Here in Alabama, we’ve seen practically every type of severe weather just in the past year- hurricanes, tornadoes, snow storms, ice storms, you name it. Unfortunately, many Alabamians have lost power from these weather events. The weather can be unpredictable, and you want to be prepared for the worst. Do you want to protect yourself and your family from the next power outage or blackout? Consider installing a whole home generator with a licensed electrician from Xcalibur Services in Birmingham, AL.
As with every large purchase, you’re bound to have questions and want more details before buying. This article will cover the top 6 questions most homeowners have when installing a standby generator. Let’s address 6 of the most common questions about whole home generators.
1. Who Is a Whole Home Generator For?
The main benefit of a standby whole-house generator is that it will power your house for days after a power outage. It is highly recommended for those who have critical medical equipment that must keep working if batteries or backups fail. It is also best for anyone who needs uninterrupted use of electric-powered equipment, including businesses and families with small children.
Of course, whole-home generators are great for anyone wanting the convenience of uninterrupted power, so you don’t have to be selective with your small generator. With the right generator, you can cover all of your major home needs, such as the air conditioner, furnace, central air, sump pump, and other utility power systems. Anyone who uses power can benefit from a generator, even though some have a higher need level for one.
2. What Size Generator Do You Need For Your House?
When determining what size generator is best for your home, some common factors that go into answering that question are as follows.
- What power requirements does your home currently have?
- Can your home's current electrical system handle a generator installation?
- How many electrical appliances do you need to keep running during a power outage?
- Will you need the entire house running or a few appliances?
Answering these questions will guide you in choosing the right size and power for your unit. Your trusted Xcalibur Services electrician will help you find the right unit for your home or your needs. Obviously, the more you need, the bigger the size of the unit and the more power it will require.
3. How Do These Generators Work?
Standby, whole home units, as opposed to portable generators, are installed on the outside of your property on a concrete slab in a location that’s easy to access. These generators are directly connected to your electrical system and an external fuel supply. A home standby generator runs on external fuel supplies such as natural gas, propane, or even liquid propane. Some automatic standby generators may require a separate propane tank installation depending on the amount of power and wattage required for your home.
Whole home generators have an automatic transfer switch, so when it detects an interruption in your main utility service, it safely switches you from that power source to the standby generator’s power. The backup generator automatically connects to your circuit breaker or electrical panel and powers the entire home or targets essential circuits such as the air conditioning unit. No need to fumble around trying to find a switch or go power it up yourself. It will run on the standby generator’s power supply until your normal utility service resumes working again. Once your main utility comes back online, then the generator shuts off.
4. Are Whole Home Generators Noisy?
If you’ve ever been around any kind of generator, you’ll know it can be fairly noisy. The same is true for whole home models. However, newer models can be much quieter. Older standby generators were very noisy. Many residential generators come standard with a sound reduction enclosure as well. As a result, this produces some of the quietest standby generators.
5. Who Should Install Your Generator?
Please, do NOT try to do this yourself or with the help of someone who isn’t qualified. Hire a professional electrician like Xcalibur Services. The professionals can help you safely connect to your electrical system and external fuel source. Xcalibur Services has the experience to work with the utility company to ensure your home generator system can handle the electrical load. This type of project requires advanced electrical skills and pulling permits and inspections. So, do yourself a favor and call Xcalibur Services for your whole house generator installation.
6. How Often Should the Generator Be Serviced?
Just like most large equipment, including your HVAC system, you must service your whole home generator to maintain it properly. Routine maintenance includes changing the oil and filter after using them for multiple days in a row. The new generator owner’s manual will have information on what comprises the routine maintenance. So, if you want your generator to stay healthy for many years, then check the engine regularly. There’s more to it than just checking the oil and filters, which is why it’s recommended to have a professional do the maintenance and tune-ups. A local service electrician, like Xcalibur Services, can help you with servicing your equipment. Staying on top of regular maintenance will ensure that your investment lasts as long as it should.
Xcalibur Services is your go-to installer and servicer of whole-home generators. As an authorized dealer, we are proud to offer them to our customers all over Alabama. When you choose Xcalibur Services for your backup power needs, you can expect to receive the same professionalism, workmanship, and service that our HVAC customers know and love. Our years of reliable service have provided peace of mind for thousands of customers.
Contact us today for a consultation about installing a generator or other electrical services on your property. Most importantly, we can answer all your questions and guide you in the right direction!