No matter where you live, having emergency backup power should be an essential part of your home. Power outages can happen at any time and for a variety of reasons, from simple electrical malfunctions, to bad weather, to natural disasters. A standby generator can keep you and your family comfortable and secure. These generators are an investment, so you’ll want to make sure you choose a unit that fits your household needs.
Five Features to Look for in a Standby Generator:
1. Automatic Shutoff
Don’t underestimate this important safety feature for high capacity standby generators. An automatic shutoff will turn the unit off if it begins to overheat. Similarly, a generator with this switch will automatically turn itself on in the event of a power outage, so you wont have to find a light-source and manually turn on the generator yourself.
2. Type of Enclosure
Standby generators typically sit outside of your house and will need to be made of a sturdy material that can withstand many years of use and harsh weather or environmental damage. Look for brands with an enclosure made out of steel or a corrosion resistant composite material. If sound is a concern, you may be able to build an additional enclosure around your generator unit, but be sure to consult with the installer first about the specifics.
3. Warranty and Delivery
Before purchasing a generator, take a close look at the fine print in the warranty. Most manufactures offer a warranty of 4 or 5 years, so make sure you’re happy with the coverage before purchasing. You also need to factor in the delivery method. Standby generators are very large and heavy units. Be sure to purchase from a qualified dealer that offers delivery, installation, and maintenance services.
4. Generator Capacity
This is the most important feature to consider when purchasing a new generator. First, work out what your home’s total power needs are. Then decide whether you need a backup power source to cover everything, or if a smaller capacity unit will do to keep household essentials on.
Smaller standby generators have a capacity of 20kW, and units up to 50kW are available. Generac, one of the nation’s leading generator manufacturers, offers a handy tool for estimating the amount of capacity required, depending on a home’s size and equipment needs. For instance, the recommendation for a whole house switch for a 2,500ft home is 22kW.
5. Fuel Source
Large capacity standby generators run on either natural gas or propane. Natural gas is the preferred choice and is slightly less expensive. If a gas line isn’t available in your area, however, you can schedule delivery and installation of a propane tank.
If you’re thinking about investing in a standby generator for your home or business, contact A & A GenPro today. Our skilled technicians can help you evaluate your space, and gauge what size and level of generator you need.