Houston Heating, Cooling, and Electrical

Generators

Generators – The Ultimate Backup Plan

According to Eaton, a global power management solutions firm, there were more than 3,500 power outages in the U.S. in 2017. Those power outages affected nearly 37 million people, and the typical outage lasted more than an hour. As for Texas, it had more than its fair share of outages in 2017, with 192 across the state.

Property owners can protect their home or business from going dark when an outage does occur, whether the outage is due to issues with the grid or due to a natural disaster. Generators are reliable, convenient, powerful, and able to deliver enough energy to run the essentials and sometimes more.

Generating a Solution

Generators require a significant investment, so it’s essential to nail down exactly what you’ll need from one. There are three main types of generators, and here’s a closer look at each:

1. Home standby generator – A home standby generator offers maximum convenience and output, and works by continuously monitoring the home’s power level. If it drops below a certain threshold, which should only happen during a power outage, the generator kicks in automatically. There’s no need to go outside and switch it on manually.

Home standby generators are the most sophisticated models on the market. They can output between 5,000 and 20,000 watts and come standard with onboard diagnostic software, which will alert the homeowner when maintenance is needed. Some generators will even send an alert to the owner’s phone when necessary.

A home standby generator can be powered with several types of fuel, though a conversion kit may be required to enable this. Propane or natural gas are usually preferred, as they are safer to store than gasoline. Fortunately, the home standby generator taps into the home’s gas line already, so it can run indefinitely.

Once installed, a home standby generator simply works when it’s needed. It doesn’t require attention, making it a convenient choice. However, convenience, top end power generation and some extra features bring the price up some. A transfer switch will need to be installed to safely connect the generator to the home’s circuit panel. This isn’t just a recommendation, but a necessity for safety reasons.

2. Portable generators – Portable generators are less expensive than home standby generators and are mobile. If a homeowner wants to bring their generator on the road, like for a tailgate, then a portable generator may make the most sense.

A portable generator runs on gasoline, and large quantities of gas will need to be stored to ensure the generator is well fed. And though they can’t output as much power as a home standby generator, some models are perfectly capable of keeping the essentials in the home running.

An important note regarding portable generators – they must be kept at least 15 feet away from any structure and operated in a well-ventilated area. This ensures no harmful emissions make it into the home.

3. Inverter generators – Inverter generators are also portable, but they are built with more advanced engine technology. While a portable generator will run at maximum power at all times, an inverter generator will throttle up or down as power demands inside the home change. This provides an efficiency boost and also keeps noise to a minimum. The added efficiency also means inverter generators produce fewer emissions, which makes them a bit safer to operate.

Inverter generators are similar to portable generators in how much power they can deliver, but because they are built with more advanced technology, they cost more.

If a homeowner doesn’t need their generator away from the home, and the risk of a power outage is elevated, then a home standby generator will be ideal. If the generator needs to be moved around and cost is a concern, then a portable or inverter model may make more sense.

But how much power does the home need? This will also guide generator choice, so it’s an important number to have. Fortunately, it’s easy to come up with. Most appliances and electronics have a label somewhere that lists exactly how much wattage it requires to run. If no label is present, these numbers provide a general average:

  • Central air conditioner – 5,000 watts
  • Water heater (small) – 3,000 watts
  • Refrigerator – 600 watts
  • Microwave – 1,500 watts
  • Clothes washer – 1,200 watts
  • Dryer – 5,000 watts
  • Lighting – around 400 watts
  • TV – 200 watts
  • Computer – 250 watts

These numbers are only estimates, but as long as you allow for a bit of headroom this should help determine the power needed. Add up all of your wattage needs, and make sure that the chosen generator can meet them. It’s highly recommended that you leave some room in case additional electronics need to be plugged in or if the air conditioner will need to operate near continuously.

Generators are ideal pieces of technology. When the power goes out, the generator powers on, keeping people comfortable, safe, secure and entertained.

  • New Installations
  • Motor Repair
  • Freon Testing
  • Air Conditioner Maintenance
  • Duct Repair
  • Ventilation

We carry only top brand generator systems.

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Memorial, Bunker Hill, Hedwig Village, Piney Point, Hunters Creek, Spring Branch, Tanglewood, River Oaks, Galleria, West University, Bellaire, Katy, The Woodlands, Kingwood, Humble, Spring, Cypress, Waller, Magnolia, Sugarland, Jersey Village, and the Greater Houston Area

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