How to Buy A Generator for your Home
Given the dangers of bad weather, it is always sensible to have a backup generator in case the storm knocks out your power. Use the tips below to help you make the right choice when buying a backup generator and make buying a generator for your home easier.
Size of the generator
The first thing you want to do is which area of the home you want to power during an outage. An online calculator or wattage chart can help you decide which size of generator you need to buy.
Generators come in various types and sizes. You can get small, portable generators that can power a few personal devices. These small inverter generators run on gasoline or liquid propane and work well for short power failures. There are also large, loud, gasoline-powered generators that can power the whole house. An example is a home standby generator connected directly to a propane tank that kicks in automatically when power goes out.
Lastly, choose only generators that have been approved by a nationally recognized testing laboratory such as UL, Intertek ETL, or CSA.
Cost of the generator
A good-quality home generator doesn’t come cheap. A medium-sized generator that can power up to a five-ton air conditioner, plus houses up to 3,000 square feet, costs about $8,500. Larger generators that run two air conditioners, all appliances and homes above 3,000 square feet cost around $12,000. Whichever generator you choose, always consider safety a priority.
Where to install the generator
Generators should be installed at least 20 feet away from your house (including portable ones). This is to prevent the accumulation of carbon monoxide in your home—which is an extremely dangerous and deadly gas. The good news is some new portable generators have a built-in sensor that automatically shuts down the machine if it detects dangerous levels of carbon monoxide.
Nonetheless, it is advisable to hire an electrician to help you install the unit properly according to the building code and functioning for your space. Buying a generator might just be a good investment.
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