Things to Consider When Shopping for a Standby Generator

home standby generator


So you’ve made the decision to shop for a standby generator. There are plenty reasons why a home or business owner would want a generator. Maybe you live in an area with frequent blackouts. Maybe your business can’t afford to lose electricity. Or maybe you just want the peace of mind that comes with owning a standby generator. Whatever your reason, make sure to do your research before you buy. Here are a few questions to ask yourself when shopping for a standby generator.

What are your power requirements?

The power needs certainly tie back to your budget, but the main question you should ask yourself when determining power requirements for your generator is this: In the event of a power outage, do I need the generator to power the entire building or just a few appliances? For a home standby generator, the answer is usually just a matter of the homeowner’s budget and preference. For a more critical commercial situation such as a healthcare facility, the answer may be dependent on code compliance.

Which fuel type will you use?

The most common fuel sources for standby generators are diesel fuel, propane, and natural gas. Cost and availability of the fuel source are two important factors. Diesel and propane provide “on-site” fuel, but may require refilling during an extended power outage, whereas natural gas utilizes local utilities. Check local code requirements to see which fuel types are available to your area. For example, propane may not be an option within city limits in some areas.

Where will the generator be located, and are there noise ordinances in the area?

Most standby generators are located outdoors, similar to an air conditioning unit. If yours will be outside your home or business, check into any noise ordinances and make sure that the unit you purchase doesn’t violate the rules in your neighborhood. Many residential standby generators come standard with a sound attenuated enclosure, while commercial generators may offer several enclosure types.

Who will perform the installation?

Installing a standby generator is undoubtedly a job for a licensed electrician. Not only does electrical work carry the risk of electrical shock or even electrocution, but poor electrical wiring is a common cause of house and building fires. Check to make sure that the company you hire to perform the installation insures their work, and that their technicians are fully trained and knowledgeable on code compliance.

The generator experts at Midwest Generator Solutions are a great resource to walk you through the process of purchasing a new standby generator. With so many things to consider, help of a professional can give you the assurance that you’re making the right choice. Give us a call today to see how we can help you.


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