If you’re in need of a whole house generator, it’s important that you know which type of system is right for you. There are three main types of systems: standby, portable and automatic. Which type is right for you depends on a number of factors, including where you live, how you use your home, and your budget.
Portable vs standby
Portable generators are cheaper, but they are not as powerful as standby generators. They are used for temporary power during outages. Most run on propane or gasoline. A portable generator can last a few hours before you need to refuel, but a standby generator can be a much better option for permanent use.
A home standby generator is the best option for large families. You can hook it up to your existing natural gas system and it will automatically turn on when the electricity goes out. This will protect your refrigerator from freezing, and your heating and cooling system will also run.
If you are not comfortable with the idea of a standby generator, you may want to consider a transfer switch. Transfer switches can be installed to provide backup power for your entire home. The installation will cost you about $500 to $1,000.
A standby generator can cost anywhere from $3,000 to $5,000, but it can also be as high as $10,000. Standbys are much more expensive than portable generators.
Whole house generators are a great way to ensure your family’s comfort during power outages. They provide a dependable power source to run all of the appliances in your home. But finding the right one for you can be a challenge. Fortunately, there are a number of options available to suit your needs.
Propane is a popular option for fueling standby generators. It’s inexpensive and has a nice shelf life. However, you should be aware of the pitfalls. Keep in mind that you’ll need to have a tank that’s at least half full. You’ll also need to know if your propane supplier can deliver when you need it most.
Natural gas is another option. Most homes already have access to this gas. Plus, it burns cleanly and is a convenient fuel source.
Gasoline is another popular choice. In fact, it’s a good idea to use a fuel-efficient version of this fuel. Diesel is a close second.
Send power to just the critical circuits
If you use a whole house generator, you may wish to send power only to certain circuits in your home. You can set up automatic transfer switches that will automatically provide power to these circuits. However, if you choose to do this manually, you will need a split bus panel to send power to only certain circuits. Typically, split bus panels cost slightly more than standard breaker panels, but they allow you to send power to only the critical circuits of your electrical panel.
In addition to the split bus panel, you will need two 60 amp two-pole breakers. These breakers should be positioned near each other and connected with a white neutral wire. This wire should be attached to the neutral bus bar of your main service panel. Your electrical utility will feed power to the main circuit panel, which then flows through the circuit breakers and to your outlets.