When you lose power to your home, it is a major inconvenience and sometimes a lot more than
that when you lose your connection to the grid.
Regular power outages mean that backup generators are now a necessity for many homeowners.
If you are looking to get a generator, it makes sense to understand how to set up a permanent
standby system, what your fuel options are, and how much power you need to keep your home
running when the grid fails.
“If you are looking for generator capable
of supplying all the power you need in
an outage situation you will need to
look beyond a basic generator.”
Creating a permanent solution
There is a fundamental difference between picking a generator as a temporary power source
and creating a more permanent standby solution.
A basic generator will be there to give you some electric power when you need it.
The average residential generator uses an engine to spin the generator and create the power.
However, the excessive noise created by this engine is something you need to think about, as it
can be off-putting.
If you are looking for generator capable of supplying all the power you need in an outage situation
you will need to look beyond a basic generator.
A grid-tie installation can be considered a viable solution.
This system involves the generator and the incoming grid wires to be tied into the transfer switch.
The grid-tie installation works by monitoring the level of incoming grid power.
If there is a power outage, the generator will switch off contact with the grid and the engine will
start to generate power to your home.
It takes less than a minute for the generator’s electricity supply to start.
As soon as the grid power becomes available again, the switching circuit will automatically switch
over again and the generator will power down.
The ability to switch between grid and generator power as seamlessly as possible will allow you
to cope with an emergency or longer-term problems, giving you a reliable supply of electricity
to your home.
Choosing the right fuel
Choosing the right fuel for your standby generator will make a difference to reliability, running
costs and safety.
The majority of residential standby generators are powered by natural gas.
You will have to set up a natural gas line from your gas meter to the generator.
Think about positioning your generator on your property where there is good access to a natural
If you don’t have a natural gas line at your home, you can use liquid propane as an alternative.
You will want to buy the best natural gas generator available for your budget and power requirements.
Remember that the amount of fuel the generator will burn depends on the size of the unit and the
Work out the energy requirements for your home and match it with a generator that can cope with
that level of demand.
If you’re unsure in any way about the size of the generator you need it would be better to seek a
professional opinion from your supplier.
You need to choose the right fuel type and generator for your needs if you are going to successfully
meet your electricity needs when the grid fails.
Working out your wattage
You can work out the wattage capacity you need by performing a simple calculation.
Residential backup generators are sold by their wattage capacity.
You will need to calculate the wattage usage of your home to get the right one.
When you do your calculations, remember that your power usage will vary according to
If you rely on an A/C unit through the summer, this will add to your electricity consumption
The information you need can be found on your electricity bill.
Look for the average kilowatt/hour (kWh) usage.
Take that hourly figure and multiply that number by 24.
Working out your wattage is a critical aspect when choosing a generator.
If you don’t buy a generator that meets your power needs you will soon overwork it.
The voltage output will be affected by an over-burdened generator and can even damage the
appliances it is powering.
Why natural gas is best
If you have a natural gas supply to your property, it is the best way to provide backup power
to your home.
You can buy a natural gas generator in a size that will fit all of your electrical needs.
Having natural gas connected to the standby unit allows the generator to start up almost
immediately after the power from the grid fails.
You won’t get the same noise issues with natural gas generators and reduced emissions make
them an environmentally friendly option.
If you want comprehensive power outage protection, a natural gas generator will deliver the
system you need to keep the lights on in your home.
About the Author
Chris Miles enjoys renovating houses in his spare time, and has a passion for natural homes and using as many eco-friendly and green products as possible. He writes about all of this in his articles.
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