conditioning difficult, and an icy storm without heat during the cold winter months could ruin your Christmas plans. Plus, freezing temperatures make your pipes more likely to burst.
If you want to run your HVAC system, you must choose a generator that is powerful enough to handle it. Fortunately, it is easy to tell what size you need. Look at the air conditioning device’s data plate, and it will tell you it’s tonnage. The tonnage is found in the model number and is the only number divisible by 12.
What’s Involved in Installing a Standby Backup Generator?
Having your standby backup generator installed is an exciting time. Leave the heavy lifting to your factory trained and certified installer. Pre-installation, the installer will coordinate with local utilities, plumbing, and county or city permitting. During installation, the generator will be set in the optimal or most cost-effective location, leveled, and wired into the transfer switch which has been wired into the electrical system. A licensed plumber will run the NG or LP fuel line from the fuel source to the generator with the correct amount of pressure.
Post installation your installer will ensure that the backup generator runs efficiently and effectively under the load of the home ensuring you that you are ready for your next power outage. Permitting will be closed out and a 3rd party inspection agency will inspect the electrical work, ensuring all work meets the current National Electrical Code (NEC).
It is important to maintain communication with your installer to ensure proper maintenance.
Are You Ready to Invest in a Standby Backup Generator?
Now that you know how to choose the optimal standby backup generator, you can confidently protect your home with peace of mind. Do not wait until the last minute before a storm rolls in. Remember, it takes plenty of time and patience to receive the required zoning permissions and professional installation. Plus, during extreme weather, installers may be significantly backlogged.
If you are interested in having a Generac standby backup generator installed in the Delaware and Maryland areas, we’re here to help. We offer professional generator installation, so your home remains protected next time there’s a big storm. Learn more here.
Imagine how relieved you’ll feel knowing your home is protected against all types of power outages.