If your home has ever been without power due to an external factor, you surely know the discomfort and inconvenience that goes along with it. When storms, brown-outs, or other disruptions in your power supply strike, having a generator on standby can be a lifesaver. Home back up power generators are a great way to make sure you stay comfortable and safe in the event of a power outage. They can be pricey and confusing, though, so finding the right one for your home can be tricky. We’ll take a look at some of the best generators on the market, so you can make sure your home always has the essential power it needs!
Different factors, such as your home’s size, budget and type of fuel source should all be taken into consideration when selecting a generator for home backup power. Some popular models include the Honda EU2200i, Generac GP8000E and Westinghouse WH7500E.
Benefits of Home Backup Power Generators
In an increasingly power-dependent world, a home backup power generator is far more than a “nice-to-have” in an emergency; it’s becoming increasingly necessary. Backup generator systems offer a number of advantageous benefits to homeowners that can have an impact when it matters most.
Perhaps the most valuable benefit is providing homeowners with a sense of security should they lose access to the grid. This could be due to extreme weather conditions, such as enduring winds from storms that cause power outages, or widespread utility failure caused by scheduled maintenance or other issues. 15 minutes into a blackout and suddenly the refrigerator’s contents are suspect, the freezer full of forgotten frozen food will start to thaw and TVs, computers and other electronics become just very expensive paperweights.
A home backup power generator will also reduce stress in a power outage situation. Lights, fans and even heaters can be kept on without worrying about the increasing cost associated with relying on portable generators powered by fuel or gas to meet all of your needs. In addition, modern home generators use advanced sensors that detect any unexpected grid outages and switch to generator mode almost immediately– restoring comfort quickly and reliably.
One common argument against purchasing a backup power generator is the initial cost associated with set-up and installation. Oftentimes costs for additional wiring, transfer switches and labor can run upwards of thousands of dollars depending on the size and type of system chosen. However, according to many industry experts buying them gives you peace of mind if you live in an area prone to regular outages that can last longer than a few hours at a time– plus there are certain tax deductions available depending on what type of system you buy.
Beyond these practical considerations related to cost, safety and stress reduction, purchasing home backup power generators may provide long-term value – adding another layer of not only comfort but resiliency should a longer-term grid outage occur or further natural disasters eventually arise. It’s clear why so many are choosing to add this essential component to their home defense arsenal.
When considering proper generator selection and setup within the home, eco-friendly options come into play offering green solutions which consider the environment both now and in the future. With a growing array of affordable generators geared towards sustainability, maximizing efficiency and minimizing emissions it’s worth researching these ‘green’ options with an eye towards energy conservation. We’ll explore these eco-friendly alternatives further in our next section.
- According to the Department of Energy, standby generators are most commonly used in residential and small business settings as a back-up power source; they provide reliable and efficient power in the event of a grid outage.
- Standby generators typically run on propane or natural gas, and can range from 8-20 kilowatts depending on the size of the building being powered.
- According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, 7% of US households had a standby generator as a primary or back-up source of electricity in 2018.
Eco-Friendly & Environmentally Friendly
When considering a backup power generator for a home, some may take into account the environmental impact of these machines. Fortunately, modern engineering has allowed for eco-friendly options that are not only less costly to operate but also much more sustainable than traditional generators. Some may debate that home generators still emit harmful pollutants and run on non-renewable fuels such as gasoline or diesel, however advancements in technology have substantially reduced the amount of emissions released from this type of machinery.
For instance, many home generators now feature “Smart Throttles” which automatically adjust engine speeds to match exact load requirements. This feature keeps the emissions low while helping the machine achieve peak efficiency. Similarly, some models are manufactured with advanced emissions reduction mechanisms that filter exhaust gases by incineration to reduce toxins before they reach the atmosphere.
Despite these eco-friendly innovations, certain areas may issue strict regulations about operating backup power generators due to the potential danger of air pollution and other environmental hazards. Those living in these areas should look into local legislation before committing to purchasing any model of generator. With the right information and an appreciation for the environment, anyone looking for a reliable home backup generator can find a model that meets their needs while helping to keep the planet green.
