Generator Buying Guide

Power outages are a fact of life in Florida. Mother Nature regularly likes to remind residents that she is in charge, especially during hurricane season. Purchasing a standby generator for your home is a sound investment — not only in the value of your home but also in the continued care of your family. No matter what the weather throws at you, your home will be comfortable and your life will continue undisrupted when you make the decision to purchase a standby generator with the help of Reliable Power Systems.

When you buy a standby generator for your home, you are no longer at the mercy of the power company to restore your electricity. Plus, you will enjoy a range of benefits:

  • No more power outages means no more having to throw out hundreds of dollars of food when the refrigerator isn’t operating.
  • With a generator, the air conditioning stays on in the summer and the heat works in the winter, no matter what the weather’s like outside.
  • Throw away that stockpile of candles and flashlights! You never have to worry about being in the dark when your home has a standby generator.
  • Phones and devices stay charged and useable when your standby generator turns on.

Before you make the decision to buy, it’s important to understand the many different elements and features of generators — from safety and usage tips to how much power you need to operate a generator, from where they can be installed to what fuel source to use.

Benefits of Standby Generators

When it comes to generators, the two most common options for in-home use are portable generators and standby generators.

The portable option provides power in an emergency, and, as its name says, it’s portable. In addition to the pro of being able to move a portable generator, it costs less than a standby generator. The cons of this option are it is powered by gas, and you may need large quantities of gas, depending on how long you need to run the generator. A transfer switch is required to close off the main power line to your house and open the direct line between the generator and the house. A portable generator also may require a fuel stabilizer during periods of prolonged storage and, for larger portable units, a wheeled frame. Finally, portable generators should never be used in an enclosed space because they produce a great deal of carbon monoxide, which can be dangerous if it builds up. Additionally, a portable generator needs to be protected from rain with a canopy that is designed specifically for it.

Unlike a portable generator, a standby generator runs on propane or natural gas, both of which are less risky to store than gasoline. This type of generator will need to be installed by a professional electrician who can assist with the best location for the generator as well as any permits you may need from your city or county. A standby generator provides more power than a portable option, and it will run a self-diagnosis regularly to let you know if it requires any maintenance. This way, you avoid any unpleasant surprises such as the generator not functioning properly when there is a power outage. It does not move, so no wheeled frame is required. Finally, a major advantage of a standby generator is it will start on its own when the power goes out.

How Much Power Do You Need?

Not sure how much power you need to keep your home running in case of a power outage? The average home uses somewhere in the range of 5,000 watts of power. For instance, the following list gives you an idea of some of the common devices in the home and the amount of power they require:

  • Refrigerator: 600 watts
  • Sump pump: 750 to 1,500 watts
  • Portable heater: 1,500 watts
  • Window air conditioner: 1,000 watts
  • Lights: 60 to 600 watts
  • Computers: 60 to 300 watts

The power capacity of the standby generator that you choose will determine the amount of power it will supply to your home, as well as the cost of the generator. Standby generators typically offer anywhere from 5,000 to 25,000 watts of power. Take into consideration your peak electrical usage and continuous wattage when deciding on the size of your standby generator. Another thing to consider is whether your standby generator will be an air-cooled or liquid-cooled model. Often, the models that are liquid-cooled provide the most power, but they also are larger in size.

Our trained technicians at Reliable Power Systems can advise you on the exact power needs of your home. We have guided many homeowners in their decision and are happy to answer any questions you may have.

Installing and Using Your Standby Generator

Reliable Power System’s highly skilled electricians are happy to help you with the professional installation of your standby generator. We will wire it directly into your current electrical system. The generator will be a safe distance from your home, either mounted on a concrete pad or placed on the plastic mounting pads that come with it. Once the generator is safely installed, it will automatically turn on if it senses a disruption in power if it has an automatic transfer switch. If it works via a manual transfer switch, you will have to turn the unit on to take over power production until your utility company is able to restore your home’s electricity.

A standby generator does require a bit of regular maintenance, including changing the oil and filters. If you ever have any repair or maintenance needs, including remote monitoring of your unit, Reliable Power Systems is here to help.

Trust Reliable Power Systems for Standby Generator Installation

When you are ready to ensure your family and home will benefit from the added security of a standby generator, contact Reliable Power Systems at 561.232.6336. We offer a range of standby generator models to choose from, including Generac, Briggs & Stratton, GE, and Kohler. We are here to help you in selecting and installing the best standby generator for your needs so that you have peace of mind and can weather any storm, safely and comfortably.