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What You Need to Know About a Backup Generator

Most of the time, we can’t predict when an emergency is going to happen. But, what you can do in the event of one is to be prepared. We all have had experiences with power outages in our homes, and we know the inconveniences that come with it. But there is an easy way to put these worries to rest; by simply investing in a home generator. Don’t wait for the summer storms and hurricane season to make a rushed purchase, buy one now and take the time to know what your home needs. 

Here, we will go over the basics of what you need to know before buying your home a backup generator. If you have any additional questions or are still unsure which generator is the right fit for you, call us to have one of our experts make a recommendation for you.

What is a Backup Generator?

A backup generator is essentially another source of power for your home in the event of a power outage. There are two main types of backup generators that people use, which are portable and standby generators. Depending on your home’s needs, you can choose to protect and power your whole house, or just certain parts of it. 

Standby Generators vs Portable Generators

Standby generators automatically power your home in the event of a power outage.  They require professional installation and are typically installed to your home’s natural gas or propane lines to provide power for as long as you need. Portable generators run on gasoline or liquid propane. We tend to prefer Standby generators because Portable ones tend to produce less power, need to be manually connected to the circuit-breaker panel and manually turned on, and are just overall noisier.

Why Do I Need to Properly Size my Generator?

Just like you buy the right size clothes to wear, you need to make sure the size of your generator is fit to your home to get its proper use and not cause any damage to your home. 

If your generator is too small for your home, then it will not provide the adequate power supply you might need. What can happen is a capacity overload, where the generator is working hard to keep up with the needs of your home, and it essentially gives out from being overworked. Not only would you have wasted your money in buying this and buying a replacement for it, but it also can become a safety hazard, as it can increase fire risks. 

If your generator is not correctly sized, as in it is too small for your home, it can also potentially damage your devices. If there is not enough power to supply your appliances and or devices, what can happen is that your appliances can receive an uneven amount of electricity which can damage your circuits, breaking your appliances and devices. 

Getting a generator that provides slightly more power and electricity than you and your home need, will ensure you are getting the best use out of your generator.

How to make sure you get the right size generator for your home 

1. Determine your wants and needs

The first thing you need to evaluate when buying a generator is what you want to be powered in the event that your power would go out. You can choose to have everything backed up, but just know that it will be the biggest, most expensive option. However, you can choose to have just a few important things to stay on. For example, if the power is out and you are worried about the food in your fridge spoiling, you can make sure your refrigerator is backed up. Also, if it’s a hot summer day, or a cold winter night,  and doesn’t like the idea of being stuck in an unairconditioned or a non-heated home, have your generator support your Air and Heating system.

2. Determine Your Power requirements

After you make a list of what you want to be powered in your home, the next step is to see how much electricity each thing will require. To determine this, there is a simple calculation you can do to see the overall power need. 

Watt Requirement x Planned Time to Run = Overall Power Needed 

When you start to add up all of the power for your appliances and such, you might see that it might be a more cost-effective method to go ahead and install a whole house generator, which certainly might be the right fit. But, if you only require a few things to be protected in the case of a power outage, you will then need to convert the units of power measurement, if necessary. 

Link to power calculator: 

3. Convert any units of Measurement (optional)

Most generators are rated using Watts or Kilowatts. Appliances can use these as well, but can also use amps, volt-amperes, or amperes. We have left a simple conversion table to do any math you may need.

4. Choose your Home Generator

After you pick out the type of generator you want, Standby or Portable, you then evaluate your wants and needs. After you determine what you want to protect and power, you add up your energy requirements to see how big of a generator you need. After you find this number, add anywhere from 10-20% more power than you need in case you choose to add more to protect in the future. 

Home backup generators are becoming an increasingly popular item for all homes to have in case of emergencies. Have your home and family ready for anything life may throw at you, and have us install a home generator for you today. If you have any remaining questions regarding your home generator or are inquiring about more information about them before making your purchase, we would be more than happy to answer any of your questions for you. 


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