Now that you’ve looked at some of the benefits of choosing a home backup generator and potential eco-friendly options available, it’s time to compare different types of generators.
Must-Know Summary Points
Modern engineering has allowed homeowners to purchase eco-friendly backup power generators that are both cost-effective and sustainable. These generators feature “Smart Throttles” and advanced emissions reduction mechanisms that keep emissions levels low and efficient. Regulations may vary based on the area so it is important to check local legislation for further information. With the right information and a respect for the environment, anyone can find a reliable home generator to meet their needs.
Types of Home Backup Power Generators
When it comes to powering your home in case of an emergency, choosing the right type of generator can make all the difference. As discussed in the previous section, eco-friendly and environment friendly generators are becoming increasingly popular as they offer both cost and environmental efficiency. However, there are other types of generators that may be better suited for backing up your home depending on your specific needs and circumstances.
The two primary types of home backup power generators are gas-powered and diesel-powered generators. In a situation where you need large amounts of electricity in a hurry, gas powered generators tend to be the most practical option. This is because they run more quickly, produce more power, and are easier to find than their diesel counterparts. Gasoline also tends to be cheaper than diesel so these generators may be ideal if you want to save a bit of money. The downside is that gas-powered generators require frequent fueling and generally consume more fuel during operation than their diesel counterparts.
On the other hand, if you don’t need large amounts of energy quickly, then diesel-powered generators might be the best choice for your home backup power needs. Diesel is much cheaper per gallon than gas and produces more electricity per gallon when compared with gasoline engines. Diesel fuel also stores better over time and will not degrade like gasoline can with extended storage; which makes them ideal if you know that you won’t be using them often or regularly check on them.
No matter which type of generator you choose, there are important considerations to keep in mind before making any decisions, such as portability, noise output, cost, size and maintenance requirements just to name a few. As long as all aspects have been taken into account during the buying decision process, your generator should be able to provide adequate power for your home during an emergency situation for years to come without fail. With that said, this brings us full circle towards understanding one of the most common types of home backup power sources: gas-powered generators.
Gas-powered generators are often the most common type of backup power generator used in homes. Notorious for their reliability and straightforward use, they come in a wide range of sizes and powers to suit any home’s needs. While they may typically cost a little more than other options, gas generators have much lower long-term energy costs.
That being said, there are certainly drawbacks to choosing a gas generator for your home’s backup power. Gas generators often produce more emissions than other forms of power generators and thus tend to be less environmentally friendly. Additionally, gas generators generate much more noise compared to other types of backup power options, so if you live in an area where noise is an oft-encountered nuisance this may not be the best option for you.
No matter what type of generator you choose, the most important thing is that it meets all of your home’s needs, with respect to both budget and safety requirements. If you decide that a gas-powered generator is right for you, make sure you do extensive research on both size and brand before making your purchase. All in all, gas-powered generators will provide a reliable emergency power supply for many years as long as it has been properly maintained.
With these considerations in mind, we can now look towards exploring other forms of home backup power generation that are just as—if not more—reliable than traditional gas-powered systems. In the next section we’ll discuss how wind and solar power systems can add an additional layer of both convenience and assurance when it comes to keeping your home’s lights on during unexpected hiccups in the grid’s reliability.
Wind & Solar Powered Generators
When considering home backup power, it is important to also consider alternative energy generators such as wind and solar powered generators. Wind generators are unobtrusive systems that capture the energy of wind and turn it into an efficient source of electricity. In addition to being simple to install and use, they are very quiet when running and can be used in a variety of ways. Solar powered generators, on the other hand, utilize a photovoltaic array to absorb energy from the sun which is then transferred into usable electrical power. These systems are many times quieter than gas or diesel generators and are highly versatile for many applications like powering remote cabins, medical clinics, and small villages.
