Sizing a generator for a home doesn’t have to be difficult. The first step is to measure the total power requirement of all the appliances and fixtures you plan to use with the generator. This measurement will give you an idea of the size of generator you’ll need.
For example, if the total wattage of all the appliances and fixtures is 4,000 watts, you’ll need a generator of at least 4,000 watt capacity. If you plan to use the generator for any large appliances such as air conditioners or water heaters, you should opt for a more powerful model as these appliances require large amounts of electricity to operate.
Additionally, consider the type of fuel the generator will use. If you want an economical solution, opt for a propane or natural gas generator. Diesel generators are more powerful and reliable, but they can also be more expensive to operate. It’s also important to buy a generator with a transfer switch so that you can safely switch between regular and generator power.
Types of Home Generators
Common generator types include gasoline, diesel, propane and solar. Gas generators are typically the most affordable option and are a good choice for small power outages. Diesel models typically produce more power and are ideal for running larger appliances that require more wattage.
Inverter generators tend to be quieter and more efficient, making them a great choice for campers and tailgaters. Solar generators, in contrast, are powered by the sun, making them the greenest option with a constantly renewable fuel source.
Whole house generators offer the greatest capacity with continuous electricity for off-grid homes and power outages. However, these models can be more expensive than other types and require more frequent maintenance.
Home Generator Costs
When it comes to investing in a home generator, you’ll need to consider the upfront cost and the running costs. The upfront cost depends on the size and power of the unit as well as any additional features you may want, such as an automatic transfer switch. In general, this cost can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars.
Because the majority of home generators run on either gasoline or propane, most homeowners will need to factor in the cost of fuel when budgeting for a generator. Additionally, it’s important to factor in the cost of regular maintenance to ensure that the generator runs safely and efficiently. Maintenance costs vary depending on the type of generator but generally range from $100 to $400 per year.
Factors to Consider When Sizing a Generator for Your Home
The biggest factor to consider is the wattage of your appliances, including refrigerators, lights, HVAC systems, dishwashers and ovens. If you’re unsure of the wattage of your appliances, you can find this information in each product’s manual or by contacting the manufacturer.
Furthermore, generators come in various physical sizes, so you’ll need to ensure that you have enough space on your property for the generator. Additionally, you should ensure that the generator is properly installed in a secure location, such as a garage or shed, to ensure its safety.
Advantages of Different Generator Fuel Types
Gasoline is one of the most commonly used generator fuels as it’s readily available, easy to use and relatively inexpensive. Gasoline generators are compact, lightweight and ideal for short-term power outages. However, they can also be noisy and inefficient with higher levels of emissions than other fuel types.
Diesel is a popular choice for powering larger generators as it’s more efficient and cost-effective than gasoline. Diesel engines are also quieter and produce fewer emissions, making them a more environmentally friendly option. However, diesel is more expensive than gasoline and can be difficult to find in some areas.
Propane is another generator fuel type that’s gaining popularity. Propane is readily available and more environmentally friendly than gasoline or diesel as it produces fewer emissions. Propane generators are also quieter and more efficient than gasoline generators. However, propane is more expensive than gasoline or diesel and requires a supply of tanks to store the fuel.
Solar is a clean and renewable fuel type that is becoming increasingly popular for home generators. Solar generators are ideal for remote locations and can be used to provide reliable power for extended periods of time. However, solar generators are more expensive than other fuel types and require the installation of large solar panels.
Home Generator Maintenance
If you need to rely on a generator for power, you should schedule regular maintenance and inspections to keep it running properly and efficiently. A professional electrician should perform regular service at least once a year. This maintenance will include checking the oil and filter, inspecting the fuel system, and testing the generator’s voltage and amperage.
Larger generators, such as diesel models, should receive professional service at least twice a year while smaller generators, such gasoline or propane models, should receive yearly service. During a maintenance check, your electrician will perform tasks such as inspecting and cleaning the air filters, spark plugs and wires to ensure that they’re in proper working order.
Home Generator Installation
Depending on the type of generator, the installation process may vary. For gasoline and propane generators, an electrician must ensure that the fuel supply is connected and that the generator is placed away from combustible materials. Then, they’ll connect the unit to your home’s electrical system, including the wiring, circuit breakers and transfer switches.
A diesel generator requires a slightly different installation process. The electrician must first install the fuel tank and supply line, then connect the generator to the home’s electrical system. Additionally, they must install an exhaust system to ensure the generator complies with local codes.
Solar generators are the most complex to install as they require the wiring of solar panels as well as the installation of a charge controller and inverter. The electrician must ensure that the generator is placed in an area where it will get the most sunlight, then connect it to the home’s electrical system.
Which Generator Is Right for Your Home?
Choosing a generator is a big decision that can affect your comfort and security for years. It’s important to work with an experienced professional who can help you decide how much power you’ll need, where to install a generator and what type of fuel to use. When you work with us at Absolute Services, you’ll get top-notch service and reliable advice from our team of trained, licensed professionals.
At Absolute Services, we specialize in installing and servicing home generators for folks throughout Central Kentucky. Whether you live in Louisville, Lexington or Elizabethtown, you can turn to us for all your heating, cooling, electrical and plumbing needs. Our professionals are friendly, prompt and ready to handle any task you send our way.
Our electricians have extensive knowledge about home generators. If you’re ready for an inspection to determine the best generator for your home, we’ll do the job quickly and then answer any questions you have about the installation. Call us at Absolute Services today to learn more.