A power outage can disrupt your household, causing major inconvenience and potential damage to appliances like power tools. Whether due to severe weather, grid failure, or any unforeseen circumstances, having a generator as a backup power source is a smart investment.
However, determining the right size generator for your home is crucial for ensuring it adequately meets your power needs. Throughout this blog post, we will discuss some of the considerations you should make when purchasing a generator for your home.
What Are Your Energy Needs?
The first step in selecting the correct house generator is to assess your power requirements. Take inventory of the essential appliances and devices you want to power during an outage.
Make a list of items such as refrigerators, lights, heaters, air conditioners, computers, and medical equipment, assigning each a power rating in watts. When determining your power needs during an outage, it’s important to create a detailed inventory of appliances and devices.
Sorting them based on priority ensures a clear understanding of what to power during an emergency. Critical devices such as medical equipment, security systems, or essential heating/cooling units should be at the top of the list.
Additionally, considering potential increased power loads during extreme weather conditions, like the need for increased heating during colder months or cooling in hotter regions, ensures accurate estimations.
Understanding the wattage of each device is critical in determining the total power consumption during an outage. You can typically find the wattage information on the appliance itself or in the user manual.
If not, most appliances will have a label specifying the voltage and amperage. To calculate wattage, use the formula: Watts = Volts x Amps. Some appliances have a higher starting wattage, known as surge wattage, required to get them running before settling into a lower running wattage.
For instance, refrigerators, air conditioners, and well pumps may have significantly higher starting wattage than running wattage. This is essential when sizing an electrical generator, ensuring it can handle both the initial surge and continuous power needs.
Finding the wattage information for each device might not always be straightforward. Using online databases or contacting manufacturers directly can help identify the wattage if it’s not listed on the appliance. Devices with variable power needs may fluctuate in power consumption based on external conditions. Recognising these variations is crucial for accurate estimations.
Selecting the Right Size
Once you’ve determined the wattage requirements for all essential devices, add them together to find the total wattage needed during an outage. When selecting a generator, it’s crucial to choose one that can cover your total power requirement. Generators are typically available in various sizes, ranging from portable generators to whole-house standby systems.
Buying large generators can waste fuel and potentially damage sensitive electronics while under-sizing can lead to the generator overloading and tripping. Choosing a generator with a capacity slightly higher than the calculated wattage ensures a safe and reliable power supply during outages.
Types of Generators
Portable Generators are a versatile type of generator you can use, suitable to supply power to a few essential appliances and are available in different wattages. These smaller units are adaptable but might not cover the entire house’s power output. This may lead you to a larger generator for the extra watts.
Inverter Generators are known for their efficiency and lower noise levels, these are ideal for sensitive electronics like computers and TVs. These types of diesel generators function slightly differently from most other units as they convert their power from AC (Alternating Current) into DC (Direct Current).
Standby Generators are installed permanently on your property and are connected to a natural gas or propane line, these generators automatically turn on during a power outage and can power the entire house.
Factors beyond wattage include fuel type, runtime, noise level, and the type of transfer switch needed for installation. Additionally, the altitude of your location can affect a generator’s performance. There are plenty of things to think about when looking for a generator for your home as these pieces of machinery are complex and take some time to adjust to when using them.
Small generators can face slightly different issues to certain larger units which is why it is important that you opt for a generator size you are familiar with and to make sure that this is the necessary size for the job.
Consulting a Professional
Consulting with an electrician or a generator expert is highly recommended. They can provide guidance on specific requirements, help with installation, and ensure compliance with local codes and safety standards.
At Pleavin Power, our team can offer you expert advice on the size of the generator which you should purchase as well as maintenance services on the unit you decide upon. We make sure to keep your generator fully functional year-round with thorough servicing of your unit.
Choosing Your Generator With Pleavin Power
Selecting the right size generator for your home involves a thorough assessment of your power needs, understanding the differences between types of generators, and considering various factors beyond just wattage. You may feel that you require a basic understanding of how a generator creates power in order to do so independently.
Investing time in this process ensures that during a power outage, your chosen generator will reliably power your essential devices and provide much-needed peace of mind. Remember, the goal is not just to have power during an outage but to have the right amount of power for your unique needs.
Investing in a generator tailored to your home’s requirements is a smart decision that ensures you have a reliable backup power source during emergencies. By following these guidelines and seeking expert advice when needed, you can make an informed decision that keeps your household running smoothly even in the face of unexpected power outages.
No matter if you are searching for a generator for hire or would like to purchase a unit outright, our team will be by your side throughout the entire process. We can provide you with plenty of recommendations even if you choose a generator from somewhere else.
There are a number of different generator units available for you to choose from in the stock that we believe will solve all of the problems you may have. Please do not hesitate to contact us at 0151 832 5007 or email us at [email protected] and we will be sure to assist however possible.
Jack is the owner of Pleavin Power which was founded in 2017. He has worked in the power industry for over a decade and has an extreme focus on providing a quality service to clients across the UK. This has led Pleavin Power to becoming the market leader in the Critical, Prime & Standby Power markets.