Some may argue against using alternative energy sources for home backup power because they require specific weather conditions in order to obtain optimal usage. While this is true, modern technology has revolutionized alternative power systems making them more reliable and cost-effective than ever before. With advancements such as self-supporting towers for wind turbines and self-tracking arrays for solar panels, homeowners can be sure that their generator will function even on cloudy days or low wind conditions.
By considering both gas-powered and alternative energy generators, homeowners can find the best solution to fit their individual needs while still remaining eco-friendly and cost effective. Whether you choose a gasoline model or opt for a wind or solar powered generator, you can rest assured knowing your home will have access to dependable power during outages or disruptions in service.
Now that we have explored different types of solutions available for home backup power, let’s take a look at how portability might factor into your decision making process.
Portable Generators have become increasingly popular in recent years due to their affordability and convenience. They offer homeowners an easy and cost-effective way to generate backup power in the event of an emergency or prolonged power outage. Portable generators are available in a wide range of sizes, from small units suitable for brief outages to larger units that can run longer periods of time. The biggest advantage of portable generators is their portability, allowing them to be moved around easily when needed. This can be especially helpful if multiple outlets need to be powered at different times or locations.
On the downside, portable generators are vulnerable to theft or damage due to weather and improper storage. In order for them to operate safely and efficiently, annual maintenance inspections and tuneups should be performed by a qualified technician. Additionally, depending on size, portable generators will typically require refueling more often compared to larger permanent backup systems – adding increased costs associated with ongoing fuel purchases and storage.
Overall, portable generators provide a viable option for homeowners who require the convenience and portability of a generator but are not able or willing to install permanent systems. For those looking to equip their homes with backup power without sacrificing portability or efficiency, portable generators may be worth considering.
As we’ve discussed, sizing your generator is critical in choosing a solution that meets your needs. To do this effectively it’s important to understand your power requirements as well as your home’s capacity limitations. With these considerations in mind let’s look at what else you should consider when selecting the right generator for your home.
Sizing and Capacity Requirements for Generators
As portable generators are more lightweight and easy to transport, having access to on-the-go power can prove to be invaluable in emergency situations. However, the key question that must be asked is what size of a generator is best for your needs? This comes down to calculating your total wattage requirements and matching that with the appropriate wattage the generator offers. As such, it’s important to know both the starting and running watts required when selecting a generator or you run the risk of overtaxing your unit.
On one hand, if you buy a generator that’s too small, it won’t be able to handle all of your needs and may struggle during peak operations. On the other hand, if you incrementally overestimate then you will find yourself paying more money than necessary for a unit that has higher capacity than needed.
Therefore, when considering a home backup generator, take into account all of your potential power requirements as well as potential future growth so as not to outgrow the system prematurely. By properly sizing and selecting the right type of generator for your needs, it will ensure reliable operation and will avoid any unnecessary costs in upgrades or downtime in operations.
With careful consideration to your power requirements, now it’s time to move on to understanding KVA ratings which will help you understand how certain generators perform under certain workloads – ultimately helping to ensure that you’re getting the most value out of your purchase.
Understanding KVA Ratings
When selecting a generator, it is important to understand the KVA rating of the machine. “Kilovolt-ampere” or KVA is a measure of electrical power and provides consumers with an approximate idea of the generator’s power output capacity. While Kilowatts (kW) indicate the real power used to run equipment, KVA indicates the total current load that a generator is capable of handling. Many manufacturers will provide consumers with the ratings for their generator’s maximum KVA output.
It may seem that larger generators should be able to handle more specific requirements; however, this is not always the case. It is important to consider physical size as well as its KVA rating when finding a generator that best meets your needs. A unit with a lower KVA can have twice the actual running capacity of a model with double its KVA rating due to differences in efficiency levels. Additionally, some generators are tailored specifically to serve particular applications such as air conditioning or large motors, so the rated capacity should be evaluated carefully per appliance prior to making a purchasing decision if one desires to get the most bang for their buck.
