How To Select A Generator For Your Home
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If you’ve been observant during the last several years, then you know that no matter where you live in the United States, your home is vulnerable to power outages. Also, as you know, a wide range of events can cause a power outage. Such events include severe weather such as hurricanes, severe storms, tornadoes, floods, very high or very low temperatures; catastrophic events such as earthquakes; revolving blackouts initiated by power companies for various reasons; and accidental outages caused by an animal, an event, or human error.
To assure that you and your family are safe and comfortable during such blackouts, you may want to consider the purchase of a generator.
Before Starting Your Search For A Generator
If you decide to acquire a generator, then there are some things you need to do prior to shopping. You first need to determine the size of the generator you need. APElectric has a generator-sizing calculator on its website. The calculator helps you determine the total amount of wattage that a new generator needs to handle. The calculator lists all the major powered appliances in your home and requests you to provide the running wattage and the start up wattage each appliance requires to operate properly.
The information on each appliance that you need is provided by that appliance’s owner’s manual. Refer to the appliance owner’s manual as you fill out the blanks on the APElectric generator-sizing calculator. Once the wattage requirements are supplied for each individual powered appliance, the calculator adds up the numbers and provides you with an answer as to how much wattage your new generator needs to handle.
Types Of Standby Generators
There are a variety of standby generators available. Each is designed to provide a particular amount of power for a particular number of appliances.
These generators include:
- Select-Circuit Home Generators
- Managed Whole-House Power Generators
- Whole-House Generators
Select-Circuit Home Generators
Designed to provide power for essential appliances, this style of generator is cost-effective and will power you home’s basic appliances. They will power as many as 10 electrical loads including a refrigerator, some lights, a television and a microwave.
Managed Whole-House Power Generators
These generators offer more power in a smaller footprint and are affordable. They are equipped with smart power management systems and are capable of powering all of your home’s electrical appliances.
These generators are designed and constructed to offer maximum backup power. They are considered to be ideal for very large homes as well as luxury homes.
Propane Vs. Natural Gas
Propane and natural gas are used to fuel the generators. The advantage of natural gas is that it can provide fuel so that your generator will run for weeks. Many generators have the ability to tap into the natural gas lines that provide fuel to you home appliances. It is not uncommon for natural gas services to continue through an electrical blackout.
On the other hand, the size of the fuel tank that is included with the generator determines how long a propane generator will run. You can enhance the time be including a larger size tank when you purchase your propane generator.
How Frequently Do You Experience A Power Outage?
If you live in Florida, the gulf-states and other adjoining states where hurricanes occur often, in the Midwest where tornadoes and severe snowstorms and thunderstorms occur, or in other parts of the country where there are severe storms or extreme temperatures, then you should consider a home standby, a large inverter, or a portable generator. These generators have enough power to run your entire home’s circuit breaker panel and allow you to run appliances that are hardwired into the home’s electrical system. This includes central heat and air conditioning, well and sump pumps, electric ranges and water heaters. You will need a transfer switch to hook the generator to the circuit breaker box.
If you live in a region where there are infrequent yet continuous blackouts and you don’t want to spend a lot of money, then you may want to consider a large inverter or portable generator. However, you will have to store these types of generators in the garage and pull them out and connect them during the outage. You may also need a transfer switch in this situation.
If you rarely experience a power outage, but want peace of mind, then you could consider a midsized inverter or recreational inverter generator. These generators have enough power to operate a refrigerator a window air conditioner unit or space heater.
APElectric carries a large assortment of standalone generators that are manufactured by some of the most iconic brands in the industry. Our inventory includes generators from Cummins, Westinghouse, Kohler, Briggs & Stratton, Generac, Firman, and Guardian.