Power outages caused by extreme weather can last for days or even weeks, which can bring problems like spoiled food and uncomfortable interiors due to lack of refrigeration and air conditioning, respectively. If you work from home, lack of power and internet could result in lost productivity.
A standby generator is your first line of defense against such problems. Here’s a quick guide on choosing the right generator size for your home.
Sizing a Standby Generator
The rule of thumb when buying a generator is this: choose the smallest generator that will meet your home’s power requirements. Some people think that getting the biggest model is better because it produces more electricity. While it does provide more headroom, it will also consume more fuel. Bigger generators are also more expensive.
First, you have to consider whether you need a generator to power your entire home or just the essentials like the HVAC system, the refrigerator and the lights. These generators are called “partial-house generators” and can be configured by your generator installation contractor depending on how your home’s electrical system is set up.
An in-home consultation with Jeff Woods Construction will provide guidance on a suitable generator size according to your home’s total wattage and whether you want a full or partial-house generator will be taken into account. You can, however, take an estimate for yourself: simply check your appliances for their wattage and add them up. You’ll want to factor in up to 20% headroom as most appliances consume more energy upon starting up.
Since a standby generator is supposed to automatically kick in right after a power outage (as opposed to manually starting it up), it must be matched to an automatic transfer switch (ATS). It signals the generator when to turn on and off. Your generator contractor will also calculate other factors, such as kilovolt-ampere or 1,000 volt amps (kVA), which helps protect the generator from sudden power surges. Ultimately, all of these will be used to choose the generator models that match these requirements.
Jeff Woods Construction is your leading provider of whole house generator systems. Give us a call at (931) 787-9107. You can also fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment. We serve customers in Kingston, TN, and the surrounding communities.