What Type of Generator Do I Need?

Posted: June 17, 2024

How to Keep Your Home & Family Protected During Outages

generator Saratoga County, NY Winter blizzards and ice and summer thunderstorms are common in the New York Capital corridor, the Hudson Valley and western Vermont—and those will take down trees, which in turn knock out power. These threats exist along with long-term heatwaves putting considerable demand on the outdated and over-strained power grid in the summer months.

A Power Solution

A generator can help keep things running during emergencies, but today’s homes need more than a portable gasoline powered generator. Not only are they smelly and hard to deal with, they can be insufficient at keeping equipment you need running for the duration, whether it’s lights and the fridge, or lifesaving medical equipment. If you want to rely on a portable generator, you need to get in line at the gas station to fill jerry cans when a storm is forecast, or you need a safe place to store gas on your property. Also, a portable generator needs to be set up and turned on—outside—after the power goes out, probably while a storm is still raging, maybe in the middle of the night.

To stay safe and comfortable, the power solution for most homes is a standby generator. Instead of gas or diesel, it runs on the same propane or natural gas you use to power other appliances and equipment in your home.

A standby generator, also known as a backup generator, is a propane or natural gas-fueled power source that is directly wired to your home’s systems so that it comes on within seconds of a power failure to keep your lights on and your refrigerator, furnace and a/c running until the utilities get the lines back up. Propane generators are quiet, extremely efficient and clean-burning, with low emissions.

A standby generator can also keep security systems on—giving you peace of mind, especially if the power fails while you’re away.

What Size Generator?

Size is the primary consideration when it comes to choosing the best standby generator for your household. An “essential power” model will run key equipment such as your refrigerator, and heat or AC and lights in a specific area. A true whole-house generator is able to handle the demands of most extra-large homes, even during extended outages.

The Main Care Energy Team will work with you to determine how much power you need to run the appliances or systems you need during an outage. We’ll talk to you about what equipment or systems will be most important to you in an emergency: refrigerator? Heating and cooling systems? Life support equipment? We usually recommend going for about 20% extra voltage beyond what your appliances require.

Once we’ve determined the best size generator for your home and lifestyle, our expert technicians will take care of every aspect of the installation, so it powers up your home without damaging your home’s electronic equipment or appliances.

The Bottom Line

Peace of mind is priceless. But when you do the math, a standby generator usually makes sense compared to dealing with the expense (and hassle) of a power outage—especially if your neighborhood is prone to them. By keeping even just your essential systems running, a standby generator can help you avoid the cost of replacing spoiled food, or the cost of a hotel room—if you can find one.

Another thing: According to Consumer Reports, a properly installed whole-house generator can increase the value of your home by as much as 5%. That’s a great return on your investment, before you ever need to use it.

Ready to learn more? Contact the team at Main Care today.