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How to Choose a Whole House Generator
Just like any other home appliance, whole house generators vary in features and capacity. That’s why you need to have some essential knowledge when looking for the right machine. Indeed, every unit is different, but you can easily pick the ideal one by considering the following specs:
Undoubtedly, the amount of wattage that a standby generator produces is a crucial specification. Essentially, it measures the power the unit has available to operate your appliances. To learn which home generator will work best for you, add up the wattage of the devices you’ll run simultaneously. That way, you’ll get a general idea of how much load your machine will need to handle in the event of a blackout.
Furthermore, you’ll need to consider the difference between starting watts and running watts. Usually, most of your household appliances will require a more considerable surge of power during start-up. It’s vital not to overlook this factor as it may lead to unwanted overload. Typically, you’ll need the highest starting wattage plus your total watts required. It’s safe to assume that you likely won’t start all appliances at once.
Also, don’t forget the higher wattage equates to a higher price. Still, having a home generator with a higher capacity is better than choosing between your fridge or air conditioner.
Type of Fuel
Another crucial feature to consider is the type of fuel your generator will use. Usually, you can choose between gasoline, natural gas, or propane. As gasoline-powered units are the most widespread, they also require special cautions regarding exhaust fumes and carbon monoxide poisoning. That’s why you must ensure your gas generator is outside of your house or garage. Besides, you need to provide proper ventilation in the particular premise as well as other storage measures.
Arguably, propane and natural gas are much cleaner sources of fuel. Therefore, they’re the more convenient fuel type for larger whole house generators. Ultimately, they’ll supply any property with an on-demand source of power. Alternatively, you can choose to go “green” by purchasing a solar or battery-powered unit. While these systems’ capabilities may vary a lot, they’re a cost-effective option for households with minimal power needs. Moreover, most battery-powered units are suitable for indoor installation.
Perhaps, one of the best features of a whole house generator is the automatic start. Most of the time, such models will automatically kick in if the electricity cuts off. That way, you won’t have to start the machine manually. This feature is precious when you’re away from your home for more extended periods. Consequently, it will keep vital systems functioning, giving you much-needed peace of mind. Now, you won’t have to worry about your air conditioning system, sump pump, or fridge.
It’s important to note that the automatic start function isn’t the same as the electronic start. While the latter option requires a push of a button, the former starts operating automatically.
Of course, you may want to use your whole house generator with power hardwired appliances. Then, you should look for a model with a transfer switch. This feature will safely disconnect your home from the power grid. Consequently, you’ll be able to supply power from your unit to the dedicated circuits on your electrical grid.
Remember to never plug your whole house generator into standard electrical outlets. Otherwise, you risk creating electrical hazards like back feed. They can put utility workers’ health in danger during a power line repair.
Briggs & Stratton 40627 Standby Generator
The Briggs & Stratton 40627 generator is an ultra-silent unit that will provide backup power within seconds of a power outage. This 12kW machine boasts a new Updated Control System which minimizes fuel consumption. For example, the Low Idle Mode will run at low RPM to cut down the fuel consumption to a minimum.
Now, you can easily program your 040627 unit through the different modes and cycle times for higher precision. That way, you’ll have less than 5% THD for sensitive electronics. One of the staples in the Briggs & Stratton manufacture of generators is the Vanguard® V-Twinnhorizontal engine. Undoubtedly, it’s one of the best motors you’ll find on the market. The Symphony® II PowerManagement will ensure your generator doesn’t overload and shutdown so you can continue with your routine.
Another new feature is the charging system. It employs an independent 3-stage battery charger, which maximizes battery life and efficiency. Thanks to the corrosion-resistant enclosure from automotive-grade galvanized steel, you won’t worry about chips and abrasions. Last but not least, you can enjoy a low-noise experience of 64 dB at a distance of 7 meters.
Generac 6998 Home Standby Generator
The Generac 6998 home standby model is yet another compact and featherweight generator. This unit weighs merely about 208 pounds and has dimensions of 36 x 27 x 25 inches. Besides, the steel enclosure and powder-coat finish will provide long-lasting protection from corrosion and extreme weather. If you’re looking for a compact anti-blackout solution, this is the ideal residential standby generator to have.
Arguably, this unit’s best feature is the remote monitor, which lets you monitor your generator from anywhere in the world. You can easily access any information you wish, including plans, operations, etc. The Generac 6998 will deliver plenty of backup power to your home automatically. What’s more, the 50-Amp NEMA 1 indoor-rated automatic transfer switch will protect your house’s 8 circuits without an effort. At 69 dB, you’ll barely hear this machine produce any noise. Needless to say, your neighbors will love it, too.
