Start by assessing your power needs thoroughly. Begin by making a comprehensive list of all the essential appliances and devices that you would like to keep powered during an outage. Consider devices such as refrigerators, freezers, air conditioners, heating systems, sump pumps, medical equipment, lighting fixtures, communication devices, and any other crucial electrical devices that you heavily rely on.
Once you have compiled the list, take the time to determine the wattage requirements of each individual item. This information can typically be found on the appliance’s label or in the user manual. Note down the wattage rating for each device, as this will be vital for calculating the overall power consumption.
To calculate the total power consumption, add up the wattage requirements of all the devices on your list. This summation will provide you with an estimate of the amount of power your generator needs to produce to meet your specific needs during an outage.
Once you have the total power consumption, you can use this information to determine the appropriate generator size. Generators are typically rated in terms of their maximum power output, measured in watts. It’s crucial to select a generator with a power output capacity that exceeds your total power consumption to ensure it can handle all of your devices simultaneously.
Keep in mind that some appliances may have a surge power requirement, which is higher than their normal operating wattage. For devices with high starting or surge power, such as air conditioners or refrigerators, ensure that your generator can handle these peak power demands.
There are primarily two types of generators commonly used for residential purposes:
a) Standby Generators: These generators are permanently installed outside your home and are connected directly to your electrical system. They automatically start when a power outage occurs and provide seamless backup power.
b) Portable Generators: Portable generators are versatile and can be moved as needed. They come in various sizes and power capacities. They require manual setup and connection to your appliances using extension cords.
Consider your power requirements, budget, and installation constraints to choose between standby and portable generators.
Generators run on different fuel sources, including:
a) Gasoline: Gasoline-powered generators are widely available and offer easy refueling options. However, they may not be suitable for long-term power outages due to fuel storage limitations.
b) Diesel: Diesel generators are known for their efficiency and longevity. They are often used for larger power requirements and can provide extended runtimes. However, they are generally more expensive than gasoline generators.
c) Propane/Natural Gas: Propane and natural gas generators offer a convenient fuel source if you already have a gas line in your home. They provide clean-burning fuel and can offer longer runtimes compared to gasoline generators.
Choose a fuel source based on availability, cost, and your specific requirements.
Consider the noise level of the generator, especially if you live in a residential neighborhood. Standby generators are typically quieter since they are installed outside and have sound-dampening features. Portable generators tend to be louder and may require additional measures to minimize noise.
Check the noise rating in decibels (dB) provided by the manufacturer to ensure it meets your noise preferences and local regulations.
Safety should be a priority when selecting a home generator. Look for generators with the following safety features:
a) Automatic Shutdown: Generators equipped with an automatic shutdown feature will turn off in case of low oil level or other critical issues, protecting the engine from damage.
b) Circuit Breaker Protection: This feature prevents overloading and damage to both the generator and connected appliances. It automatically shuts off power if the load exceeds the generator’s capacity.
c) Carbon Monoxide (CO) Detection: Portable generators emit carbon monoxide, a deadly gas. Look for generators with built-in CO detection and automatic shutdown to prevent CO poisoning.
Consider the warranty and after-sales support provided by the manufacturer. A reliable warranty ensures that you are covered in case of any defects or issues. Additionally, choose a generator from a reputable brand that offers customer support and readily available spare parts.
Standby generators often require professional installation to ensure proper electrical connections and compliance with local building codes. Portable generators require correct setup and safe operation practices. Consider hiring a professional electrician or generator installer for installation and maintenance.
By considering your power requirements, generator type, fuel source, noise level, safety features, warranty and support, and professional installation, you can make an informed decision when purchasing a home generator. Remember to consult with a qualified professional or generator specialist to assess your specific needs and provide personalized recommendations.
At Osburn Services, we understand the importance of a reliable power backup system for your home. We offer a wide range of high-quality generators and provide expert installation and maintenance services. Contact us today to discuss your home generator needs and ensure uninterrupted power supply for your home.
All of Michigan including Oakland County, Livingston County, Milford, Highland, South Lyon, Walled Lake, Brighton, Howell, Novi, West Bloomfield, Farmington, Ann Arbor, Lansing, where you live!