30 Apr Backup Power Generator Tips for Homeowners in Mid-Missouri
“How do I know what size generator is right for my home?”
Nobody likes a cookie-cutter house. Because your home is unique, knowing what size generator you need in case of a power outage is important! In fact, the first step to figuring out the right generator for you home is to consider your family, their needs and what type of generator will maintain a comfortable state of living during a Mid-Missouri storm power outage.
Additionally, we suggesting going through each appliance in your home and looking for the model number, year it was made and wattage. Make sure you include everyday appliances like your refrigerator, microwave and oven. Additionally, you’ll want to take specialty electronics like medical devices into consideration. Include a well pump if you use one and sump pump so your basement doesn’t flood. Since your air conditioner uses a lot of power, we suggest trying to avoid using it during an outage. If a working AC unit is a necessity when the power goes out, it will require a much more expensive generator. Once you have all the items’ wattages, multiply the total wattage by 1.5, and that’s the minimum wattage that you’ll need for generator.
Choosing the Best Generator for Your Home
Once you know what size generator you need, the next step is figuring out what generator fits your family’s lifestyle, your home and your budget. You’ll have two different options: the portable generator and the standby generator.
Portable generators provide electricity to your home through a much smaller,gas-powered engine. If you purchase portable generator, make sure you have backup gasoline on hand. A portable generator will have power outlets on the unit which will allow you to plug in extension cords and low-power appliances. The amount of outlets on the generator will usually depend on the power output, and can cost between $500-$1,500 depending on the features.
Standby Home Generators
A standby generator is a backup electrical system which will start as soon as it since electrical failure, as opposed to a portable generator which you’ll have to connect manually. Fortunately, this type of home generator will also automatically switch itself off when the power comes back on.
Most standby generators are capable of running on diesel, natural gas or propane depending on your system needs. The primary benefits of a whole house generators is it will provide power to your entire home, including all necessary and desired appliances such as your HVAC system. The cost of a standby generator can start at $5,000 for a 7000-watt unit and require a professional generator installation to ensure full functionality.
Generator Safety Tips
Tip #1: Don’t overload your generator
Make sure you buy the right size generator. Overloading your generator is dangerous. If you’re not sure what size generator you need, check out this generator size guide by Consumer Reports for more information.
Tip #2: Consider generator placement
There are a lot of factors to take into consideration when installing a home generator. First, make sure your generator is located at a safe distance away from your home. As with many major appliances, you can get carbon monoxide poisoning from a generator so don’t run it in any type of enclosed space. You’ll also need to be sure it can easily connect to a power supply so it can detect fault and provide backup power. We always suggest consulting with a professional before the first outage!
Tip #3: Re-fuel your generator
First, make sure you’re not using old fuel, which is the number one cause of generator starter problems. Also, you must let your generator cool down before you refill it with gas. A gas spill on a hot generator can be very dangerous!
Tip #4: Hire a professional standby generator installer
You need to have a a certified generator professional’s phone number on hand! Don’t connect a generator directly to your home’s wiring without the correct transfer switch having been installed. The manual transfer switch looks like a small breaker box located by the main breaker panel. If you’re unsure about how to do this, it’s best you contact a professional.