A standby generator is a great way to ensure that your home has power during a power cut. But how do you determine the size of the backup generator you need to run and power your entire home?
The answer depends on a few factors, including the size of your home, the number of appliances you want to run, how many devices you want to power, and the overall amount of power you need.
For example, you might only need a 5,000-watt generator for a small home. But if you have a large home or want to run multiple appliances, you might need a 10,000-watt generator or more.
It’s important to figure out the right size generator for your home because a generator that’s too small could leave you without adequate power to run your home when you need it most.
It’s also important to make sure you know your home’s specific backup power needs so that when you put load on your generator, the generator doesn’t overload and short, leaving you without power completely.
How to choose the right size home standby generator
To size a standby generator, start by calculating the wattage of the appliances you want to power. Then, add up the wattage of all the appliances you want to run at the same time.
To make this job easier, list all the devices and appliances you want to run, for example, if you want to run a refrigerator or a security system.
Then list the starting wattage (this is what it needs to start up), followed by the running wattage they need (what it needs to run after start up). Both these figures are important for determining the size you need for your home.
The right standby generator size should be enough to cover the total wattage you need. If your generator is only big enough to generate power for the running watts but not the starting wattage, your generator might short.
It’s also worth getting a generator slightly bigger than your needs. The size of the generator should reflect your home’s specific backup needs, plus a little extra so you have power for all your appliances without the worry of the generator overloading.
Of course, a larger generator, such as a whole-house generator, will be more expensive than a smaller one, but it will provide more peace of mind during an outage.
How far should a standby generator be from the house?
Once you’ve worked out what size generator you need, you’ll need to work out where you will put it. You should never put a generator in your home. Most generators emit toxic carbon monoxide fumes, so should be placed away from the home to ensure that your generator doesn’t cause you any harm.
A standby or whole-house generator installation can usually be placed 4-5 feet from the home as it has an exhaust to take fumes away from the property. Avoid placing it near doors and windows. A portable generator must be at least 20 feet from any building to prevent deadly fumes from causing harm.
Of course, you’ll also need to follow all local codes and regulations when placing your generator and be sure to check out the standby generator requirements.
The best way to be sure is to use generator installation services, which can advise on the best place for your generator.
Do I need professional help with my generator installation?
If you are unsure whether you need professional help to install your generator, it is always best to err on the side of caution and seek a professional.
Whole house standby generators will need to be connected to your mains power via a transfer switch, this enables the installed generator to start automatically should there be a need for your generator to take over powering your home.
Buying a generator can be a substantial investment, and paying for someone to install it will be an additional cost, but if you’re investing in a whole house generator, you want to make sure the generator works as intended. Installing a generator can be complicated, so getting a professional to do it will offer additional peace of mind and confidence in your newly installed generator.
Not only will they be able to properly install your generator, but they can also offer advice on the best type of generator for your needs and provide maintenance services to keep it running smoothly.
Do backup generators add value to your home?
Getting a generator is a good idea, especially if you live in an area with regular power outages. Backup generator installation can also increase your home’s value by 3-5%.
In rural areas, particularly where the home could lose power for quite some time during a power outage, the need for the generator as backup for the entire home can be essential.
Need more help choosing the right size generator?
As discussed in this article, the size generator you need is largely based on your home’s size and how much power you need.
The generator needs to meet your power demands and avoid having to cope with more power than it can handle. If the generator is overloaded, you risk having no power at all.
Solent Power is one of the leading generator suppliers in the UK, and we’ll be happy to help you choose the right generator. Get in touch today with your generator queries.