Power outages are common because of high winds, harsh weather, ice buildup or lightning strikes. All these factors break up the overhead power line leading to load shedding. The electricians work hard round the clock to restore the service as soon as possible. However, sometimes, it may take up to a couple of days to get the electricity back. Every household should have a generator to run the essential home appliances like heaters, air conditioners and washing machines during the power cuts. It becomes even more convenient when you know how to set up a generator for a home. There are various generators available in the market. You should consider your need and budget before investing in a generator for your home.
How To Analyze The Size of The Generator?
A generator’s power output is one of the most crucial figures. It is measured in watts. The small and portable generators provide an output between 1000 to 3000 watts. The large-scale generators deliver an output of more than 10,000 watts. The heavy-duty generators are suitable to run all the household appliances and the demanding electric tools. You can follow the below-mentioned steps to determine your energy needs.
Step 1 –
List out all the devices that you plan to run on a generator. When you are planning a generator for your home, mentions all the essential appliances that you would require during an emergency power breakup. Lights, ACs and refrigerators are some of the items that should be included in the list.
Step 2 –
Pay attention to the starting watts and the running watts of the home appliances. Starting watt is the amount of power required by an appliance to start up. Appliances that have a motor require more wattage to start. Running watt is the energy required by the appliance to run after the preliminary startup. This will help you to understand the energy needs.
Step 3 –
Select a generator, which is a little bigger than your total needs. It is always a great idea to go for a generator that offers little extra wattage. This way you can prevent your generator from sudden shutdowns because of the overload. Many times, it has been observed that when the generator runs at full load, the lifespan of the generator decreases. Additionally, fully loaded generators produce more noise, which can be disturbing.
How big a generator is required to run the whole house?
The critical household appliances can run with a generator that emits an output of 5000 watts – 7000 watts. This includes equipment like a freezer, lighting circuit, refrigerator and well pump. If you get a generator with 7500 running watts, you would be able to run all the appliances in one go. If you want to be perfect with the wattage and energy consumption, you should check the actual wattage of all your home appliances. They are listed on the label and are measured in amps or watts. When you sum up the wattage of your home appliance, you will be able to get an estimate of the size of the generator for your home. If you stay in an area where there are too many power outages, then you should always opt for a larger generator even though it might be expensive than your budget. It would definitely prove a brilliant investment for the long term.
Things to consider before buying a generator for your home
If you want to purchase the ideal generator for your home, you should consider the aspects mentioned below:
This a crucial factor to be considered for buying a generator. When you have calculated the energy required, you should set your budget. With the advancement in technology, you will be able to find both low-end and high-end products in your budget. Do extensive researches on online and offline platforms and learn about the costs. When you set your budget, you will make the best choice without pinching your pocket.
Required Wattage –
You use various electricity-driven items in your bathroom, kitchen and other spaces inside the home. Hence, it is crucial to get an estimate of the wattage that you would need during the power breakouts. Simply add up the wattage of the essential appliances and you will get a total estimation of the power required. If your energy consumption is less, you can go for a mini generator that is inexpensive and portable.
Fuel consumption –
The generator generally runs on kerosene, diesel and petrol. Before buying a generator for your home, you should decide on the fuel type that you would want for your home. All the fuel types have their own pros and cons. You would have to check the internet or ask the retails to get a detailed overview. A portable generator that is diesel-based is considered suitable for a home.
Types of Generators:
There are three prime categories of a generator and they are as follows:
Small And Portable –
These are the smallest generators and are powered by gasoline. They are pull-start models that deliver an output of 1000 – 2000 watts. These generators are handy for recreation and power tools. They are light in weight, quiet and efficient.
Large and Portable –
These are gasoline -based generators are sufficient to keep the lights on. You can even run some of the home appliances except the heater and central air conditioners. You can buy this generator if you do not want to run an air conditioner or heater during a power cut.
Whole House –
These are the biggest in size and it starts from 12000 watts. These generators are capable of running on full load without any grievances. You can run TVs, computers, heaters, refrigerators and anything you want using this generator.
How to install a generator for the home?
When you plan to buy a generator for your home, you should understand the generator installation procedure with the help of a transfer switch device. Some of the types of switches are mentioned below:
Automatic Transfer Switch –
These transfer switches are intelligent as they can sense a power cut automatically and start the standby generator right away. The load will get shifted to a generator.
Manual Panel Switches –
They are not as expensive as the automatic switches and are a good option. These switches can be used for portable generators.
Interlock Breaker –
These switches are a flexible option for every homeowner and are quite affordable. The switching mechanism is safe and easy.
What Things Need To Care To Set Up A Generator For A Home
Some of the things you should keep in your mind while the installation is as follows:
- Never install and run a generator inside your home, garage, or any enclosed area. To keep the carbon monoxide out, you should place it outside the home in an open space.
- If you are using an extension cord to connect your generator with your home appliances, make sure the cord is appropriate for the amount of power that would pass through it.
- You should get the wiring work of the generator done by a licensed electrician.
Precautions you should take while installing or after installing
Some of the precautions that you should take before and after installation of a generator are:
- Installation, maintenance and repair should be done as per the manufacture’s recommendations and instructions.
- Exhaust systems should be installed properly to provide adequate ventilation of the poisonous gases.
- The space around the generator should be free from clutter and clean.
- The generator should be inspected regularly to check for damaged or defective parts.
- The cord, cable and wiring should be of the recommended capacity.
When you are so dependent on electronic appliances like blenders, ACs, water purifiers and coffee machines, you cannot afford to survive without a generator. With a help of the right generator, you would not have to pause your life during an electricity blackout. However, make sure you purchase the generator with the optimal wattage and fuel-type. Now you go to know everything about how to set up a generator for a home.