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Should You Install a Standby Generator?

Posted on: September 5, 2012

With that major storm from a couple weeks ago still fresh in everyone’s minds, more and more people in the Maryland, Virginia and DC area are starting to think about the benefits of installing a standby generator. Generators are still fairly new, however, and a lot of people still have questions about them.

What do generators actually do?

To put it simply, generators supply backup power to your home when the grid goes down. Most standby generators are powered by gas or propane and are connected to your home’s main distribution panel via an automatic transfer switch. The generator constantly monitors incoming voltage, activating automatically when it senses a power outage. When it turns on, it also closes the line from the power company and opens its own line so you don’t accidentally get power coming from two sources. When the power comes back on, the generator shuts off and reopens the line so you get power back as usual.

Once used more by farmers, businesses and construction companies, generators have evolved significantly over the past decade from their loud, large and expensive roots and are now well suited for use in homes. Standby generators are quickly becoming even more popular than portable generators thanks to their ease of use, quiet operation and aesthetically pleasing design.

Can I install a generator?

One of the most common misconceptions about standby generators is that they’re not affordable to most people. Fortunately, this is not true! Standby generators have come down in price significantly over the years. In fact, these days there are generators available from as small as three kilowatts to as large as 45 kilowatts! Smaller units provide supplementary emergency power for general lighting, a refrigerator, or an air-conditioning unit alone, but large units can run multiple AC units and provide power for other household needs such as appliances or sump pumps. The money you’ll save in spoiled food is practically enough to cover the cost!

Standby generators are becoming increasingly popular as part of new home construction, and while this is obviously an easier job, retrofits are still more popular. At Kolb Electric, we install Generac generators. Generac generators have a number of additional benefits compared to others on the market. They:

  • Kick on within ten seconds of determining power loss so your life won’t miss a beat.
  • Are powered by Generac’s OHVI® engine designed specifically for generators.
  • Boast the easiest installation and best value on the market, with many models pre-packaged with a pre-wired transfer switch. All models include a mounting pad.
  • Feature TruePower™ Technology, whichprovides clean, smooth operation of sensitive electronics and appliances.
  • Have a Quiet-Test™ mode for a weekly self-test that’s quieter than other brands.
  • Are the most environmentally friendly generator on the market – Generac generators consume less fuel and release fewer emissions.

Standby generators are safer, more reliable, and less expensive to run than portable generators, and require no input on your part – they start and stop automatically. If you live in Maryland, Virginia or Washington, DC and want to install a standby generator in your home, call Kolb Electric today!

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