Choosing Your Whole House Generator
The type of generators vary depending on various factors such as the size, the number of electrical appliances you have, the fuel source of the generator as well as its transfer switch options. We have created a list of factors that affect the type of generator to help you purchase the right model.
Size of the Generator
Generators are typically rated by kilowatts, which measure the capacity that the machine can handle. If you are looking for an entry-level, whole-house unit, it’s advisable to consider one that has a capacity of 22 kilowatts.
If you want to replace about 75% of the 200 amps that flow into your electrical panel, you need to choose a standby generator rated 27 to 36 kW. These types of generators are equipped with advanced load-managing hardware such as A/C shedding. The advantage of such a system is that the A/Cs start at different times to protect the system from an overload.
At A+ Heating & Cooling – Electrical, we recommend the 48kW generator in case you want a system to back up your entire house. Such a system can produce 220 amp of power at 240 volts, which is nearly the amount of energy that comes from the utility.
Power Requirements in Your House
You need to look at your house and the number of appliances you use to determine the amount of power the generator should supply. The appliances that drain most of the energy are the air conditioner followed by kitchen appliances. It’s also vital to consider the number of people you live with. If you have more people, the power demand is going to increase. Once you determine the total wattage the house requires, you can begin looking at appropriately sized generators.
Most generators use natural gas or liquid propane, which can be a bit problematic to find. Luckily, some of the whole-house units come with a diesel option, which is more accessible. Both liquid propane and diesel-powered generators require large fuel tanks. This ensures the system runs for days without requiring refills. The natural gas meter, similarly, must be the right size. We advise our clients to ensure they have a reliable source of fuel before buying a generator.
Type of Switch
During our many years of operation, we discovered that the type of switch in a generator matters a lot. Getting the right switch is as essential as choosing the right one because they work together to restore power. Consider getting a generator with an automatic switch.
An automatic switch is always on standby to come into action whenever there is a power failure. These generators make the transfer of power source seamless because the process only takes a few seconds.
Manual switches that require you to physically turn the generator “on” or “off” when there is a blackout can be time consuming and an inconvenience. Say if your family is on vacation when there’s an outage, you could return days later to a fully defrosted freezer.