A comprehensive guide to choosing and installing a residential generator

residential generators 1-min

A residential or home generator is an essential piece of equipment that will provide you with backup power during a power interruption or blackout. In the US, households commonly experience at least three hours of power interruptions in a year. Blackouts can cause varying inconveniences to the affected households. People watching the thrilling moments of their favourite TV shows would grunt in frustration. People who are working from home and in the middle of an important task or report would curse at the sudden blackout. 

A residential generator is an excellent backup plan when it comes to disruptive situations like these. Here, we will share a comprehensive guide to choosing and installing a residential generator to keep your essential home activities running continuously.

Select between the two generator types

The two main types of generators are portable generators and standby generators. Portable generators are handy and versatile to have at home because you can adjust the placement or location of the generator according to where electrical power is needed most in your home. Portable generators are generally much cheaper than standby generators, and they can even be utilized outside the house. 

The standby generator is more expensive than portable generators but is a smart investment if you have the budget for buying it. While many homeowners would go for a portable generator because it is cheaper, home generator professionals at Platinum Electrical Contractors recommend that you choose a standby generator due to its remarkable features. First, it runs on clean fuel like propane or natural gas, so the emission is cleaner and there is less buildup in its mechanism. Less buildup also means longer utilization and operational lifespan of the device. The standby generator also has a higher power capacity, which is usually enough to support the accumulated load of your household. Best of all, it starts automatically when your main power supply gets cut off. There’s no need for you to pull your portable generator from the garage or shed and plug things in during the outage, making your switch to auxiliary power a convenient experience.

Consider the size and capacity of the generator

You have to factor in the different variables and situations that can happen when you use a generator. Some power interruptions may last several minutes to several hours, and there are also extreme scenarios where outages can last for days or even weeks. When you install a standby residential generator, you have to find a suitable area in your home to install it. It is not recommended that you place a standby generator in a low-lying area that can be reached by floods during heavy rains. The garage, shed, or an area adjacent to your house can be suitable locations for setting up a standby generator. Measure the dimensions of the possible locations you will be placing your standby generator so that you can determine the size during your purchase. The next thing you will need to consider is if you want to power a few essential appliances or your whole home. If it’s the former, you’ll need to list the devices you will need to connect to a backup power source. 

It is also vital to know the number of circuits required by each appliance and how many of them will operate at the same time. Home appliances typically require either one or two circuits, and knowing them can help you determine how many circuits you need to support with your generator. 

You also need to consider the long-term wattage needs of your home. It means accounting for the future wattage needs of your home. It is advisable to select a generator model that can allow you to add additional circuits to future-proof your power needs. A good rule of thumb is to select a generator of average to large size and with a wattage capacity that exceeds the total wattage need of your home. It’s better to have some wattage to spare than fall short as your home’s power needs grow larger.

Have professionals install your standby generator

Installing a standby can be a DIY project if you have sufficient knowledge and information about power and fuel supply requirements for a standby generator. Even if you have enough technical know-how, it is still better to let professionals handle the installation. Professional installers or technicians know how to efficiently connect your standby generator to your existing electrical system, including running the wires. They also have excellent plumbing skills, which is critical in attaching the natural gas supply to the generator and ensuring that the fuel is supplied at the appropriate pressure.

residential generator
residential generator for your home

There are several factors that you need to consider when choosing a residential generator. We covered the basic ones here such as the size, load, number of circuits, and wattage. While price can be a significant influencing factor in your purchase decisions, considering the long-term and future utilization and costs can help you decide to make a wise investment. If you still have concerns or questions about choosing and installing a generator, you can also consult generator professionals or technicians to help you make wise purchase decisions. Make your home outage-proof in years to come by buying the right residential generator now.

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