Plans And Precautions Before Installing A Standby Generator

With bitterly cold winters becoming the standard for much of the U.S., investing in a standby generator can be a good way of keeping a bad situation from becoming worse. Snow, ice and blowing winds have knocked out power to thousands, over the last few winters, but you can avoid the uncertainty of this situation by connecting your home's essential systems to a standby power system. However, before you do, it's important that you take some time to prepare your home and make a plan of action for such a significant undertaking.

Choosing Your Generator

In order to determine just how much work your generator will need to do, you need to first determine just what you'll be running off it. For most people dealing with severe winter weather, your home's HVAC system will be the most crucial system to keep online. In addition, you may want to consider your home's hot water heater, stove, and refrigerator.

These few components are among the most power hungry in the average residential property, so have an evaluation done in order to determine just how much power these systems require for peak operation. What you should end up with is the number of kilowatts per hour that you'll need to generate in order to supply your home. This will provide you with a solid starting point from which to begin evaluating generators. Bear in mind, it's best to avoid running a generator at or near its maximum capacity, as you'll increase the volume of fuel required to sustain that level of operation.

Safe and Professional Electrical Work

With smaller, portable generators, connecting their feed to your home is done with a simple extension cord. A permanent standby generator requires permanent connections though, up to and including a dedicated breaker box. This box will contain the circuit breaker for dedicated wiring, which will be used during a power outage.

Make sure that you're only using licensed electricians to run this part of the project, to ensure that no wires are crossed and that your risk of a short circuit is minimized. Also confirm that only your chosen appliances, systems, and lighting will be included on any circuits being installed in your home to avoid accidentally overloading your new generator the first time you turn it on. Don't take short-cuts with this stage of the work, as even a small mistake or oversight can lead to a catastrophic emergency.

Generators range in size, capacity, and fuel type, but many can be used to power a home in an emergency. It's far more important to know how to ensure that the generator you end up choosing can be safely used and that it will last you for many years to come. To learn more about standby generators, visit Original Donnelly Heating Cooling & Electric