The Lowdown on Home Standby Generators

There are varieties of home standby generators that people can select. They range in sizes from 12 kilowatts and higher. In choosing the right model, this will depend on the power or wattage requirements of your place and the available fuel types. Appliances have different power requirements. For example, appliances with electric motors like refrigerator and air conditioners would need 2 to 3 times the listed wattage. Thus, it should be 20% larger than calculated requirements. The additional capacity will also allow more circuits to be added to the machine.

So how much power does your house need. You must remember that this type of machine produces AC voltage. This is very similar to the voltage available in your place. But while your electric utility company provides sufficient power for all your electric powered devices, a home standby generator is limited in power output directly related to the engine horsepower.

To determine the wattage requirements of your place, you should know what devices need to be powered simultaneously and what starting requirements are there. For example, a ceiling fan would need running watts of 800 watts and starting watts of 1200 watts. To know more about the wattage requirements of appliances, there are sites that you can find online, which shows the running wattage and starting wattage of appliances. The amount of power, that home standby generator produce, is rated in watts. In addition, running wattage is less than the starting wattage of appliances as certain components lose efficiency as they are heated from use.

There are also appliances that need a surge of energy when starting. Thus, there are also additional power considerations that you should think about. This means that the amount of electrical power needed to start the appliance may exceed the amount needed to maintain its use. Electric appliances and tools usually come with a label indicating voltage, cycles or hertz, amperage and electric power needed to run the appliance or tool. Thus, you also need to check with your appliance dealer or service center regarding power surges of certain appliances or power tools.

Incandescent lamps and hot plates also require the same wattage to start as is needed to maintain use. Fluorescent lamps require 2 to 3 times the indicated wattage during start up. Mercury lamps, on the other hand, require 2 to 3 times the indicated wattage during start up.

Electric motors also require a large starting current. Power requirements depend on the type of motor and its use. You also need to consider this power requirement when choosing and buying a home standby generator. However, once enough surges are attained to start the motor, the appliance will require only 50% to 30% of the wattage to continue running. However, electrical tools would require 2 to 3 times their wattage for running under load during use. For example, a 9000-watt generator can power a 3200 to 7000 watt electrical tool.

Knowing the right amount of power that you need is very important. If you bought a generator and the power consumption of electrical appliances exceeds the operating range or if there is short circuit or other problems in the appliances, the AC breaker could trip OFF or the rotation could be abnormally reduced. When this happens, you have to stop it to see if the power consumption of the appliances is too large and if there is a problem in the appliances.