Consider This Before Installing A Whole House Generator
Storms and floods can cause damage on electrical grids, plunging your home into darkness for hours, days, or perhaps weeks. Numerous house owners purchase little portable generators to supply backup power in the event of a power outage, but these only provide a minimal supply of electrical power and need regular oversight to keep sustained and running. An ideal emergency generator for your house will supply adequate power to run home heating and air-conditioning systems, offering you with a comfortable environment and protecting your house from damage from mold or frozen pipelines. And it will be ready to perform at a minute’s notice, with no requirement for you to place the generator and run electrical cords to provide power for important home appliances.
That’s why an increasing number of property owners are emergency-proofing their homes by installing a whole-house generator. Unlike a portable generator, a whole-house generator is completely wired into your house and switches on instantly when the power goes out. Standby generators are connected to either natural gas lines or big fuel tanks, so they’ll have enough fuel to get you through an extensive power failure.
Seem like a good idea?
If you’re considering a standby generator, take a minute to think about these important points before you take the plunge. You’ll have a better concept of what’s involved in installing a standby generator, and you’ll have the ability to select a generator that makes good sense for your home.
At the top of the list of crucial factors to consider is generator capability. Generators are ranked by the number of watts they produce. A thousand watts is called a kilowatt (kW), so a 10kW generator can produce 10,000 watts of power. The more devices you wish to power, the bigger (and more pricey) the generator you’ll require. A normal portable generator might produce 2kW to 4kW, whereas a 20kW score is quite typical for a whole-house generator developed to power your entire home. If you’re only worried about keeping a couple of lights on and powering your fridge and freezer, you can manage with a reasonably little generator, maybe in the 5-10kW range. Furnaces and cooling systems need a lot more power– for a medium-size house you’ll most likely need a generator in the 20-22kW range.
A quick search on the internet will rustle up a variety of calculators to help you figure out how big a generator you need. Or call a professional who sets up standby generators. They’ll have the experience and proficiency to help you pick a generator that’s right for your requirements.
Your generator won’t do you any good if it does not have fuel. In the event of a natural catastrophe, fuel sources might be restricted or unavailable, so you’ll require an adequate quantity of fuel to last for an extended time period. Of the four fuels that are mainly utilized for generators– gas, diesel, LP gas, and natural gas– we can rule out the first one instantly. While gas is the most typical fuel for portable generators, it’s a poor option for whole-house generators. Gas is highly unpredictable, making storage hard, and it weakens over time, so the jerry cans you stowed away in the shed will be worthless after a year or more. Let’s take a look at the other alternatives.
- Natural Gas
What’s not to like about natural gas? It burns easily, and gas products are seldom impacted by natural catastrophes. With a natural gas-powered standby generator you’ll be ready to keep the power streaming through nearly any situations. Natural gas tops our scores, followed closely by LP gas, with diesel running a far-off 3rd.
Diesel has some appealing qualities as a fuel. It’s steady and less volatile than gasoline and it’s high in energy material, so diesel motors are generally quite efficient. For a standby generator, you’ll need to set up an external tank to hold your fuel if you desire more than a day’s supply. The benefits of diesel make it a popular choice for schools, health centers, or organizations, however it is less common for house applications. It’s worth thinking about if you do not have access to natural gas or practical LP gas delivery.
- LP Gas (Propane)
Clean-burning LP gas is safe and easy to keep. House storage tanks vary in size from 100 to 1000 gallons, and a lot of locations have local dealers who can set you up with a tank and deliveries in a jiffy. While propane doesn’t have quite the energy content of diesel, it’s an outstanding fuel for a standby generator, since you can easily have a big, stable supply of fuel on hand.
Attempt to DIY?
If you’re a devoted do-it-yourselfer you may entertain concepts of saving money by installing a whole-house generator yourself. After all, there’s always YouTube to help. However before you start, think about all the elements that are involved in setting up a standby generator.
- Electrical connections— Standby generators utilize an automatic transfer switch that finds a power failure and begins the generator. Depending on your configuration, the switch may then transfer control of your power to a different breaker panel that will send electrical energy to only the circuits you have actually picked to have actually powered.
- Plumbing connections— If you’re utilizing natural gas or LP gas to power your generator you’ll require to connect the gas line or propane tank to the generator. And you’ll need to be sure you have the proper valves to manage the type of gas you’re using.
- Permits/HOA restrictions— Depending on your locality you may be required to get a building license for the installation. Inspections may be needed. Consider any constraints that your homeowner’s association (HOA) might have in location.
- Location Optimization— Your generator will have particular manufacturer’s guidelines for proximity to your house, and you’ll require to think about how close the system’s exhaust is to windows or other entries to your house.
That’s a lot to deal with if you’re doing the job yourself. And the results of doing the job incorrectly could be disastrous, with the potential of unexpected electrocution, gas leakages, and carbon monoxide poisoning topping the list.
Your best bet? Hire an expert to do the job. South End Electric has the background and understanding to ensure a safe and smooth installation. In addition, our professionals that focus on whole-house generator sales and installation can help you in choosing the generator that finest matches your needs. Call us direct at 704-368-4694