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Home Backup Generator Facts: What You Need to Know Before Buying

Are you someone who's sick of power outages making your work or home life frustrating or annoying? If yes, you might want to consider investing in a home backup generator. But before you do, there are a few key facts you need to be aware of. From important safety tips to buying the right size for your needs, this blog post will cover all the essential information you need to know before buying a home backup generator. Read on for a complete breakdown of everything you need to know about this must-have tool for any power outage.

What is a Home Backup Generator?

A home backup generator is a device designed to provide temporary emergency power in the event of a power outage. Usually powered by gasoline or diesel, it acts as an alternative power source while the regular electrical supply is disrupted. Homeowners may purchase and install a generator in their homes to protect themselves from extreme weather that can knock out power for days at a time.

There are pros and cons to owning a home backup generator. On the plus side, having one on-hand ensures that electricity will continue to flow during a blackout, allowing homeowners continued access to essential items like refrigerators, sump pumps, and heating/cooling systems. A generator also provides peace of mind in knowing that residents will still have light, water, and phone service even if the grid fails.

On the downside, generators can be costly, especially if they run on gas and need their fuel tanks refilled regularly. Generators also require manual operation when power is lost and maintenance over time to ensure reliable performance—they should be tested regularly and serviced professionally. Additionally, some models can create noise levels deemed unacceptable by local government entities and tie up resources like natural gas lines preventing them from serving other customers during an emergency situation.

Before purchasing a home backup generator, homeowners should weigh these pros and cons carefully. Having information about different types of generators best suited for their homes will help them make an informed decision on what type of generator might be right for them. With that in mind, let’s look at the different types of home backup generators available today.

Top Points to Remember

When looking for a home backup generator, the two main types to consider are permanent, which are connected directly to the home's electrical system and provide continuous and uninterrupted power without manual starting, and intermittent ones, which provide backup power only during an outage but require manual starting and regular refueling. Factors to consider when selecting a generator include needs, budget, fuel efficiency, output capacity, noise level, size, and installation requirements. Permanent and intermittent generators will be discussed further in the next section.

Permanent vs. Intermittent Generators

When it comes to purchasing a home backup generator, one of the most important decisions that you will have to make is whether to purchase a permanent or an intermittent generator. Permanent generators are larger and require more expensive installation costs, as they are installed in their own dedicated space on your property. They continuously monitor the power grid and start up automatically if necessary and run until power is restored. Intermittent generators, on the other hand, are smaller and easier to install, though they may need to be kicked into action manually when needed.

The primary argument in favor of selecting a permanent generator revolves around its reliability. With this type of generator, you don't have to worry about starting it up during a blackout because it will start running automatically when the power goes out. This means there is no risk of relying on someone remembering to kick-start the generator during a blackout. In addition, since the machine runs continuously throughout the day, these types of generators require less maintenance for optimum performance.

One of the common arguments for an intermittent generator is that it is much less expensive than permanent models. Plus, considering its smaller size, it can easily be transported from place to place if necessary - making it convenient for those who often move locations frequently or take trips in their recreational vehicles. However, its main downfall is that someone has to remember to start up the generator during any power outage and must also check that the fuel tank levels are consistently maintained.

Overall, the decision between permanent vs intermittent generators boils down to individual preference and budget availability when it comes time to purchase one. Those looking for convenience and fewer maintenance issues should opt for a permanent model, while those looking for an economical solution might be better off with an intermittent one. Regardless of which type you choose, getting a home backup generator is an important way to ensure safety no matter what kind of natural disaster may threaten your area.

Now that we've discussed the two major types of generators available for use at home, let's move on to our next section about fuel types and how they affect your decision-making process for purchasing a home backup generator.

  • A home back up generator provides an additional layer of protection during severe storms. In some areas, generators can make all the difference in keeping your power running.
  • Power outages can last for days and cost homeowners time and money in repairs due to damage caused by the power loss. By investing in a home back-up generator, you can ensure that your electrical system will remain operable even in emergency situations.
  • Studies have shown that having a generator at home can increase safety and security during times of electrical outages, as well as providing peace of mind knowing that your family is protected from power loss.

Fuel Types

A primary choice for home backup generators is the fuel type. Homeowners have a range of options to choose from - gasoline, propane, diesel, natural gas and even solar. Depending on availability and budget, each one offers advantages and drawbacks.

Gasoline has been a popular choice due to its affordability. Gasoline generators are also known for being portable and relatively easy to maintain because they require less service than other types of generators. However, it is important to consider that gasoline is not as efficient as other fuel sources and needs to be replenished more often. Additionally, it can introduce air pollution into the environment due to emissions.

Propane generators are more expensive but provide a longer runtime due to their higher energy density and lower emissions output than gasoline. Propane produces very little exhaust fumes, making it an environmentally friendly option. The downside is that it requires specialized storage tanks, making it difficult for some homeowners to incorporate it into their home backup generator system.

Diesel engines tend to be more reliable and durable as well as quieter than other types of fuel sources, but may not always be available in all areas. Additionally, diesel engines are typically larger than gasoline models, making them less ideal for certain home environments with limited space such as those with smaller outdoor areas or decks where the noise might interfere with neighbors' or homeowners' eardrums!

Natural gas is another solid option that requires no refueling; all you need is a utility connection and this type of fuel will keep running until power is restored if there is an outage. It's an inexpensive alternative when compared to other fuels since typically a homeowner won't need additional storage tanks as propane systems require, but on the flip side, natural gas-powered units are usually larger than gasoline or propane models, so they require more space for installation.

Solar-powered generators offer the most straightforward setup since no additional fuel sources are needed - just daytime sunlight! However, they are quite expensive upfront compared to other options and their efficiency depends on how much sunlight they can access, so their performance may vary depending on your location and time of year.

