Need a reliable backup power source to keep your home up and running during power outages?
Installing a whole-house generator can provide complete electricity for your home, automatically activating within seconds of an outage.
Here’s a closer look at the key benefits that whole house generators provide.
A whole-house generator is designed to deliver backup power to your entire home, not just specific circuits or appliances like a standard generator. It connects to your home’s electrical system and automatically switches on within seconds when the main power goes out. This prevents any disruption or interruption to your home’s activities.
Power outages are a pain, but are whole-house generators worth the cost?
Let’s find out.
Key Benefits of Whole House Generators
Some of the main benefits of a generator for your home include:
Reliable Power for Entire House
Whole house generators provide backup power to your entire home, allowing you to continue using your furnace, lights, refrigerator, and other essentials during an outage. This ensures your daily life is not impacted.
The system will detect a power loss and automatically activate within seconds, providing a seamless transition to generator power. This prevents any disruption.
Supports Extended Outages
These systems have large fuel tanks and can operate for long periods, such as during multi-day blackouts from storms. This allows normal household function no matter how long the main power is out.
The generator will protect sensitive electronics and appliances throughout the home from power surges/damage that can occur when power is restored.
Increased Home Value
Having a whole house generator system installed increases your home’s resale value and appeals to buyers by ensuring reliable backup power.
Potential Insurance Discounts
Some insurance providers offer discounts for homes equipped with whole house generators, as they reduce losses during outages. Check with your provider.
Types of Whole House Generators
There are two main types of whole-house generators to choose from:
Standby Generators – These are permanently installed outside your home and connected to your electrical system. They automatically detect outages and start within seconds to restore power.
Portable Generators – Portable generator units can also be adapted to integrate with a home’s electrical system. However, they require manual start-up and won’t detect an outage automatically.
Choosing between a standby or portable system depends on factors like budget, features, and convenience.
Proper Generator Sizing
Choosing a generator with adequate power for your whole house’s needs is crucial. Consider factors like:
- Square footage of your home
- Number of circuits and major appliances
- Essential items you want to power like AC, heat, kitchen, etc.
A professional can help determine ideal generator sizing to meet your electrical demands and run seamlessly when needed.
Generator Fuel Source Options
Key generator fuel options include:
Natural Gas – Connects directly to your home’s natural gas supply for automatic, uninterrupted fuel as long as service is active.
Propane – Propane fuel tanks must be large enough for extended run times and occasionally refilled.
Diesel – Diesel generators tend to be the most powerful but require maintenance and refueling as well.
Each has pros and cons to weigh for your situation. A reputable generator provider can help choose the optimal power source.
Top Whole House Generator Brands
Some of the top brands for high-quality, durable whole home generators include:
- Generac – The leader in home backup power, trusted brand.
- Kohler – Known for power generators along with kitchen and bath fixtures.
- Cummins – A leading brand for large industrial generators.
- Briggs & Stratton – Known for small engines and portable generators.
- Champion – Popular maker of more affordable home generators.
Research different brands’ features, power levels, noise ratings, warranties and quality reputation.
Cost to Install Whole House Generator
The costs of installing a whole-house generator system in your home can vary quite a bit based on:
- Brand, power output, and features
- Type – Standby vs Portable
- Fuel source – Natural gas, propane or diesel
- Additional installation requirements
But on average, for a medium-sized home, costs can range from:
Purchase Price – $3,000 to $15,000
Installation Costs – $3,000 to $10,000
Contact certified local providers to receive accurate price quotes for your specific property. Most offer free in-home consultations to determine an ideal system and pricing for your needs. Financing and warranties are also often available from reputable dealers and manufacturers.
Maintaining and Testing Your Generator
Routine maintenance is essential to keep your whole house generator system in working order. This includes:
- Testing it monthly by running briefly under load
- Annual service of parts like oil, filters, battery
- Inspections for any leaks, damage or issues
- Following fuel tank draining and conditioning procedures
Exercising your generator monthly ensures it will function when really needed. Consider registering for a maintenance contract with your dealer for scheduled professional service.
Operating Safety Tips
It’s important to always follow safety precautions when operating your generator:
- Never run a generator inside homes or garages, only outdoors and far from doors/windows.
- Ensure proper ventilation to avoid dangerous carbon monoxide buildup.
- Turn off and let cool before refueling.
- Keep children and pets away from the running generator.
- Ensure equipment is dry to avoid shock/electrocution hazards.
- Follow all manufacturer safety guidelines.
What are the pros and cons of a whole house generator?
Pros include providing reliable backup power for your entire home automatically, supports extended outages, increases home value, potential insurance savings. Cons are the high upfront cost of purchase and installation, requires regular maintenance and fuel.
Are whole house generators worth it?
They can be a valuable investment for ensuring your home maintains power and avoids food spoilage, damage, and loss of normal living during outages – especially prolonged ones. The high initial cost pays off over decades of use.
When would I need a whole house generator?
They’re ideal for homes in areas prone to power outages from storms, overtaxed grids, weather events or unreliable local grids. Homeowners who rely on medical devices or well water pumps may need home generator backup.
Can I get an insurance discount for having a generator?
Some insurers provide a discount on premiums for homes with backup generators since claims from electrical surges or food spoilage are reduced. Check with your agent.
Is a generator a waste of money?
For homes that experience frequent or lengthy power outages, they can pay for themselves over time by preventing massive food spoilage, damage claims, hotel costs, and loss of everyday living. They provide invaluable backup protection.
Adding a whole house generator ensures your home seamlessly maintains power through multi-day outages so you can go about normal living undisturbed. Units automatically supply electricity to the entire house until the main service is restored. With proper maintenance, a quality system will provide decades of reliable backup and protection from power loss.
Consider the key benefits a whole house generator provides and chat with reputable local providers to explore options matching your budget and needs. With the right generator keeping your lights on and appliances powered, your home will be prepared for the next outage.