Whether you own a home or a business, power outages can be very frustrating. If your area is prone to severe weather that can cause extended power outages, installing a standby generator can be a wise investment. But it is important to consider several things before you purchase a generator. Some of the important things to think about include:
How Do You Intend to Use Your Generator
An important aspect of buying a generator is selecting one that can adequately meet your power needs in the event of an electrical power outage. You can choose a generator that can power your whole home or building, or decide to use your generator to just power certain areas and appliances. If you choose to have your generator only power certain circuits during a power outage, you will need an electrician to split the emergency circuits from your main electrical panel.
Type of Fuel
Generators are typically powered by propane, natural gas, or diesel fuel. When deciding to decide which type of generator to buy, consider the availability of fuel in your area; propane and diesel can often be stored on-site in a tank, but you may need to have the tank re-filled if you have an extended power outage. Natural gas can usually be piped into your home directly from the utility company, which can make a natural gas powered generator attractive.
Location of the Generator
Before buying a generator, make sure you know exactly where it will be located. It is important that a generator is easily accessible for maintenance and repairs, but it must also be off of the ground to keep it safe from standing water. Ideally, the generator should be located as close as possible to the fuel source and the electrical transfer switch for optimal operation.
Type of Electrical Transfer Switch
All standby generators need to be connected to an electrical transfer switch-- you can opt for either an automatic transfer switch or a manual transfer switch. If you plan to purchase a generator that will power your whole home or building during a power outage, you will most likely want an automatic transfer switch since this will allow the generator to quickly power up automatically after electrical power is lost. A manual transfer switch may be a better option when your generator will only be powering emergency circuits and you will be able to decide when to turn the generator on.
For more information, talk to a professional like Enercon Engineering Inc.