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Home Generator Installation and Buying Guide

Generators are a crucial power source in times of blackouts. While commercial buildings use them frequently, you should also consider home generator installation. Home generators allow you to continue using your home appliances even during a power outage.

The American Society of Civil Engineers reported at least 3,571 total outages in 2015. It lasted for about 49 minutes on average. Across various states, pockets of blackouts in communities turn the lights off of most homes.

That’s why having a generator at home is a necessity nowadays. Compared to the last decades, almost everything we do needs an electronic device. We use electricity for everything from our mobile phones to home appliances. In the U.S., 98% of consumers own a refrigerator. Some 82% also use a coffee maker or espresso machine at home.

And probably one of the best reasons to have a generator is that people are already working from home. It’s becoming widespread – with 74% of professionals expecting remote work as a standard practice. Thus, the need to have adequate and continuous electricity.

With that, how do you know which generator is best to use? Would you need an electrician for home generator installation? Let’s find out here.

What Generator Is Best for Home Use?

You can choose from two types of generators commonly used in a home. There are portable generators, which you can carry easily around the house. Meanwhile, standby generators are mid to large generators that can provide power for the entire property.

Portable

Portable generators are hand-held generators that have a limited capacity. It can immediately provide electricity in times of outage with gasoline as its power source. This type of generator is less expensive and does not require complex installation. Homeowners use portable generators as a temporary solution to provide power.

The caveat in portable generators, however, is it has a lower wattage. They can charge smaller electronic devices or appliances with lower electrical consumption. It may only provide power for smaller devices and cannot sustain longer hours due to its limited size. Additionally, you may still need to take them out of storage and connect them to your circuit-breaker panel.

If you have minimal appliances at home, having a portable generator will provide you with just enough energy to power them. It may be good until the electricity comes back at an earlier time. However, if the outage takes an entire day, the portable generator may not be enough to sustain most of your appliances and devices.

Standby

Standby generators are best to use for the whole house. The mid to large-size generator can sufficiently provide energy for a longer duration and power many appliances at once.

As soon as the electricity gets cut off, standby generators have a transfer switch that automatically switches the power source. You don’t have to worry about manually taking out the generator, turning it on, and connecting them to an electric panel. This advantage means that standby generators are also more expensive and need professional installation.

Standby generators can provide the most efficient means to turn on your home appliances and electronic devices. Choosing this type of equipment allows you to go on about your daily activities with minimal interruptions. Also, a standby generator is incredibly useful if you have a fully remote job. You won’t have to worry about interrupting Zoom meetings or stopping midway through your work. There will be enough power for daily essentials at your home or even recreational uses such as watching TV.

How Big of a Generator Do I Need To Run a House?

Generators produce different wattage amounts to provide alternative power for the house. You will need to look into the capacity of each type of generator.

3,000 watts

You can connect almost any household appliance to a 3,000-watt generator such as a refrigerator, television, washing machine, and many more. This generator would be suitable if you only have basic appliances at home, such as single studio occupancies.

7,500 watts

A generator with a 7,500-watt capacity provides double the amount of its smaller counterpart. This generator size will be a suitable option for more than one television, washing machine, and other appliances. Having a 7,500 watt-generator means that a family can simultaneously use most home appliances for recreational or remote working.

15 kW

For off-grid homes or those with alternative power sources, a 15 kW generator would be more appropriate to use. It’s a more efficient generator that can source power from renewable energy sources. Instead of using diesel or other fuel, you can connect the generator to a photovoltaic solar installation. This makes a 15kW generator good for homeowners who want an alternative energy source to power their homes during an outage.

22 kW

Homes that require a much larger capacity can choose a 22kW generator. It’s a powerful generator that can provide power for the whole house, from the lights to the kitchen appliances. If your house uses electricity intensively, it’s best to invest in a 22kW home generator. This way, there will be no interruptions in using home appliances and the electronic devices you use to work at home. The larger capacity will last an entire day for the whole house.

Are Whole House Generators Worth It?

Whole house generators can power every home appliance and electronic device. You won’t have to prioritize which equipment you’ll turn on during an outage. Instead of choosing which device to turn on, whole house generators can provide electricity for most of your appliances and equipment.

Additionally, a whole house generator means that there’s already an automatic transfer switch. There will be no time gap when the lights go out and having to connect the generator manually. It’s very crucial to have continuous or minimal electricity service interruptions at home, especially when you have a home office and you’re at a Zoom meeting or finishing work, for instance.

To ensure that the generator you buy is worth it, have a qualified electrician assist you throughout the process. The electrician can properly audit your house, looking into the energy demand of your property before recommending the right generator. They can then install the home generator according to what your house requires.

A qualified electrician will go through the energy requirements of your house and look at the electrical systems in place. Choose a reliable contractor who will conduct a proper home generator installation for your residence. As your home generator is an investment, it’s also best to complement it with a skilled electrician to install the equipment.

How Much Does It Cost To Have a Whole House Generator Installed?

A qualified contractor will assess first the electrical systems and equipment in your house before they can come up with a quote. This will ensure that the cost they provide to you is sufficient for the service and equipment they’ll use. A contractor can purchase the generator on your behalf, or you can also have them recommend the best whole house generator fit for your property.

Here is the range for each part of home generator installation:

  • Generator Purchase: $2,000 to $20,000
  • Installation Service Cost: $5,000 to $12,000
  • Electrical Wiring: $100 to $1,000

Electrical contractors provide varying installation costs depending on the residential property. Other factors may include the size of the home, electrical systems that need to be modified, climate, and the type of generator you want to install. They will ensure that your house has adequate electricity in times of power outages and maintain the safety of your home.

If you’re looking for home generator installers in Minnesota, electrical contractors such as Power Partner MN will help you provide power for your house. The firm is a trusted source of electricians with proper skills for home generator installation.

Power Partner MN will assist you in finding the right generator size for your home. With partnership to apprenticeship programs, you can guarantee that Power Partner MN contractors have proper skills training. Whether you have a multi-family housing unit or your house has a renewable energy installation, Power Partner MN electricians can take on the job of installing and servicing your home generator.