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How Does a Whole House Generator Work and Should I Get One?—Part 1

House with lights on

Posted: March 18, 2019

Increasingly, power outages have become all too common for folks in many parts of the country, including Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey. Power outages happen throughout the year, but it’s particularly commonplace in the summer, when severe electrical storms can strike at any time and the draw on the electric grid is at its peak.

Fortunately, there’s a solution available to you that keeps the power coming even when Mother Nature starts acting up. :a whole house generator, available in varying sizes to power as much or as little as you need to keep your family and home safe and comfortable.

What exactly is a whole house generator?

A whole house generator is a permanent fixture connected to your home’s electrical system with its own fuel source. Basically, it looks like a central air conditioning unit with a cap on it.
The generator is designed to start automatically when you lose power from your utility –usually between 10-30 seconds after an outage. When utility power is restored, the generator will shut itself down. All of this happens whether or not you’re at home.

Benefits of a whole house generator

The biggest benefit to a whole house generator, of course, is that you’ll never be without power again! Being able to switch between the grid and generator power is a huge advantage.

Imagine never having to suffer through the inconveniences of a power outage again – no more unexpected nights at a hotel or friend’s house, no more spoiled food, no more loss of TV, phone or computer service, no sweaty nights without your air conditioner or cold nights without heat, and no more pipes bursting due to lack of heat in the house, to name a few.

While an outage is an inconvenience for some people, it can be a matter of life or death for others: if someone in your home relies on medical equipment – a dialysis machine or nebulizer, for example – you simply can’t risk being without power. A whole house generator solves that potential crisis, keeping you and your loved ones safe in the event of a power emergency.

Whole-house generators vs. portable generators

While a whole house generator is more expensive than a portable generator, it offers distinct advantages, such as:

  • The fuel source for a whole house generator is natural gas or liquid propane (LP), which means no more storing gasoline for a portable generator.
  • Since a whole house generator is permanently wired to your home, there’s no need for set up time or running countless extension cords.
  • A whole house generator is fully automatic, so it starts and powers your house within seconds after an outage – even when you aren’t home.
  • A whole house generator is fully enclosed, with a noise level of 62-67 dBA (a little louder than conversation in a restaurant) while a portable generator’s noise level can be as high as 80 dBA (about the volume of a garbage disposal).

By now it’s clear that a whole house generator can be a great asset that ensures home comfort and peace of mind during a power emergency. But how do you pick one that’s right for you, and what other factors do you have to consider before you decide?

We’ll dig into that with our next post. In the meantime, you can read more about generators here.

And feel free to contact us so we can help you get started on your path to power independence.