If you see the data, you will find that the United States experiences an average of 200 minutes of power cuts. Now, this might not amount to anything. But, if you compare it with the extreme weather conditions of extreme heat in summer or cold during storms, power cuts can be dangerous.
There are many states in the US that experience power cuts more often. Every minute of a power cut in extreme weather conditions can cause inconvenience and discomfort. This is where having a generator can help you in emergencies and sudden power outages.
A generator can provide you with a reliable power source during power outages. You can have access to electricity for important appliances at home. Thereby maintaining your comfortable lifestyle.
However, it is important to shop smart when purchasing a generator.
Here are a few questions that you must ask before installing a standby generator.
Q1. What Size Of Generator Do You Need?
The generator size you need depends on several factors, including the total power requirements of the appliances or devices you want to run during an outage.
Here are some general guidelines to help you determine the appropriate size of generator:
- Calculate Your Power Needs: List all the appliances and devices you need to power during an outage and determine the required wattage. This information can usually be found on the appliance or device or in the user manual.
- Determine Your Starting Wattage: Some appliances and devices require more power to start up than to operate continuously. Invest in the starting wattage when calculating your total power needs.
- Choose the Appropriate Generator Size: Choosing the right size for your needs is important. Buying a generator too big will only save you money. On the other hand, buying a too-small generator will lead to a need for more power for all your home appliances.
Remember that when it comes to choosing the right generator size, it all comes down to your needs. List your needs and calculate the power you need for the appliances during a power outage. And then, select a generator that delivers almost the same power in emergencies.
Q2. What Is The Difference Between Air-Cooled And Water-Cooled Generators?
While air-cooled and water-cooled generators offer the same functionality, these two cooling methods play an important role in the selection process.
Air-cooled engines use air to dissipate heat from the engine. These types of generators have fans over the engine to blow in the air.
Because of the simple functionality and configuration, air-cooled generators are small and less expensive than water-cooled ones.
While these are cost-effective, they could be more efficient in hot climates or when running for extended periods.
Coming to water-cooled generators, a water-cooled generator uses a radiator and a coolant system similar to automobiles. These generators are typically larger in size and more complex.
One major advantage of a water-cooled generator over an air-cooled generator is that it is efficient even in extreme weather.
Q3. What Are Permits Needed For A Generator Installer?
Yes, to install generators in your home, you need permits. However, what permits are needed for a home generator installation may vary depending on the location. Check your local listings to know more.
However, below are some common permits that are always required:
- Building Permit: This permit is required when you need to make any infrastructural modification in your home.
- Electrical Permit: An electrical permit is a must, as you will need the electrical outlets for the generator.
- Gas Permit: A gas permit is required when your generator is powered by propane gas.
- Noise Permit: Noise pollution has become a bigger problem today. In fact, even if the noise from all the installation processes is minimal, there is always a chance that your neighbor is complaining about the noise. To avoid any complexities coming out of it, get a noise permit from the local authorities.
- Certification or License: Some states consider installing generators illegal if it is not done by a trained and certified professional. In that case, if you install everything by yourself, ensure you have all the necessary certificates.
Q4. How Will You Get Your Generator Maintenance Done?
Generator maintenance is important to ensure your generator’s reliable and efficient operation. It’s recommended to schedule regular maintenance with a licensed and experienced generator technician or service provider.
Here are some options for getting your generator maintenance done:
- Manufacturer Service: Some generator manufacturers offer service plans or maintenance programs, including regular inspections, tune-ups, and repairs by authorized technicians.
- Local Generator Service Providers: Many companies specialize in generator installation, maintenance, and repair services. Choosing a reputable and licensed service provider with experience with your specific type of generator is important.
- DIY Maintenance: If you have experience and knowledge in generator maintenance, you can perform some basic maintenance tasks yourself, such as checking and replacing oil and filters, inspecting the spark plug, and testing the battery.
- Hybrid Approach: You can also consider a hybrid approach, where you perform basic maintenance tasks yourself and hire a professional technician for more complex or specialized tasks.
Regardless of your approach, it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule and keep accurate records of all maintenance and repairs performed on your generator.
Q5. What Fuel Type Must You Buy?
The fuel type you need to buy for your generator depends on the type of generator you have. The most common types of generators use gasoline, diesel, natural gas, or propane as fuel.
Gasoline-powered generators are typically the most portable and affordable option, but they can be less efficient and may require more maintenance than other types of generators. Diesel-powered generators are typically more efficient and longer-lasting than gasoline generators, but they may be more expensive and less portable.
Natural gas and propane-powered generators are typically less expensive to operate and more environmentally friendly than gasoline or diesel generators, but they may require specialized fuel line installation and ongoing maintenance.
It’s important to consult the manufacturer’s recommendations and specifications to determine the appropriate fuel type for your generator.
What Other Details Do You Need To Be Aware Of?
Generators can be dangerous if not used properly. Follow all safety precautions and guidelines, including keeping the generator outdoors in a well-ventilated area, away from windows and doors, and never operating it inside a building or garage.
Generators can be noisy, so it’s important to consider the generator’s noise level when choosing a location. Some local authorities may also have regulations on noise levels for generator use.
Proper storage and fuel supply are important for your generator’s safe and reliable operation. Follow manufacturer recommendations for storage and maintenance, and ensure you have a sufficient fuel supply for emergencies.
Check with your insurance provider to see if your homeowner’s policy covers damage or losses related to generator use, and consider additional coverage if needed.
Check with your local authorities to see if any regulations or permits are required for generator installation or use in your area.
Knowing these details and taking necessary precautions, you can safely and effectively use your generator for backup power during power outages or emergencies.