Standby Generator Buying Guide
Standby Generator Buying Guide
These generators are backup power sources that start automatically after the utility power goes down, ensuring that electricity is restored in residential homes and businesses. When utility power gets interrupted, a transfer switch shifts the electrical load to the standby generator within seconds. Once the power gets back on, the transfer switch returns the electrical load back to the utility power source.
Power outages have steadily increased in the last several years. Indication is the increase in the frequency of electrical outages that some people have experienced recently. Some experts also believe that the aging national power grid leaves us vulnerable. Add to this are the natural disaster and extreme weather changes we’re already experiencing. Ensuring an uninterrupted power supply is therefore crucial, and that could be done with generators.
Types of Generators
Portable generators are usually used in remote sites. You’ll find these machines in construction sites to provide power lights and tools; a standby generator is in a fixed location and is most suited for homes.
If you’re planning to buy a generator for your home, a standby generator would be the best choice for the simple reason that these were built with residential homes in mind. They are:
- Easy to set up
- Dependable and runs for longer periods
- Fixed and weather resilient
- Requires less maintenance
- Most are fully automatic, needing no manual operation
These generators, as its name implies, are mobile and made to be moved from one job site to another. These generators are suitable for remote construction sites where operation of heavy tools is required.
How To Choose
If you’re considering buying one for your home it is important that you know how much power your home requires when the utility power gets cut off.
For example, if you intend to keep your air-conditioning running determine your air-conditioning units BTU (Amps) and Tons (you could find this information on a sticker attached at the back of the unit). A 3 Ton, 36000 BTU air conditioning unit requires at least a 14 kilowatt generator, while a 5-Ton 60000 BTU would need at least a 20 kilowatt generator.
Determine your power requirement. If it’s for your home, begin by knowing what your wattage requirement is. There are websites that could provide you with a wattage calculator. Knowing how much power you need would play a critical part in your decision.
Standby Generators these days come with easy to install prewired packages. However, it is highly recommended that a licensed contractor complete the fuel and electrical connections. Most of the manufacturers of standby generators have partners that they recommend. It would be best to consult your dealer as they most likely have a preferred contractor.
Standby generators are very simple to maintain. Preventive maintenance tools are normally provided. Like all engines, standby generators require cyclic filter and oil change depending on its use.
Generators are designed to be tough but they require to be maintained. Most units need servicing every two years. Usually service and warranty covers this. Always check with your dealer. Review the service and warranty policy that come with your purchase.
Let’s take a look in the following video for how to install generator properly
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