In the event of a power outage, this standby generator will automatically turn on. The 7.5/6 kW air-cooled system will supply gentle and clean power for the most delicate electronics. Furthermore, True PowerTM Technology will minimize the harmonic distortion to less than 5%. That way, you’ll get far cleaner power quality, so you can use your most sensitive household appliances.
Briggs & Stratton 40336 Standby Generator
One thing that distinguishes the Briggs & Stratton 40336 model is its noiselessness. If you’re looking for a standby generator that produces low noise, you’ll barely hear this one. While it stands at 67 dB at 10 meters of range, you’ll scarcely hear it from 5 meters of distance. Its compact and featherweight design makes the unit ideal for transport.
In terms of power, the Briggs & Stratton 40336 20kW boasts Dual 200-Amp/Split 400-Amp Transfer. It will ensure maximum performance and autonomy. The optimal power of 2400 watts for 220V of rated voltage is enough to provide quality current for your electronics. Furthermore, you can take advantage of the energy-saving mode (ECO) through a convenient switch.
As already anticipated, the ignition takes place by the pull. At the top left, there is the lever of the run/choke. As soon as you turn on the tool, you must place it on the choke. After 10 seconds from turning on, you can set it and leave it on the run.
What Are the Different Types of Generators?
Undoubtedly, portable generators are famous for their relatively compact designs. Moreover, they come with a set of wheels for higher mobility. They are the ideal solution for keeping appliances and electronics working during power outages. In most cases, they use gasoline or propane as fuel. That’s why it’s not advisable to use them indoors. When you use such a machine outside, make sure to place it safely from windows and doors. That way, you’ll prevent exhaust from entering the house.
As you can imagine, such generators are only suitable for powering a few appliances. While they’ll bring comfort to your life, portable generators can’t support all electronics. Such a unit can run a fridge and a few lights at its best. Therefore, you should carefully check the model’s wattage and compare it to your expected energy demands. Don’t forget to look for a transfer switch. It will significantly improve the efficiency of your portable generator. That way, you’ll safely supply power from your generator to your home’s electrical circuit and hardwired appliances.
If you’re looking for a more compact alternative to portable generators, then an inverter unit will do the trick. This type of generator is famous for its gasoline-powered configuration, which is much more efficient. What’s more, it has cleaner emissions. Thanks to their rugged and compact design, these generators are a favorite choice for camping and tailgating. However, newer inverter models can easily replace standby or portable generators in your home.
Perhaps, the best thing about these machines is that they sip gasoline as needed. In other words, when there’s less power required, the engine will throttle down. As a result, gasoline consumption lowers significantly. Besides, you won’t have to bear its annoying noise because these units are less noisier than their counter parts.
If you’re into camping and off-grid activities, an inverter generator is an ideal way to keep your appliances running. On the other hand, a more heavy-duty inverter generator will work correctly in your house. While it may cost you more upfront, such a machine will be far more fuel-efficient in the long run.
Home Standby Generators
If you’re looking for the perfect match for your house, consider buying a standby generator. These large-capacity units can supply your property from a few hours to a few days, thanks to their fuel supply. Moreover, they boast a high wattage capacity, which will power all your electronics as long as fuel flows. Combine the power with a total of up to 1,000 gallons, and it can operate for a week or more. Of course, it all depends on your power consumption.
Needless to say, standby generators store much higher wattage, some reaching 20,000 watts of power. If you’re searching for a whole house generator, you can easily bet on up to 48,000-watt model. Ultimately, you’ll hardly have any problems with powering your household appliances during a power outage. Just make sure you have a professionally-installed transfer switch. Unlike portable generators, these machines will make the transition happen seamlessly without manual assistance.
All in all, a whole house generator is a perfect solution to frequent blackouts. While it will minimize the downtime, it will provide uninterrupted runtimes. Simply order a professional installation to eliminate all concerns over exhaust fumes. What’s more, its year-round housing keeps it safe from inclement weather. Mind that high-end whole house generators can cost several thousand dollars.
Conclusion for Home Standby Generators
Without a doubt, choosing a whole house generator might be a tricky task, especially for beginners in the field. Therefore, you must acquaint yourself first before going on a shopping spree. In most cases, a portable or an inverter generator will save you during power outages. However, the real deal hides in standby or a whole house generator. If you’re looking for backup power for days, this is the type of generator to buy. But that’s if you’re looking to supply lots of electronics with electricity.
Let us now turn to the second question, which concerns the maintenance of the power generator. The first tip is to give maximum importance to every single anomaly you find. Also, a periodic cleaning that avoids the entanglement of dust or other materials that can damage it can’t be missing. Furthermore, remember that it is essential to check the presence of distilled water present in the silenced power generator battery.