Whether due to a thunderstorm, hurricane, or winter storm, power outages are a common issue for homeowners all across the world. As a matter of fact, the number of outages have increased within in the last few years, so the possibility of losing your home's power is something you need to prepare for.
Fortunately, a standby generator is an excellent investment. Not only will it help you heat or cool your home and family when you lose power, but it can also power important appliances, such as your refrigerator to ensure your food remains cool and safe. Since it is an investment, you will want to make sure you choose and install the right generator for your home. Here are a few things you need to know when selecting a standby generator.
First and foremost, you need to select the right size generator for your home and specific needs. It is important to remember that in the event of a power outage, you will not need to run every appliance, system, or light in the home. Therefore, only base the power requirements on what electrical elements you actually need during the outage.
You will want to power your refrigerator to maintain cool interior temperatures so your food stays cold and edible. Also, running your heating and cooling system, depending on the current season, is also necessary for staying comfortable. Both the refrigerator and your heating/cooling equipment is essential especially if you will be without power for multiple days.
A small portable generator offers around 3,000 to 4,000 watts of power, which is beneficial for most homeowners. This wattage will power your refrigerator, microwave, sump pump, television, and some lights.
A generator that offers higher wattage is necessary if you need to heat and cool your home in addition to powering the refrigerator, television, and lights. A larger generator that offers 10,000 watts may be better for your home and family's needs.
Another factor you need to consider is what will power your generator. In most cases, standby generators use natural gas, propane, or diesel. Of course, many homeowners opt for traditional gasoline to power their generators because it is easier to access.
One negative to using gasoline is its shelf life. Storing gasoline for long periods of time is not recommended.
If your home has access to natural gas, this is the ideal fuel source for your generator. The generator can be installed directly to the natural gas lines.
Propane and diesel are viable options, but they can become expensive over time, especially if you need to refill the fuel during an extended power outage.
Your generator must be connected to your home's electrical system. Therefore, you should hire a professional contractor who has the knowledge and skill to provide generator electrical services. Not only should you make sure the electrician be licensed, but they should also have experience connecting standby generators.
The location of where the installation will take place is also an important factor to consider. During an outage, you will want to have easy access to the generator, but it should not be located directly inside your home, either, since, it requires fuel.
It is imperative that the generator is installed as close to the transfer switch and fuel supply as possible. Licensed contractors will be able to determine the best location that works for your needs while still staying within the proper codes and building regulations.
A generator is a great investment for your home and family's needs. With these tips, you will learn more about choosing and installing the right standby generator to ensure you are prepared for a power outage.