Home generators or Home Power Generators are typically described as “whole house generators”. Simply put, they are generator systems that can power an entire house. They are back-up systems that, after installation, become a permanent fixture of the home, and are normally designed to automatically restore power to a home or office within 60 seconds of an outage.
Permanent or fixed Home Power Generators are connected by way of a transfer switch to normal electrical circuits, and, in many instances, use a location’s natural-gas supply line for fuel. When considering one of these Home Power Generators, it is important to check city ordinances for any permit and installation requirements that may exist. Most permanent Home Generators are activated by an automatic transfer switch during a power shortage, and then deactivated when standard electricity is restored.
Homeowners should identify the number of appliances that the backup generator system must operate - before determining what the wattage requirements of the generator will be. Qualified electricians should always be engaged to install permanent home generators or home power generators.
Portable Home Generators
Portable home generators are a more common choice for homeowners in areas where power outages are less common, and in instances where a homeowner does not wish to connect backup power to normal electrical circuits with a transfer switch. The choice of portable home generators provides the homeowner with options - like transferring backup power to different locations, or being able to use it for home-improvement projects or similar purposes in downtime.
Portable home generators usually run on gasoline, and will seldom be linked directly into existing electrical circuits with transfer equipment. They have a combination of 120-volt, 240-volt, and 120/240-volt outlets, and will run pumps or appliances via extension cords - that plug directly into the generator outlet panel. Portable home generators should never be used inside a home, as they produce deadly carbon monoxide. In addition, extension cords should always be rated for the amount of load they will carry.
Some homeowners prefer to operate portable home generators with transfer equipment. This enables portable generator power to safely enter the existing electrical circuits of a home or building.
Portable home generators are reliable, and they can become a primary power source in locations where no commercial power is available - places, for example, like campgrounds or picnic spots.
Standby Home Generators
Standby home generators are more expensive initially than a comparable portable home generator, however can be worth the expense, in particular if a consumer values fully-automatic operation.
Standby home generators usually require a permit and need to be installed by a qualified electrician. These types of generators are connected to a home's power supply, and are designed to assume control of power distribution during an outage.
The fuel for these generators is usually either liquid propane or natural gas. Keep in mind, if considering one, that standby home generators require regular maintenance; sometimes the generator manufacturer will have qualified technicians in an area, and will even offer a maintenance program.
These convenient generators have the advantage of being able to provide constant uninterrupted power to an entire home. Refueling will be a non-issue when natural gas is used, a far lesser issue when propane is used than standard gasoline, even diesel. This can be a huge benefit if an outage proves long lasting.
Because Standby home generators represent a sizeable purchase, consumers will want to do research - and remember that the best time to make a generator purchase is when outages are least likely, not in the winter months during or after an extended power loss. Going with the least expensive generator is not usually the best choice. As a consumer, first determine what your backup power requirements will be, and then consult a professional who can help you make the best choice for your circumstances.
Remember, standby home generators will become a permanent fixture on your property, adding to its resale value just like any home improvement. Swapping out a standby unit following installation because it has proved too small for the application is inconvenient and expensive - so do your homework in advance.
Natural Gas Home Generators
Natural gas home generators are the choice of many residential buyers. Homeowners find that employing an existing fuel source like natural gas service to operate a home generator is both convenient and affordable.
Natural gas home generators need to be connected to their fuel source, and to the home's circuit-breaker panel (via the necessary transfer equipment). These generators will begin to operate within 60 seconds or so of a power interruption, and will shut themselves off after a brief cooldown period when power is restored. They will automatically start and run at a reduced rpm on a weekly or bi-weekly basis to ensure proper operation, and they do require regular maintenance to keep them operating at peak efficiency.
When choosing natural gas home generators, the top consideration should be whether a home's natural gas supply will be sufficient to adequately power the generator - not always true. If there is doubt as to this, a propane-burning model can be a good second choice - especially since, in most areas, propane tanks can be delivered right to a location, and conveniently stored there until needed.
Diesel Home Generators
Diesel home generators are available in various specifications and sizes, and can be used in home and residential, or RV applications, or to support commercial or industrial projects.
Diesel engines have proved to be extremely efficient and cost effective. Though fuel for diesel home generators is priced modestly higher than gasoline, the higher energy density of diesel translates to significantly greater energy per part than can be realized with gasoline.
One advantage of diesel home generators to their gasoline counterparts is a lower maintenance cost. Glow plugs are generally more rugged and reliable than the spark plugs of gasoline engines. In addition, diesel fuel burns at a lower temperature than gasoline, leading to less engine wear and a longer life. Thefuel cost per kilowatt produced by diesel is thirty to fifty percent lower than that of gasoline. This makes diesel power an affordable and appealing choice for some homeowners.