Generators are used to provide electricity if you live in an area where there isn’t any power or during power outages. Many different types of generators are available, each having its own requirements and wattage. One of the more usual types is the whole-home generator. Generator sizing is vital as it will determine how much power it can provide. As a result, many inquire “How to size a standby generator?”. This article discusses everything you need to know about this question.
What Are Whole-House Generators?
Whole-house generators are also called backup, on-demand, or standby generators. This supplies backup for the entire home or structure when blackouts happen, regardless of whether natural disasters or man-made mistakes cause them. These generators can be used for extended outages as well. They can supply power to all devices, appliances, including your furnace and air conditioner, and the rest of your house.
They are also frequently called emergency generators. These units are bulky and installed on your property. They also significantly increase your home’s value. Generators give you peace of mind because they are highly reliable. Even better is that they don’t need interventions from people. They operate automatically, turning on immediately during outages and interruptions. There is also no need to turn it off because this feature is also automatic.
These generators will ensure your refrigerator keeps running so that food doesn’t spoil. It also supports your security system so that you will have non-stop security at all times. This is especially a useful feature during disasters. Generators will power all appliances in your home as if there is no power outage.
Before installing a generator in your home, it is important that you know the correct standby generator size. After all, the whole-house generator should be able to supply adequate power for all your appliances, especially the power-hungry ones.
What Is Standby Generator Size?
Getting a generator means you understand how much power your home requires. Electrical output determines the generator size and not its physical dimensions. However, the latter is still necessary so you can allow the space for it on your property.
A generator’s electrical output is measured in watts (W) or kilowatts (kW). One kW equals 1,000 watts, which should be remembered when determining the size.
Many homeowners make mistakes about the generator size they need. Often, they underestimate their wattage needs, so they end up purchasing a generator that’s too small for their home. This leads to the generator overloading. It is also pushed to give more power than it can handle. This is a situation you’d want to avoid as it causes the generator to overheat and automatically shut off. It can also result in a damaged generator. If you have an oversized generator, you’ll have to pay more to run it. Hence, you must consult a professional when figuring out the standby generator size before installing it.
How To Size A Standby Generator
Sizing a standby generator is a simple process that needs a calculator. The first thing you need to do is determine the devices in your home that you want to supply power to. Take out the manuals for big appliances to find out how much running wattage they need. This is then multiplied by three. Remember their starting wattage as well. Add these up to get the total wattage you need for your generator.
You must also understand what these wattages mean before proceeding further. The starting wattage refers to the initial high load to start an electrical appliance from a dead stop. Keep in mind that some appliances, like motors and compressors, require high starting loads. On the other hand, the running load is needed to keep the appliance running after it starts.
The formula is laid out like this:
(Starting wattage x three) + running wattage
For example, you have a refrigerator with a 700 watts starting wattage. You need to multiply this by three to determine its load on your generator (2100 watts). While it is running, the refrigerator uses 300 watts. Therefore, it has a total load of 2400 watts on your generator.
The generator you buy needs to meet this value for the refrigerator to operate. This calculation needs to be done for all your electrical devices and appliances so that you get the generator’s total wattage. Remember that these numbers are the minimum. It is recommended that you add some overhead, so the generator doesn’t end up overloading and shorting out.
Do I Need Professional Help With My Generator Installation?
You might have thought about doing these tasks yourself. However, the task can take up a lot of your time, and things can go wrong. One miscalculation can result in the shorting out of your generator because of overloading. Therefore, it is a good idea to ask a professional for help.
A professional will ensure all appliances and electrical devices are included in the calculation before the generator is installed. You can also ensure that proper wiring and installation are done. This will ensure that your generator works as it should and can supply power to all your appliances without issue.
Remember that you also need to maintain your whole-house generator. This is another reason hiring a professional is ideal. This way, your generator works as intended and remains in tiptop shape.
Having a whole-house generator is a good idea that should be done properly. All devices in your home that you want to be powered should be accounted for and their wattage calculated. The calculation should be confirmed to be correct. If not, your newly installed generator might short out. Hire a professional to help you. This way, it’ll be a hassle-free process. You don’t have to worry about complex calculations or if it will work or not as a professional will do all these for you.
Call PFO Heating & Air Conditioning For All Your Standby Generator Needs
PFO Heating & Air Conditioning is one of the leading generator installers in the Greater Princeton, NJ area. Aside from backup generator installation, we also offer replacements, maintenance, and repair services. We hire highly skilled service contractors who are well trained in the most modern HVAC and generator techniques and methods.
Contact PFO Heating & Air Conditioning via phone call or online today to learn more about whole-house generator installation. This way, you get all generator queries you have answered by industry experts. We offer free, in-home estimates.