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Residential Generator FAQ

As a homeowner, it's no secret the importance of electricity and how quickly we demand its use when it's unavailable. We're here to ensure you have peace of mind by protecting your home with a reliable backup generator.

To find a generator that's right for your home, read on to see how we can protect you, your family, and your home from uncertainty.

New Generac Residential Generator

Generator FAQ

We offer sales and installation of Cummins, Kohler, and Generac Generators, plus maintenance, and service on all residential generators.

Cummins, Kohler, and Generac Generators are the most trusted names in residential generators.

We offer sales, 24-hour emergency service, maintenance, and financing through Synchrony Bank.

Our team is trained to answer all your generator questions, including:

  • How does it work? 
  • What size do I need for my home? 
  • What's the difference between portable vs. permanent installations? 
  • Do I have to worry about noise pollution from my neighbors?

We offer 24-hour emergency service.

  • We offer 24-hour emergency service.
  • If your generator is not running, if there is a problem, or if you simply want to ask a question about how best to care for it, we are always here to help.
  • Our knowledgeable staff has decades of experience in the industry and can help with any issue that may arise during your generator's lifetime.
  • No matter what time or night you need us, we are here for you 24 hours daily.
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What are whole-house electric backup generators?

Generally, there are two types of whole-house generators.

"Standby" generators are permanently installed at your home and connected to your utility power source. It automatically starts when the power goes out, providing electricity for all of your critical appliances (like refrigerators and freezers) so that they don't run out of food or cause hazardous gas buildup in your home.

The other common variety is a "portable" generator, which can be used during an emergency or to provide temporary power during a storm or construction project. It's more convenient than installing a permanent system, but it won't keep up with higher energy demands like water heaters, air conditioners, and electric stoves.

Standby generators are the way to go if there are ever long stretches of power outages for your home.

New Cummins Residential Generator

Generator FAQ

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Some critical differences between standby and portable residential generators

Standby generators 

Standby generators are installed in your home and connected to the main electrical panel. These generators provide power when utility power is interrupted. Most residential standby generators range from 5kW to 100kW.

Standby generators are designed specifically for long-term use in homes and businesses where prolonged electrical outages are common.

This means that even though these types of systems might cost more upfront than their counterparts (mainly due to installation costs), they'll save money over time.

Portable generators 

Portable systems are usually used for smaller backup needs, such as a sump pump or lighting in an office area that isn't connected to the same branch circuit as your primary power source (i.e., one panel).

A portable generator is for temporary use, such as when you're at a tailgate party or camping overnight. You can run minor appliances through it ad hoc, but this generator is not meant to provide power for long-term use.

In other words, using a portable generator won't accomplish that goal if you need a reliable source of electricity for your home during an outage or other event (e.g., a hurricane).

They simply don't have enough power capacity to keep up with the needs of your household equipment over an extended period (longer than three days).

If you're interested in installing a whole house generator system or want more information about emergency backup systems, we recommend getting a free professional assessment done by one of our technicians before deciding what kind of system would work best for you.

How long will it take to install a standby generator in my home?

The installation process will vary depending on your home's size, the generator type, and other factors.

For example, a portable generator can be installed in as little as two hours, while a standby generator takes up to three days to install.

The time it takes to install your residential energy system will also depend on whether or not you have an existing electrical service.

How often will I need to get my standby generator serviced?

Regular generator maintenance is one of the most important things to consider when owning a standby generator.

It's recommended that you get your standby generator serviced every year, but the frequency of service depends on how often you use it and how well it is maintained. You'll want to ensure that your standby generator is ready when you need it.

Regular servicing also helps keep the warranty valid, provides safety, and extends the life of a standby generator. No one wants to replace a major appliance prematurely due to lack of use or neglectful maintenance practices such as changing the oil or cleaning air filters regularly (generators need routine maintenance just like cars).

How quiet are standby generators?

Some generators are indeed louder than others. But when you're comparing residential standby generators, it's important to remember that these units are typically much quieter than portable generators or gas-powered machines.

Do you offer financing?

Yes, we do! In fact, we offer financing through Synchrony Financial. We can finance any of our Cummins or Generac generators.

Whether you're looking to purchase a whole-house generator or just want some additional backup power for your home office, let us help you get the right equipment.

What areas do you offer generator services?

We are a generator installation and services company based in Oakland County, Michigan. We serve Oakland, Livingston, Washtenaw Counties, and all of Michigan's lower peninsula.

What factors should I consider when choosing a generator size?

Consider your power needs based on appliances and equipment you need to run during an outage. Also, think about fuel efficiency, the physical space available for the generator, and noise levels.

How do I use the sizing calculators provided?

Simply click on the links to the Cummins, Generac, or Kohler calculator, enter your power requirements, and the calculator will suggest the appropriate generator size.

Can I size a generator for both home and business use?

Yes, our calculators and services cater to both residential and commercial power needs in Michigan.

What's the difference between the Cummins, Generac, and Kohler calculators?

Each calculator is tailored to its brand's product specifications. However, all of them guide you through entering your power needs to suggest the suitable generator size.

Why is it important to get the size right for a generator?

Correct sizing is crucial to ensure that the generator can handle your power needs without overloading, and also to avoid the inefficiencies and additional costs associated with an oversized generator.

What should I do if I'm unsure about my power needs?

Contact Osburn Services for a consultation. Our experts can help assess your power needs accurately and recommend the best generator size for you.

Are there any maintenance requirements for these generators?

Yes, regular maintenance is essential for the longevity and efficiency of your generator. Osburn Services offers maintenance packages for various generator models.

How often should I maintain my generator?

Regular maintenance is crucial for the longevity and efficiency of your generator. We recommend a professional check-up at least once a year, but this can vary depending on usage and model. Our maintenance plans provide peace of mind and ensure your generator is always ready.

What types of generators do you recommend for home emergency use?

We offer a range of generators suitable for various needs. For most homes, we recommend a standby generator for uninterrupted power or a portable generator for flexible use. Our team can help you choose the best option based on your specific requirements.

How can I stay informed about Osburn Services’ participation in the Livingston County Preparedness Expo?

Keep an eye on our website and follow us on social media for updates on our participation in the Livingston County Preparedness Expo. We share event details, including dates, locations, and what we’ll be presenting at the expo.

How can I contact Osburn Services for more information or services?

You can contact us via phone, email, or through our website. Our dedicated team is ready to answer your questions and provide you with the services you need. All contact details are available on our website.

Schedule a free estimate today.

Our team is here to answer any questions and help you find the right generator for your home.

With 24-hour emergency service and financing offered through Synchrony, you can be prepared while resting easily.

If you are interested in a free estimate or have questions about residential generators, please call or schedule an appointment online here.



With promotional financing from OSBURN SERVICES, major purchases don’t have to wait. Get what you want now and pay over time with Synchrony Financial.

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We service all of Michigan including Oakland County, Livingston County, Milford, Highland, South Lyon, Walled Lake, Brighton, Howell, Novi, West Bloomfield, Farmington, Ann Arbor, Clarkston, Fenton, Lansing, Harbor Springs, Cheboygan, Charlevoix, Grand Rapids, Petoskey, Alpena, Indian River, Interlochen, Elk Rapids, Traverse City, Boyne City, Glen Arbor, Frankfort, Hubbard Lake, where you live!

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