Whether you are going to install a backup generator for your home or not, you should plan your location carefully. You want to make sure that you are installing it in a spot where you will not experience noise from other neighbors. Also, you will want to consider the fact that you will be using propane, and propane fumes can be quite toxic.
Propane generators emit dangerous carbon monoxide
Using a propane generator is safer than running a gasoline generator, but you must follow some precautions to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas that can kill in minutes.
The number of people killed by carbon monoxide poisoning has been on the rise in recent years. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, 94 deaths occurred in 2005. Many of these victims were killed during power outages or during severe weather.
Some of the newer generators now come with built-in carbon monoxide sensors that shut the machine down if the gas levels exceed safe limits. The engine should never be run indoors.
When using a propane generator, keep the unit at least 20 feet away from your home and away from any openings. Install a battery-powered carbon monoxide detector in any area with smoke. If you are concerned about the amount of CO in your home, get fresh air regularly.
Transfer switch isolates the circuits in the house that you want to power
Using a transfer switch to power your home with a generator during an outage is the safest and easiest way to get your home back up and running. However, you will want to make sure you do it correctly. There are several things you should know before you get started.
A transfer switch is a miniature circuit breaker panel designed to connect your building’s wiring to a backup generator. Its main purpose is to prevent back-feeding, which can cause fires and electrocution. The correct use of this device can help you power lights, appliances, and even your furnace.
The key is to ensure that the switch is UL listed. Depending on your needs, you may be able to choose from several different types. Some of them offer multiple load configurations. You can also find these devices in a variety of enclosures.
Carbon monoxide exhaust system
Adding a Carbon monoxide exhaust system for a backup generator to your garage will protect your family from poisonous gas. This odorless, colorless gas can poison you if it builds up in your home. The symptoms of CO poisoning vary depending on the level of concentration, as well as how long you’ve been exposed.
To begin, you’ll want to have a battery-operated carbon monoxide detector. These devices are designed to work independently to detect smoke and carbon monoxide in your living area. A battery-operated device is a good idea because it’s not reliant on grid electricity, which can lose power during storms.
You should also make sure that the fuel-burning equipment in your home is functioning correctly. This includes your space heater and any other tools you might use to power your home. You can check the operation of these appliances by talking to the manufacturer or consulting the user manual.
Noise reduction cages and boxes
Using noise reduction cages and boxes for installing a backup generator in your garage can help reduce the noise. In addition to lowering the amount of noise generated by your generator, these enclosures can keep the surrounding area quiet, too. They also don’t inhibit airflow.
A soundproof box is the best option for reducing the amount of noise your generator makes. It should be modular, meaning you can easily add different types of sound baffles. A three-box system is a good option, too. It uses the same concept, but combines two soundproof boxes with one generator. This way, you can have a generator that is 50-70% quieter than a typical power plant.
You can purchase premade noise reduction boxes or build your own. The materials you use are dependent on the size of your generator. You can use medium-density fiberboard, acoustic caulking, green glue sealant, or mass loaded vinyl.
Proper planning for the location
Choosing the proper location for a backup generator is an important part of protecting your home in the event of an electrical outage. The most effective location is at least a few feet away from flammable materials. The location should also be able to take advantage of the prevailing winds. It is a good idea to consult with a qualified electrician to ensure that you are not putting your family at risk.
One of the most important steps in the process is to find out which building codes and standards apply to your specific property. You may find that there are some requirements that are not as well defined, which may require a bit of research.