If constant electricity is a luxury you can not live without, a home standby generator can provide the security you need for that power. The Tool Report helps clients to best understand the best generators to purchase. There are some questions to ask and answer before you make your selection; however.
Type of fuel will you use?
If your neighborhood is already supplied with natural gas, the answer is pretty easy. Just be sure that the gas pressure supplied to your home is compatible with the pressure required to run your machine. Some generators need more pressure, so the power company will need to provide a separate meter. The next best alternative is liquid propane gas which can be kept in large tanks, has a long lasting shelf life and is usually available when other gases are not.
Another choice is a diesel standby. These are built to last, highly touted and quite expensive. There are even conversion kits that can make your generator a bi-fuel or multi-fuel type; this will allow the use of any of the fuels. A multi-fuel generator could be very useful during an natural disaster when certain gases could be in short supply.
What size do you need?
Most standby generators are big. Portable generators are smaller and cheaper because they are meant to be used for very temporary occasions. The permanence of standbys require more wattage. A home with a 5 ton air conditioning unit usually needs at least 17.5kW. Popular brands include Briggs & Stratton and Generac.
Where are you going to install it?
Some whole house generators come with a mounting pad or need a cement block to be placed upon. This location is always outside and away from the house–typically next to the source of fuel.
How is it connected to the house?
An automatic transfer switch is installed to switch power to the generator when utility power experiences an outage. It turns off the breaker and prevents back-feeding to utility lines which can damage wiring and potentially electrocute utility workers.
Will I need a permit?
Utility companies need to be notified that you have a standby generator. Your homeowner’s association may require notification, as well.
Purchase the largest generator you can possibly afford. The typical normal sized house, not mansion is capable of running along merrily on a 25,000-watt system. If however, you use power intensive appliances continuously or if you have a very large home, large family or just want to ensure you are producing more than enough power you can upgrade to units that are around 45,000 watts, which can more than handle the needs of most families.