Want to make sure your home always has power, even during blackouts?
You need a backup generator.
But there are so many options. How do you choose the right one? Let us show you.
There are 2 basic kinds of home generators: portable and standby. The right one for you depends on what you want out of it.
A portable generator, as its name implies, can be moved around. It’s usually on wheels, although with some models the wheels are sold separately. Portable generators are generally less powerful than standby generators but also less expensive.
Standby generators are permanent fixtures outside your house, similar to a central AC unit. They’re mounted on a concrete pad and automatically provide power to your home or just the most essential items when the power goes out. Standby generators may be the right choice when you can never afford to be without power.
A home backup generator size is measured in watts. A watt is a measure of electricity. You must select a generator that can produce the amount of electricity (watts) to power the appliances, outlets and lights on the circuits you want to backup.
But before you determine the wattage you need in a backup generator, you must decide what you want to backup — just the essential circuits or your entire home.
Most homeowners in Arizona choose to only backup essential circuits in their home. This allows them to save money by purchasing a smaller generator while still having all the essential appliances (refrigerator, AC, etc.) working during a power outage.
To determine the generator size you need to backup just your essential circuits, figure out the wattages of the appliances you want backed up.
For example, let's say you want your generator to power a:
Then you’ll need a generator that can produce 10550 watts, or around 11 kilowatts (1 kilowatt=1000 watts).
Note: These are approximate numbers used for illustration purposes. If you need help calculating the size generator you should get, contact us.
If you want your entire home to function during a power outage, you can get a whole-home standby generator.
To determine the size generator you need to backup your entire home, you’ll still want to add up the wattages of your appliances. Except instead of only computing a few circuits worth, you’ll want to add up your whole home.
Backing up multiple air conditioners with a generator has some complications. Two (or more) air conditioners starting simultaneously will overload even the most powerful generators.
Manufacturers have figured out a way around this with what’s called AC shedding. Basically, this technology prevents both air conditioners from starting at the same time. One air conditioner will be ‘locked out’ by the generator until the first AC has already started.
Need help selecting a backup or standby generator in the Phoenix area? Contact George Brazil Plumbing & Electrical for help.