As it relates to home backup power, having a good understanding of KVA ratings will ensure buyers make an informed decision that best meets their power requirements without being overkill and sacrificing space or budget due to an improperly sized unit. With this in mind, it has become clear how crucial it is for buyers to move on to the next stage in their generator selection process: considering noise and control system considerations before taking action on their purchase.
Noise and Control System Considerations
In addition to understanding KVA ratings, consumers must also consider noise and control system when purchasing the best generator for their household. It is important to take into consideration how much noise the generator produces, as well as how easily it can be controlled.
In terms of noise, experts recommend looking for a standby generator with a sound rating that fits your needs. The lower the decibel (dB) rating, the quieter the generator is likely to be. Typically, standby generators range from 52 to 70 dB of noise level. Generators that are rated below 60 dB are preferable, as they produce noise levels comparable to that of normal conversation. Furthermore, some models come with an insulating enclosure and acoustic dampening pads that help reduce noise even further.
Control systems can help simplify the operation and maintenance process for standby generators. Automated Transfer Switches (ATSs) are especially valuable tools for managing backup power transfers from utility connections to generator operational states. Some generators come with ATSs pre-installed, others require purchasing them separately. If a generator does not have an ATS installed, it is up to the user to switch between a utility source and a generator source manually or through remote control monitoring systems.
To get the most out of an automated transfer switch, it is important to ensure that it includes all necessary safety features such as voltage alarms and self-reset capabilities. These features can help save time and hassle while ensuring that the backup system functions properly when needed. Additionally, these features will help protect appliances and electronics by kicking off emergency shut-down protocols in case power requirements exceed that of which the system can provide. Ultimately, having an executive control system will make operating a backup system more efficient and cost effective in the long run.
Responses to Frequently Asked Questions
What are the long-term maintenance requirements for a generator used for home backup power?
The long-term maintenance requirements for a generator used for home backup power vary depending on the type of generator. For instance, portable generators typically require regular oil changes and fuel filter replacements to keep it running optimally. On the other hand, stationary generators require regular preventive maintenance such as diesel fuel filter changes, engine tune-ups, and coolant system flushes. In addition to the routine services necessary to ensure optimal performance and reliability from the generator, it is also important to regularly check the air filter in both portable and stationary generators and be sure that it remains free of debris and contamination. Additionally, depending on the location of the generator (including humidity levels), a protective weather enclosure may be necessary for extended outdoor use. Ultimately, it is essential to adhere to the guidelines provided by your manufacturer in regards to long-term maintenance requirements for your individual generator.
What size generator do I need for home emergency backup power?
The size of the generator you need for home emergency backup power will depend on how much power you require to keep your home running during an outage. Generally, a standby generator that is capable of delivering at least 8kW of power will be sufficient for most households. For larger homes and those that use a lot of electricity, a generator with 15-20kW or more may be the best option. Additionally, ensure the generator you select has enough capacity for any extra items you might want to connect during an outage – such as your refrigerator, sump pump and electric stove. With this in mind, it’s important to consider your home’s energy needs and choose the most appropriate size generator for your situation.
How can I safely install a generator for home emergency backup power?
When installing a generator for home emergency backup power, it is important to take the necessary precautions for your own safety and the safety of your home. To ensure safe installation:
1. Understand and follow all safety instructions from the manufacturer, including any applicable local codes and regulations.
2. Choose a location for your generator that is far away from any windows, doors or vents of your home, as the exhaust from generators can be hazardous to people and animals.
3. Consider investing in a transfer switch installed by an electrician to your existing electrical panel for safe connection between the generator and your home’s wiring system. This way you can keep the generator isolated from the utility power when necessary.
4. Always connect devices to the generator with heavy-duty cables or cords specifically designed to carry electricity safely; never make connections with regular extension cords or homemade cables.
5. When operating the generator, remember to always wear appropriate personal protective equipment such as rubber gloves and goggles, and make sure all users are familiar with its operation and safety procedures beforehand.
Following these simple steps can help you securely install a backup generator at home so that you can have peace of mind in case of emergencies.