A whole house generator can provide essential power to your entire home in the event of a power outage, providing peace of mind. However, before you buy a whole house generator, make sure it is sized correctly for your home.
In addition, choose a transfer switch that is designed to manage the distribution of the generator’s power. These switches, often called load center switches, allow you to choose specific circuits you wish to send the generator’s power to.
If you want to feel safe and secure in your home during a power outage, a whole house generator is an investment worth considering. These units, also known as standby generators, automatically sense a power loss and trigger a backup system.
They are designed to run on natural gas, liquid propane or diesel and come in a range of sizes to power different appliances. They cost about $5,000 to $25,000 on average.
The size of the generator you need depends on a variety of factors, including the number of large appliances and lights you have in your home. It’s also based on the electrical load your generator will be running.
Installation costs can be anywhere from $500 to $2,000, depending on the model of generator you choose and the location it will be installed. Your local electrician may need to make some changes to your electrical panel to accommodate the generator.
Whole house generators offer a more energy-efficient way to power your home during power outages, compared to portable generators. They typically have larger engines that are liquid-cooled for longer run times without maintenance, sophisticated programming for better load management, and fuel options like natural gas, liquid propane and diesel.
To select the best model for your needs, it’s important to understand what appliances and equipment you use on a daily basis. Start by looking at the manufacturer’s data plate on each appliance to figure out its starting wattage.
Once you have that information, you can compare generators by their kW size and find the right one for your home. If you have a lot of electronics, such as computers, monitors, and printers, you may need a higher kW generator than if you only have a few small appliances.
If you live in a storm-prone area, a whole house generator might be worth the investment. It can help protect your family from potentially dangerous hazards and keep food safe. It can also add value to your home.
Generators with built-in CO safety technology can detect a high level of carbon monoxide and shut off the unit before it can cause health problems. That’s important because, as Consumer Reports tests show, most generator-related injuries and deaths happen when generators are used inside or in partly enclosed spaces, such as a basement or garage. Those spaces are particularly susceptible to CO poisoning because they can trap deadly levels of the gas.
Install the generator outside, at least 20 feet from the house and with exhaust blowing away from windows and doors. It must be installed to meet Southwest Research Institute testing and labeling minimum clearance, which is 18 in (457 mm) from the back of the generator to a stationary wall or building (Figure 3-1, C). For adequate maintenance and air flow clearance, the area above the unit should be at least 5 ft (1.52 m) and must be free of trees, shrubs, and bushes*.
The most convenient feature of a whole house generator is its ability to provide power to your home’s entire electrical system, including high-demand appliances such as central air conditioners and water heaters. It’s also a great way to save money by avoiding costly electricity charges from local utilities when the power goes out. Plus, a whole house generator can make your home more attractive to buyers in the future, so you’ll be glad you bought one!
A whole house generator is also a good choice for those who don’t like to deal with the mess of refueling and fueling their portable generators. Many whole house generators are connected to your natural gas supply, making it simple and efficient to refuel them without the worry of running out of propane or gas.