Regardless of which fuel source you choose for your home backup generator system, consider whether you will have access to refueling supplies or whether tank storage options are available on-site before making your purchase. Also, remember to factor in other costs associated with ongoing maintenance over time for whichever type of fuel system you choose. Now that we've discussed the various fuel types available for home backup generators, let's move on to discussing generator size and power supply in our next section.

Generator Size and Power Supply

When deciding on a generator's size and power supply, there are several factors you need to keep in mind. Primarily, you want to ensure that your generator is able to meet the requirements of your home in terms of both wattage and voltage. While most home backup generators are designed for residential use, it’s important to assess your individual needs and choose a model accordingly.

When selecting a generator, the total wattage required for all connected devices must be taken into account. Generators typically come with rated capacities ranging from 6,000 to 17,000 watts or more, depending on the model and make. You may also need to consider other variables such as starting wattage/surge wattage, voltage (usually 120/240 volts), amperage, frequency (usually 60 Hz) along with dimensions and weight of the unit when determining the ideal model for your home.

It is also important to note that some larger appliances require more wattage than others. For example, an air conditioner might require upwards of 2,000 watts while a refrigerator might only require 400 watts or so. This means that prior to making your purchase, you should make sure you know exactly what electrical items you plan on running off the generator – as this will help you determine how much power capacity you need from your home backup generator.

Understanding what size and type of generator you need can be tricky, but doing your research ahead of time can go a long way toward providing peace of mind during power outages and emergencies.

Safety Considerations

Safety is a major concern when purchasing and installing a home backup generator. Portable generators are designed to provide emergency power and reduce downtime in the event of an outage. However, they must be used with caution. Generators should never be operated indoors, as carbon monoxide gas can be deadly. If you do decide to use a portable generator, it should always be kept outdoors and a carbon monoxide detector installed near the unit so that if any leaks occur, they are detected quickly.

When using an automatic transfer switch for permanent, permanently installed generators, all wiring should meet National Electric Code (NEC) standards and local regulations. An incorrectly wired transfer switch can damage electrical components in the house, leading to a potential fire hazard. It is recommended that trained professionals handle all wiring associated with the generator. This includes not only the installation of the generator itself but also the necessary circuits and outlets it will be powering; both should be safely connected to minimize the risk of interference from nearby electrical sources such as communication lines and power lines.

It is important to remember that generators produce large amounts of electricity and should be treated with extreme caution at all times. All local codes and laws pertaining to home generators should be followed as well as the manufacturer’s guidelines for proper usage and maintenance.

When considering safety considerations, it is important to keep in mind that while having a home generator can provide peace of mind in the event of another power outage, it is essential to properly research all regulations, codes, and requirements before making a purchase or installation decision.

To ensure the most secure environment possible when operating a home backup generator, it is best to contact qualified electricians or other certified professionals to confirm compliance with safety regulations and ease worry around potential hazards of improper use or setup. With these safety precautions taken care of, you can proceed confidently into the next section about life expectancy when buying a home backup generator.

Life Expectancy

When it comes to home backup generator facts, one of the most important factors to consider is the life expectancy of the product. The general life expectancy range for a home generator varies based on the type and model that is chosen, with some models boasting a lifespan of 10 – 20 years. This estimate is related to regular maintenance and proper care, as any major component breakdown will shorten its life significantly.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, there are cheaper models that may only last 5 – 7 years with proper maintenance and use. It’s important to research what type of warranty is being offered by the manufacturer or supplier. Additionally, many stores offer extended warranties and service contracts to help protect your investment by providing additional coverage if something were to go wrong outside of the manufacturer's warranty period.

Another factor related to the life expectancy of your generator is how often you use it. If a backup generator is used in emergency power outages more frequently than anticipated, its useful life will be significantly reduced due to parts wearing out sooner. Inversely, if you keep up with regular maintenance and frequent testing, you can expect your generator to have a longer service life.

It’s essential that upfront research and smart shopping be done before purchasing a home generator to ensure you are getting the best bang for your buck in terms of longevity. With careful attention paid to warranty coverage, regular maintenance, parts replacement, and usage capacity, you can feel confident about extending your generator’s expected service life as much as possible.

Having considered these tips when making your final decision, we reach our conclusion: life expectancy is an important factor when selecting a home backup generator system. In our next section, we will discuss how to make a thorough evaluation in order to come to the right conclusion when selecting the perfect home backup generator system for your needs."


By taking the time and doing your research before buying a home backup generator, you can ensure that you get exactly what you need for your home. By learning about the different types of generators available and determining which features are important for your needs, you can make an informed decision when it comes to the right model for you.

One of the main things to consider is whether or not a standby or portable generator is right for you. Standby generators are permanently attached to your home and run on natural gas, diesel, or propane, while portable models are powered by gasoline and are suitable for small backup power needs. Both have their advantages depending on the situation, so it's important to do research on both types of generators to determine which one is right for you.

It is also important to think about the noise levels generated by different types of generators, since this could be an issue if you have neighbors nearby or live in a densely populated area. Standard-size standby generators tend to be quieter than portable generators, which can vary from very noisy to moderately quiet depending on their size.

Finally, knowing what type of fuel source is needed for the generator and how much power output capacity that is recommended for your needs can help narrow down the list when deciding which generator will work best for your home.

Overall, there are several factors that go into making an informed decision when selecting a home backup generator. With some research and consideration into what type of power solution would work best for your home, you should be able to ensure that you pick the perfect model.

No matter which type of home backup generator you choose, it's important to understand all your options before making a purchase to ensure you're buying the best system for your home. Need help? Call the experts at Ingersoll’s AC & Heating at 251-928-9392 today for an appointment!

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