Purchasing a Standby Generator for Your Home

Purchasing a Standby Generator for Your Home: What You Should Know

When you’re seeking out a way to keep the electricity running in times of disaster brought on by inclement weather, technical difficulties, or something far worse, you have many choices like manual transfer switches or emergency generator options of many sizes and capabilities.

But it can be tough to know which of these choices works best for you without doing some important homework before you start to shop around. Everyone knows that a standby generator can be your best solution for keeping the lights on when everything around you is failing. In some cases, a lack of energy can lead to significant problems.

Aside from the obvious inconvenience, living without power can be a contributing factor to a break down in your communication with the outside world and your food could go to waste as well. In areas where there are extreme temperatures to deal with, having no electrical sources could make it very difficult to maintain a safe living environment. Freezing or extremely hot temperatures could put certain people at risk, particularly the elderly and the infirm.

But with a standby generator in the home these things can be avoided. Purchasing one of these units will ensure that you don’t need to worry about surviving without the basic essentials necessary for any length of time, be it a few hours or a few days. You just need to make some calculations and decisions and think about your particular needs for generating backup power in an emergency.

Failing to do these things could result in having a unit that is too small to provide you with the electrical load necessary to power it all or a unit that is too large and costly to suit you and that might mean you’ve spent too much.

So before you purchase a standby generator for your home, here are some things you should know to help you make the best choice.

How Much Power is Necessary?

Since there are so many different sizes and capacities available it’s important to know just how much power you need to be supplied at any given time. The way to do this is to assess all of the things you’ll need in the event the power is out.

Lights are a given, you may want to keep the refrigerator running, and you need a way to charge your cell phones and tablets so you can keep in contact at all times. You might need to power certain other devices that must be running constantly and have a way to control the temperature in the home in the event you’re dealing with cold or hot weather.

When you decide on which devices and appliances need to remain powered in the event of an outage, calculate the size of the load you’ll need. Each of these devices has a running wattage and a startup wattage. The latter is usually three to five times larger than the former, so when you’re tallying up the combined numbers of all your devices keep this in mind. Be cognizant of the load requirement for the item that has the largest number of these things as well.

Once you’ve done all of that, now you know what type of capacity your generator will need to be able to output to run everything necessary to stay safe and comfortable.



Where do you live and how long will it take for the power companies to restore power in your neighborhood? This is something to think about because it’s a fact that more populated areas are typically the first to get their power turned back on. Those who live further out in more rural locations will usually wait a bit longer.

Purchasing the right generator can depend on how long you could be waiting for power to be restored to your home and office.

Portable vs. Stationary

Another thing to consider is if you want to buy a portable generator that can be used for other purposes besides powering items in the home when the lights go out or if it should be solely for home use. Portability allows you to bring the generator to the beach or the campsite while a stationary option is hardwired into the electrical system of the house and can be powered on immediately after power is lost.

Both options are perfectly suitable to get the job done. It all depends on which version is best for your particular situation. Each one has many choices available.

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