In our last blog post, we addressed some common standby generator questions. Understanding the ins and outs of standby generators for your home or business can help you make the right decision when buying a new one, or help you keep your current generator running smoothly.
1. What is the difference between a standby generator and a portable generator?
As the name implies, a portable generator can be moved from one location to another, while a standby generator is permanently installed outside your home or business. A standby generator typically runs on propane or natural gas, while a portable generator must be filled with gasoline every few hours. Portable generators are best suited for uses such as camping, while a standby generator is the best choice to power a home or business during a power outage.
2. How do I turn on my generator when the power goes out?
One of the best things about standby generators is that they turn themselves on automatically when the power goes out. This not only eliminates the need for you to keep turning it on or off, but it gives you the peace of mind that if you’re away, your home or business is still protected. Sump pumps, security systems, freezers and refrigerators – everything will still have power automatically.
3. What type of maintenance does a backup generator require?
Just like your car needs regular maintenance, so does your standby generator. Having a certified technician inspect and tune up your generator about once a year is recommended by most manufacturers. Depending on the model of standby generator you choose, it will perform a self-check about once a week, and will send a report to us. This way, we can stay on top of maintenance and repairs so you know your generator will be working when the power goes out.
4. How loud is a generator?
Noise depends on a few factors, but most generators designed for residential use are equipped with special enclosures that keep them quiet. In fact, most standby generators are no louder than a central air conditioning unit. Many of the brands we carry are rated between 62-68dB (decibels) when heard from 20 feet away, while a central air conditioning unit is rated at 68dB at 20 feet away.
5. How long will the generator provide power?
As long as there is a fuel source, natural gas or propane, a well-maintained standby generator will keep running. A propane-fueled standby generator with a 500-gallon tank will continue to run 24 hours a day for over a week, depending on which appliances it provides power.