Blog

Are you looking for help with projects around the house? Our blog offers helpful tips and DIY videos, or schedule a service appointment today.

Standby Generators Becoming Very Popular

 

Hi, it’s Chris from John C Flood and today am going to talk about the increasing need and demand for standby generators. Just a few years ago, the thought of owning an emergency standby generator seemed liked an unnecessary waste of a considerable amount of money for the minimal amount of time you would be without power. These days powerful and vicious storms have been pelting the country, some areas have been worse and reports show this has been causing more and more areas to lose power and often for longer periods of time. This makes for troublesome and potentially dangerous circumstances for homeowners and their families. Many homeowners simply cannot afford to ride out another power outage. For one, it can be uncomfortable depending on the time of year as well as dangerous for those with chronic illnesses, elderly and small children. If you add into that the potential financial losses especially those on fixed budgets with families due to possible food loss et cetera. We are seeing now families are starting to fight back by installing residential standby generators in record numbers to protect their families and investments.

The idea of a standby generator or backup generator is simple. Standby generators are permanently installed outside and operate just like essential air conditioner with two notable differences. The first being they have engines rather than an electric motor. Air conditioners run off electric motors which obviously will not work during a power outage. Home standby generators have engines instead. These systems can be connected via your natural gas line or liquid propane tank and will generate electricity as long as fuel is supplied. The second is automatic transfer switches. Instead of using a thermostat, standby generators use an automatic transfer switch to monitor your utility power. When your power goes out the automatic transfer switch turns on the generator whether you're home or not and automatically shuts it off when your power is restored. Unlike portable generators, home standby generators operate automatically with no human intervention.

Selecting a standby generator requires some thought, a little calculation and depending on your budget some possible sacrifices on what you can and will get for your power. The first step in picking a residential standby generator really depends on whether you want power to your whole house, just certain circuits or something in between. One of the biggest misconceptions about home standby generators is that they restore power to the whole house. The term whole house really depends on the size of your home which is as we all know can very significantly as well the cost too. Whole house generators are the ideal solution because they power the whole house and for comfort and convenience this is obviously the best solution but of course they are also quite expensive.

The whole point of a whole house generator is to replace utility during an outage. Whole house generators feature automobile-like liquid cool engines that run cooler and last longer than their air-cooled counterparts. Whole house residential generators come in a variety of sizes depending on make, model and kilowatts. Kilowatts can range from 7-60. You can determine your size based on the amount of electricity your house consumes as well as your needs but it's also advised you consult with a professional technician. The majority of newer homes in the United States are built with a 200 amp electrical service. So simply put your house will not utilize more than 200 amp and in reality your home will never really ever use all that electricity.

On hot summer days essential air conditioner consumes a very large portion of your total ampage. At night most homes use considerably less but this of course will depend on where you live and your climate. If you absolutely positively want to replace every single amp in your home, you will need at least a 48 kilowatt whole house system which generates all 200 amps of electricity necessary. In most cases, however, you can significantly reduce the cost by choosing a smaller model which can still power your entire home. The vast majority of homes use 120-240 volts single phase electricity. Three phase electricity is designed for commercial applications such as restaurants and banks. So if you're considering a standby generator do a little research to ensure you get the right model and size that will work for your situation and budget.

There are plenty of resources available on the web for research and if you're in the Metro DC Northern Virginia area you can give us a call at John C Flood or visit us on the web at www.johncflood.com and we'd be happy to assist you in determining the best solution for you and your home and your family. Thanks.