Whole-house generators are advantageous for people living in areas where the electricity is prone to going out for lengthy time frames. These standby generators are permanent fixtures outside the home and resemble central air conditioning units. They run on natural gas, liquid propane or diesel fuel. If you're considering buying one of these devices, consider three factors before making a purchase.
If you live in the country, having a generator installed probably won't be a problem in regard to zoning or other regulations. It's different in a municipality, however.
Noise ordinances may prohibit certain types of equipment in neighborhoods. Generators aren't exceptionally noisy, but they sound a bit like a car with a bad exhaust system running continuously.
There also likely are regulations regarding exterior propane and diesel fuel tanks. That's a consideration if running the system with the natural gas utility isn't feasible. For natural gas, you need a high-pressure line supplied by the utility company. This may not be available where you live, and there's typically an access fee if the option is available.
The Size to Buy
Whole-house generators are available in several sizes. You can choose one of the smallest models if you can be frugal about how much electricity you'll use while the power is out. That will keep your refrigerator and freezer running and allow you to run a few lights, the TV set and the furnace fan.
The smallest models can only supply power to a few circuits at a time. If you need power for a combination of equipment such as a well pump, a water heater, central air conditioning and an electric oven, a mid-sized model is more suitable. Adding a dehumidifier, a washing machine, an electric clothes dryer and numerous lighting fixtures to the mix means you will have to buy a bigger and more expensive generator.
The Type of Enclosure
Standby generators come enclosed in steel or aluminum to shelter them from weather elements, critters and debris from trees. The aluminum enclosures reduce the noise more than the steel does, and this metal also isn't vulnerable to rust or other corrosion. However, the aluminum-enclosed models cost more.
What You Can Do Now
Consult an HVAC contractor for more information about whole-house generators and explain the level of electricity you'd need when the utility power is out. You'll learn prices for various models and sizes, after which you can decide which one to buy and schedule the installation.
For more information, contact Childers Enterprises Inc or a similar company.