7 Backup Generator Questions Every Homeowner Asks

7 Backup Generator Questions Every Homeowner Asks - Lee Company

We all know that feeling — you’re sitting in your living room, watching the weather report, and nervously tapping your foot as the meteorologist discusses a big storm. And then you hear that dreaded word; “outage.”

As soon as the power goes out, your mind races. How long is it going to be out for? What are you going to do for food? What if your house gets too cold or too hot?

Power outages aren’t just limited to severe weather events. They can also happen during normal winter storms, when a tree falls on power lines, when there’s an equipment failure at a nearby electrical plant, or if the power grid is overloaded.

That’s why it’s so important to have a backup plan in place. And for many homeowners, that comes in the form of a backup generator.

If you’re thinking about getting a backup generator for your home, you’re not alone. Demand for generators is on the rise. But you might have several questions, like how they work, what they cost, and whether you really need one.

We’re here to answer everything you need to know about investing in a backup generator.

What is a whole house generator?

A whole house generator is a backup power system that is professionally installed outside your home. It’s hooked up to your electrical system and kicks in automatically when the power goes out. You won’t have to lift a finger. Whether you’re home or away, the generator will turn on and provide electricity until the power is back on.

How does an automatic generator work without electricity?

Your generator will have its own power source, either propane or natural gas. When the power goes out, an automatic transfer switch will detect the outage and send a signal to your generator. The generator will then turn on.

If your home currently has plumbing for propane or natural gas, then installation is much easier. If not, you’ll need to have a propane tank or natural gas line installed by a professional plumber. 

How long can an emergency generator power a house?

A generator certainly won’t replace your power company. The goal is to provide temporary power until your electricity is restored.

How long it will run depends on factors like:

  • The size of the generator
  • How much fuel you have
  • The type of fuel it uses
  • How many appliances or devices are plugged into it

Most whole house generators can run for several days or even weeks, as long as its fuel source doesn’t run out.

What size generator do I need?

Backup generators come in a variety of sizes, from small systems that power a few essential appliances to larger ones that can keep your entire house running. The size of the generator you need depends on how much power you intend to use.

A 20kW partial house generator is enough for you to power one or two of the following:

  • Garage door
  • HVAC system
  • Lights
  • Refrigerator
  • Sump pump

A slight upgrade to the 24kW size will allow you to easily run a heater or AC and a refrigerator. 

Still want more coverage? Choose a 40kW generator and your home will have lights, appliances, entertainment systems, and more.

Is a portable generator the same as a whole house generator?

No. Portable generators are small, gas-powered generators that you can bring with you when you travel. Many people use them for camping or keep them in the car for minor emergencies.

They’re not permanently installed and they don’t connect to your home’s electrical system. So when you need to use it, you’ll have to manually turn on the generator and then plug in individual appliances or devices.

Keep in mind, safety experts do not recommend using a portable generator indoors because they produce carbon monoxide, which can be deadly.

How do I know if a backup generator is right for me?

There are many benefits that come with owning a backup generator. You might need one if you:

  • Live in an area with frequent power outages
  • Have medical equipment that requires electricity
  • Work from home and need a backup power source for your computer or other office equipment
  • Have young children or elderly family members that you want to protect from extreme indoor temperatures

Generators give a sense of security that life won’t skip a beat when the power goes out. They can help you weather any storm…literally.

Can anyone install a generator?

Installing a whole house generator is not a DIY project. There’s a lot that goes into it; from sizing the generator to your home’s needs to safely connecting it to your electrical system.

The whole process is complex and dangerous, so it’s always best to leave it to the professionals. At Lee Company, we have a team of highly trained plumbers and electricians for generator installation, maintenance, repair, and replacement.

Life doesn’t always go according to plan. With a backup generator, you can be prepared for anything. 

If you’re thinking about getting a generator or have more questions, contact us today. We’ll help you choose the right generator for your needs and budget. With expert installation and maintenance, you’ll have reliable backup power for any situation!

Interested in a backup generator?