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How To Choose a Whole-House Generator

Get safety and comfort from Parker Gas

generators north carolina Here in Eastern North Carolina, we see a lot of bad weather, from summer hurricanes to coastal winter storms that bring wind and ice.

That bad weather, along with electrical grid failures and car accidents that bring down power lines, can cause power outages in your home. The longer the power is out, things get more uncomfortable and potentially dangerous.

Parker Gas can keep your home safe and comfortable during power outages by installing a top-quality Briggs & Stratton propane whole-house generator. In addition to generator installation, we also install propane tanks for generators and provide dependable propane delivery.

What is a whole-house generator?

A whole-house generator is also sometimes called a standby generator because it’s on standby until you need it. The generator activates as soon as the electricity goes off and starts supplying power directly to your house’s circuit breaker box.

This is one of many ways that whole-house generators have a big advantage over portable generators. You won’t be home to turn it on or have to go outside in the cold and ice to turn it on, as you do with a portable generator. You also don’t have to run extension cords around your house.

Once the electricity comes back on, it automatically shuts off again.

What should I consider when choosing a whole-house generator?

The propane appliance experts at Parker Gas will help you through the process of selecting your whole-house generator. We’ve put together some things for you to think about as you get started.

Capacity. How much power do you want your generator to provide for your home in an outage?

Generators have a vast array of capabilities, from small units that can power only a few appliances to large commercial-grade models. For example, an 8-kilowatt (kW) generator is easy to place and can operate essentials like lights and a refrigerator. A 25-kW generator, however, could easily run a home HVAC system in addition to other items.

Make a list of two categories. The first is for the essentials such as lights, refrigerators, furnace fans, small appliances like a microwave or multicooker, sump pumps, medical equipment like a CPAP, home security systems, electronics like TVs, gaming systems, and computers, and chargers for phones, laptops, and tablets. The second list is for high-wattage items such as central air conditioning, heat pump, washing machine, dryer, water heater, and range. These lists help you determine your priorities.

Placement. Depending on the level of power output, whole-house generators can be just as big as—or even slightly bigger than—the outdoor unit for central A/C systems.

Generators must be installed to meet local flood, noise, and electrical codes, as well as regulations for safety. These codes, regulations, and standards are why determining the placement of and installing a whole-house generator aren’t DIY projects but must be done by trained professionals like the team at Parker Gas.

Costs. The national average price range for propane whole-house generators is between $3,000 and $10,000, depending on the capacity of the generator.

How to take care of a whole-house generator

Like other propane appliances, propane whole-house generators need annual professional generator maintenance to operate smoothly. Our service technicians will tune up your generator and provide a thorough inspection to spot and fix any potential problems before they get worse.

There are ways to keep your generator running properly in between tune-ups. If you don’t use your generator regularly, it can start to develop problems that could prevent it from working when you need it. Avoid this by starting your generator and letting it run for around 20 minutes once a month. Power it to a full load and pay close attention to how it’s running. Contact us for a service call if you notice any problems.

Parker Gas can help your home stay safe and comfortable during power outages with our propane whole-house backup generator services. Get in touch with us today to learn more.