January 20, 2020

Which Generator Do I Need for My Home?

Managing power outages can be a real challenge without a standby generator. Choosing the right generator depends on what it will be used for, how many appliances need to be powered, and how much power those items will need.

Generator Categories

Generators are broken into categories depending on their kilowatt size. The size of the home will often determine the type of generator needed. Whole House generators are best suited to larger homes due to their large kilowatt output. They range between 20 to 100+ kilowatts. Backup generators with a managed power automatic transfer switch are the best option for most mid-sized homes; they offer between 12 to 22 kilowatts of power. The automatic transfer switch can prevent overload by limiting when certain appliances receive power. Home standby generators for essential power offer much less kilowatt output than the other two categories of generators, but are just as reliable and cost much less. They range between 8 to 13 kilowatts output and are great for smaller houses or people who do not need to run a lot of power.

What Needs to Be Powered

The size and type of generator will ultimately be determined by what needs to be powered. Choosing to power only the essentials will require less wattage but means forgoing power to extraneous items, such as light fixtures and electronics. The essential appliances that take up the most power can include the refrigerator, washer/dryer, A/C system, and water heater. Powering the whole home will require a lot more wattage but may provide more comfort, especially for those who experience longer and more frequent outages. A list of desired appliances to power that includes their starting and running wattage is a great way to estimate how many kilowatts will be needed and what generator will provide that output. When looking at wattages of appliances throughout the house, homeowners should look to exceed their combined listed appliance wattage, not just meet it. They can do this on their own or contact an electrician for a more accurate estimate.

For those in Blairstown, NJ, and the surrounding areas looking to install a home standby generator or learn more about them, Seidel Electric Inc. can take care of every step from installation to servicing and repair. Contact us today for a free consultation.