How Big Of A Backup Generator Do I Need To Run A Home?

At some point, it just makes sense to purchase a generator. When that time comes is up to you because only you will know how reasonable it is to start addressing regular outages that are taking place. Most homes will lose power for about five to six hours at an average of once or twice a year.

That may not sound like a lot of time to be left without the benefits of electricity, but when you consider how many essential aspects of your life are dependent upon a proper supply of power, you may just realize that going without it for any length of time is a convenience you can’t very well afford.

Nor should you have to, not with so many generator and interlock kit options on the market. Depending on the region in which you reside you may be dealing with power outages far more frequently and for much longer than the norm.

When extremely bad weather hits your town it can result in damage that could take days or even weeks to repair. That means you could be left without working power for the same span of time and just think what it’s like to live without working lights for a few hours in the evening.

Now imagine what that’s like having to survive in those conditions for days or even weeks. Combine that with the seasonal challenges that bring extreme cold and hot outdoor temperatures. In order to regulate the indoor temperatures of the home, you need working electricity. When the power is out, your HVAC system can’t operate at all and that could leave you and your family trying to manage to stay comfortable in frigid or overwhelmingly hot conditions.

The bottom line is that it just makes perfect sense to get a backup generator for your home. The only question that remains is how big of a generator do you need to run everything in it?

In an effort to help you determine the best size generator necessary to keep everything adequately powered, here are the factors you need to keep in mind before you begin your search:

Take Stock of the Essentials

When we talk about learning to adjust when the power goes out, what is it we really mean? Every household is different, what is important to one family may not be as vital to another. Sure everyone needs lights and a refrigerator that will keep running, but what else is critical to living in comfort?

Look around, identify those critical items that you must keep running, whether it happens to be your electronic devices, imperative medical equipment, even certain appliances, tally all of their starting and running wattages, then do the math and add it all up.

Only you know what you need to get by and once you determine what that is, you can then start to calculate how much of a power load your generator will need to produce to keep all of those things running uninterrupted.

After you’ve figured that out, you may then go about deciding on the right size unit for the home.

Portable or Not

Among the first things to consider as you weigh your options is the choice of buying a portable generator that you can move from one location to another or a stationary model that is permanently installed in the home as an extension of the electrical system.

There are distinct pros and cons to either choice, a portable unit can be used in more than one place but it may need to be filled with gas and prepped before it can be utilized. Are those too many steps for you to take in order to get juice running in the home again?

A stationary model is ready the second the power dies as it supplies current almost instantaneously. But that means you can’t bring it with you anywhere else.

Home Location

Another thing to keep in mind when you are deciding on how big of a generator you need is the area in which your home is located. Are you in a more populated neighborhood that is near an urban center with many homes and businesses or do you live far out in more rural surroundings?

Where your home is located may have an impact on when your power is restored. The electric company is going to work hard to get the more densely populated areas up and running before they get to those areas with fewer customers. So if you live way out in the woods, you could be relying on your generator for much longer.


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