3 Factors To Keep In Mind Prior To Installing A Whole House Generator

The Garber Electric specialists are here to help you with some important considerations when installing a whole house generator.

installing a whole house generator is a lot easier said than done!

There are countless weather events like hurricanes, ice storms, flooding, electrical storms and so much more that can inflict some serious damage on a community’s electrical grid; and many times these weather events will lead to prolonged power outages that leave homes in darkness for days or even weeks at a time!

The recent winter storms in Texas have opened the entire country’s eyes when it comes to just how devastating a prolonged power outage can be, and the Garber Electric team has continued to support home and business owners throughout Central Ohio with whole-house generator installations.

But when you’re installing a whole house generator, you’ll need to keep a number of factors in mind. Whole-house generators are undoubtedly one of the best ways to protect your household during unexpected or prolonged outages, but these are home improvement investments that require extensive research.

Below we’ll be going over 3 important factors to keep in mind while you’re shopping for a whole-house generator, and as always feel free to contact us online to get in touch with our specialists and let us know your questions/concerns!

Generator Capacity

Generator capacity should always be one of your first and foremost concerns while exploring your whole-house generator options, and most standby generators are evaluated in terms of power through the kilowatt (kW).

Most portable, standby generators will provide about 2-4kW of power, whereas a whole-house generator will commonly provide around a 20kW rating. Homeowners also need to keep their overall power demand in mind while evaluating generator capacity; and this is because the more devices/appliances that you need to power, the more powerful generator you’ll need.

So when it comes to keeping your freezers, air conditioning, furnaces, etc. powered up during an out, an average sized household will typically need about 20-22kW of generator efficiency. This is why small standby generators typically don’t get the job done!

Our specialists will help you better determine that amount of kW power that your household will need, so you can be rest assured that you’re getting the best generator for your requirements when our industry specialists assist you.

Choosing Fuel Type

It’s important to understand how crucial your generator’s fuel type is, because as we all know there can be shortages of fuel supplies during extended outages. This is why your whole-house generator should provide a large quantity of fuel to support your household for longer time periods.

There are 4 primary fuel types to consider when you’re shopping for a generator, including:

  • Gasoline
  • Diesel
  • LP gas (propane)
  • Natural gas

The first thing you should know about these 4 options is that gasoline simply isn’t a viable option for a whole-house generator, even though it’s commonly used for portable generators. This is simply due to the high volatility of gasoline, which subsequently makes gasoline a difficult fuel to store. Gasoline also deteriorates over time, which can leave you in a bind when you unexpectedly need your generator.

So now that you know that gasoline isn’t a good fuel type, let’s go over the other three options:

Diesel

There certainly are some attractive qualities associated with diesel fuel, including how it’s much less volatile and generally more stable in comparison to gasoline. Diesel is also very high in overall energy content, which makes it an efficient option.

Most diesel standby generators will require an external fuel tank being installed near the generator, because this will help you better ensure that you have enough fuel for at least a few days.

These above advantages make diesel a popular option for large commercial properties like hospitals and schools, but there’s no doubt about it that diesel tends to be less popular amongst homeowners.

However, diesel still could be a good option for you if you don’t have convenient natural gas access or LP gas delivery.

LP Gas (Propane)

LP gas tends to be an eco-friendly fuel option that’s also relatively easy to store. Residential LP gas storage tanks will generally contain anywhere from 100-1,000 gallons, and most municipalities throughout Central Ohio will have local dealers to help supply your tank.

Although propane isn’t as efficient as diesel, it’s still a really great option for all standby generators. This is mainly because it’s pretty simplified to store a large supply of fuel on your property!

Natural Gas

Natural gas tends to be the most economic and eco-friendly fuel type option for whole-house generators, and these fuel supplies tend to be very reliable during natural disasters and all types of weather events.

Your house should be more than prepared for any circumstances when you have a standby generator that’s powered by natural gas, which is why this is our preferred fuel type when we’re helping homeowners during whole-house generator installations!

Are You Considering A DIY Installation? There Are A LOT Of Other Installation Factors To Keep In Mind!

We undoubtedly know that your best bet is always to put your whole-house generator installations in the hands of our experienced specialists, but we also understand how there are countless DIY homeowners that think watching a few YouTube videos will be all they need to conduct the installation on their own.

So if you are thinking of conducting a DIY generator installation, please keep the following considerations in mind prior to taking the plunge!

  • Electrical Connections: Your home’s standby generator will use an automatic transfer switch that helps the generator better recognize when a power outage begins. This means that your home’s electrical configuration plays a major role in the generator installation process, because many times a transfer switch will go to a unique breaker panel that only sends electricity to particularly important circuits.
  • Plumbing Connections: Like we mentioned above, a lot of households will choose either LP gas or natural gas as their generator fuel type; which means that you’ll need to ensure that your propane tank or natural gas line is properly connected to your new generator. This means that you’ll require all of the correct valves to properly handle your fuel type.
  • HOA Restrictions/Building Permits: Depending upon where your home is located, it may be necessary for you to obtain a building permit prior to installing a whole-house generator. There is also a chance that you may need an inspection prior to conducting this installation process. HOA restrictions can vary depending upon where you live as well, so reaching out to your HOA representatives is typically best to ensure that you’re following your area’s rules.
  • Selecting The Proper Site: Each generator will come with specific guidelines that help you better understand the proximity in which it should be placed near your home. This means that you should also take the generator unit’s exhaust into consideration, particularly in terms of how close the exhaust is to your home’s entryways and windows.

There’s no doubt about it that this is a lot to handle when it comes to a DIY project, and the worst part about conducting a DIY generator installation is that any slight mistakes can be disastrous. Some of the potential issues you’ll need to on the lookout for include things like gas leaks, accidental electrocutions and even carbon monoxide poisoning.

So when it comes down to it, you’re always much better off putting this type of installation job in the hands of seasoned professionals. Our team has the knowledge and background to ensure a smooth and safe whole-house generator installation, and we’ll always be more than happy to guide you through every step of this home improvement investment process!

Reach Out To The Specialists At Garber Electric To Be More Prepared While Installing A Whole House Generator!

Garber Electric is a company that provides countless solutions to both home and business owners, and our expertise is always just a phone call away.

Reach out to us online or call us at 937-771-5202 (Dayton office) or 614-212-7900 (Columbus office) to get in touch with our team and let us know how we can help your property with our whole-house generators!

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