Picking the Right Generator

Severe weather fosters purchases of some standard items including fans, portable air conditioners, flash lights and the like. With tropical storms and hurricanes in South Florida like we have recently experienced comes the threat of power outages where retailers have difficulty keeping portable generators in stock.

In certain locations across the country like ours, some storms cause power outages either more frequently or for longer periods of time. This has caused for homeowners to consider investing in a permanent home generator. Power outages are not only uncomfortable, but they can also be dangerous and cause larger issues. An outage during the extreme temperatures could lead heat exhaustion and even be fatal in some cases. A permanent generator can provide power to the whole house automatically making it very easy and safe for power to be restored.

Choosing the Right Generator
Generators are rated by wattage where smaller ones produce only 1,000 watts while whole-house models can put out anywhere between 6,000-22,000 watts. Most manufacturers have size calculators on their websites that can help determine your needs. Square footage and appliances that you have are all a part of the equation. As technology and models have progressed, there have been quieter models introduced as historically generators have been noisy.

Hire a Professional
Installing a permanent generator is not a DIY project. Prepare yourself to pay in the range of thousands for the installation of a larger 20kW model due to the cost of the unit and the necessary wiring for installation. Additional considerations include:

  • Pull a permit
  • Follow town laws
  • Install unit far away enough from the home
  • Properly secure or bury any wires/cords
  • Install on a solid pad or foundation

Fueling options can really vary these days from gasoline, propane or natural gas. If you can connect to a natural gas line, then you shouldn’t have to worry about running out of power for fuel replenishment.

Although there are costs and efforts involved in installing a standby generator, it can be well worth the inconvenience and potential headache from the loss of power. Permanently installed generator systems can also add to the value of your home when it comes time to sell.