If you need a new generator for your home—or if you don’t had a generator but might get one — the possibilities can be daunting.
You may not know what type to consider, how much power you need or even where to start.
Fortunately, selecting the right home generator is simplified by answering a few questions and talking to the right professionals.
At Home Generators for Sale, much of our job is pairing people with the right generator for their needs.
“The search for the right generator starts by asking what your needs are,” says Tobias Sommer, president of Home Generators for Sale. “You should ask if you can get by with a couple of outlets or whether you need to service the whole house.”
This helps determine whether you should have:
- A standby or portable generator
- A liquid-cooled or air-cooled generator
- And what size generator is best
Standby vs. Portable
There are two important differences between standby and portable generators:
- A standby generator automatically turns on within seconds whenever power is lost. A portable generator requires you to manually turn it on.
- A standby generator can power critical and sophisticated needs like medical appliances, heating/cooling systems, sump pumps, home security systems and more. A portable generator produces less power and often needs appliances to be manually plugged into it.
Other important differences include:
- A portable generator is mobile, while a standby generator is permanently installed outside, much like an air conditioner.
- A portable generator is fueled with gasoline, while a standby generator runs on natural gas or propane and is linked to existing utility lines.
- A portable generator has exposed engine parts that get hot. A home’s standby generator is a fully enclosed structure.
Liquid-Cooled vs. Air-Cooled
Because generators produce great heat, they use built-in coolant systems to prevent damage or fires. Your generator’s size usually determines the type and size of its coolant system.
Some generators use a liquid-cooled system. A radiator and water pump is used to push oil or coolant through hoses to keep internal temperatures safe. The heat of the engine block is transferred to the coolant and then flows into the air-cooled radiator.
Other generators use air-cooled systems. An air-cooled system pulls air into the generator with a fan to cool the engine block and other internal parts.
Pros & Cons
Liquid-cooled system: Durability and power. It’s able to cool much more powerful generators than air-cooled systems. But liquid-cooled systems are more expensive. Expect to pay substantially more than for a comparable air-cooled generator. Liquid-cooled is usually the best for commercial buildings, including hospitals.
Air-cooled system: Price tag. Although not as durable or powerful as liquid-cooled, they’re less expensive and work well for most residential needs .
What Size Is Right?
If you only need a few important appliances when power is lost, you can get away with a smaller, portable generator. But if you want to use all your appliances and systems, including heating/cooling, lights, refrigerator, sump pump and more, you’ll need a more powerful standby generator.
Many people estimate the required size of a home generator, but they don’t factor in how much power is needed to bring your appliances and systems online. It’s best to have a professional evaluate your home and needs, then determine the right size generator.
“A big myth out there is you simply can average your electric bill, but we can’t base it on averages,” Tobias Sommer says. “It’s actually based how much it takes to start and restart your appliances.
“That surge in demand can collapse the magnetic field on a generator, so that’s what we calculate when we size your generator.”
Contact Home Generators for Sale at (402) 298-5355 or homegeneratorsforsale.com to determine your generator needs. We’re experienced professionals committed to the needs and expectations of each customer.