If you’re investing in a whole house generator, you’re going to want to make sure you get your money’s worth! Here’s what your standby generator should do for you.
We all hope for the best when it comes to home ownership, but the fact of the matter is that life does not always run according to our best-laid plans. Big storms, downed power lines, and natural disasters can cause electrical outages. Of course, hardworking electrical technicians are always on the job to get things back up and running if disaster strikes. But in the meantime, you need to keep your refrigerators running and your lights on! A whole house generator (a.k.a standby generator) is a wise investment in emergency preparedness. However, making the purchase can be a little trickier. What should a generator for house usage do? What can you expect? How much wattage will you need? How much should you pay?
These are all crucial questions for making an informed and researched decision. Before you buy a whole house generator, read on to learn exactly what to expect from it — and what you need to know about safe installation and use.
What Is A Whole House Generator?
If you’re unfamiliar with generators, you may be wondering, “What type of generator should I buy for my house?” That’s a smart starting question, because they vary greatly when it comes to efficiency, price, output, size, and noise! Although there are a variety of different subtypes, the two most basic types of generators are: portable generators, and standby generators for house use. Check out this article to learn more about the different types of generators, as well as the questions you should ask before buying one). Here are the key components of a whole house generator:
Standby Generator Permanent Installation
A standby generator is installed permanently on your property. This should be handled by a professional, because there are many safety considerations to navigate. Your installation technician will help you determine the best place for your generator, and ensure that any required permits are handled. Unlike a portable generator, you cannot pack up a whole house generator and take it with you on your camping trip — but luckily, portable generators are comparably inexpensive, so you may choose to invest in both types.
Standby Generator Auto-Start Feature
This is one of the key differences between a standby and portable generator: When the power goes out, your home generator will kick on immediately. This can happen almost seamlessly, which means you won’t have to deal with a long wait time before the lights come back on (and the fridge starts running again). This can provide great peace of mind for those who travel often because, yes, the generator will start and stop on its own. This is commonly referred to as an “automatic transfer switch.” It’s also a sigh of relief for those who feel nervous about using a generator safely.
Standby Generator High Wattage & Energy Output
Although you can buy surprisingly powerful portable generators, if it’s mega-watts you want, it’s a whole house generator you need. Within this category of generator, you can choose the number of circuits covered. To explain this concept further: If you know you only want to maintain your HVAC systems, refrigerator, and key lights, you could choose a standby generator with “essential circuit coverage.” This will cost less, but won’t help you access that important football game.
Whole house generator coverage means that everything kicks back on and stays on in times of emergency. While this is the most costly option for installation and usage, it can provide immense peace of mind. (And of course, the hope is that you won’t have to use it very often!)
What A Whole House Generator Does NOT Do
You may be thinking, “Hmm, can I run my home’s regular energy use with a standby generator?” The answer is no. A generator is not a replacement for regular energy utility, no matter how efficient or large it is. Besides: You wouldn’t want to make the switch from your utility company to full-time generator usage… unless you like rapidly wasting large amounts of money, that is.
There’s no doubt about it: A standby generator is the linchpin in your family’s disaster preparedness plan. Once you’ve made the choice between portable and a generator for house use there are many other considerations to noodle over. Here at Blanton’s, we’re passionate about the topic. Reach out with all of your generator questions (or any other home heating, cooling, and plumbing needs), and we’ll help you make the right decision for your current and future comfort.Contact Blanton’s Air at (910) 249-4898 for all your Fayetteville or Raleigh, NC HVAC and plumbing needs.