A backup generator is the wisest investment for any homeowner as it makes you stress-free about power outages. You need not sweat out about the sleepless nights in summer or freezing temperatures in winter if you have a generator to keep your appliances up and running even when there is no power. However, buying one can be overwhelming for newbies and even experienced homeowners. You will probably have a lot of questions about picking the right size and type. Further, there will be concerns about safety and maintenance. Let us answer the most frequently asked backup generator questions to clarify your doubts and simplify your buying experience.
What are the different types of backup generators?
Generators come in portable and standby variants, and they run on different types of fuels. The portable option is ideal for powering lights and small appliances during an outage. It requires you to start and plug it in your appliances when the power goes out. It is powered by gas, so you have to keep it outdoors to prevent fume buildup. If you want to keep large appliances up and running during an outage, you must opt for the standby variant. These generators start automatically and run on propane or natural gas.
What is the ideal size for me?
Size does not refer to the physical size of the generator. It is more about the electrical capacity of the machine. The ideal size you need depends on the appliances you want to run when the electricity goes out. You can add up the load amounts of the appliances to be run simultaneously to determine the electrical capacity you will need.
Can I install the generator myself?
Whether you opt for a portable or standby variant, you must not try to install it yourself. Even as connecting a portable generator to an outlet sounds easy, it can overload the circuits and may even cause a fire. Standby generators are complex, and you need to avail professional generator installation service to get the machinery running. Experts take care of a lot beyond installation. They also ensure that you have the requisite permits for the local and state electrical code requirements.
What are the safety recommendations I need to follow?
Safety should be on top of your mind when you start a portable generator. Never start with the appliances already attached, rather plug them one at a time after running the machine for a couple of minutes. Adding fuel to a hot generator can be dangerous because it elevates the risk of fire. If you feel something is wrong with the machine, let an expert handle it.
What is the lifespan of the machine?
You can expect your backup generator to last for decades, provided that you are regular with its care and maintenance. Standby variants require a lot of regular maintenance, particularly if you use them for long periods. Regular inspections by experts are vital, as they check the worn-out parts and replace them on time. A little effort can prolong the lifespan of the machine and save hefty repair or replacement costs.
Now that you know the answers to these key questions, you can choose and use a generator wisely. Picking the right variant ensures safety and peace of mind while going the extra mile with maintenance saves money in the long run.