3 Questions To Ask Before You Buy A Standby Generator

During an extended power outage, a standby generator can maintain power to critical items like your heating and cooling, your refrigerator, and your sump pump. It can also keep your lights on and give you the ability to charge phones and other devices. If you work from home or if you have someone in the house who depends on electronic medical equipment, continuous power could be extremely necessary. Not all standby generators are the same, though. Here are a few important questions to ask to make sure you get the right generator:

What do you want the generator to power?

Generators come in a wide range of sizes. Generally, the more powerful the generator, the more expensive it is. Decide exactly what needs power so you don't spend money on a generator that's too big.

For example, you may only want a generator to keep the air conditioning or heat on. You may also want to power the refrigerator so food doesn't spoil. If you can afford it, you may want a generator that fully replaces your home's power, so you can use all your lights and electronic devices.

The more items that you want powered, the more money you're going to spend on the generator. Make a list of the most important items before you start shopping for generators.

Will noise be an issue?

Your generator will regularly kick on even if it isn't needed. It does this for something called "exercise mode." It needs to run occasionally to maintain its power and so it will be reliable when and if it's ever needed. The problem with exercise mode is that it can be noisy.

Depending on how big the generator it, it could be the sound equivalent of an idling motorcycle engine or a running lawnmower. If you live in the country and have plenty of space, that may not be an issue. If your neighbors are close to you, the noise could be a problem.

Some generators have noise reduction features. You can also get an enclosure to place around the generator to reduce noise. Consider these options before the generator is installed.

Do you want smart features?

Everything comes with wireless connectivity these days and your generator is no exception. Smart generators can connect to the internet, giving you access to the generator online. The generator may send you a text message to notify you when it's turned on or off. You may be able to access a dedicated app to control the generator's functions and direct power to the appropriate devices and outlets. A smart generator could be very important if it is being placed in a second home where you don't spend all of your time.

For more information, visit a power equipment dealer, like Formula H Motorworks. They can show you different options and recommend the best one for your needs and budget.