Frequently Asked Questions About Whole Home Generators

Q: What is a whole home generator?

 A: A whole home generator, also known as a standby generator, is a backup power system that automatically switches on during a power outage to provide electricity to your entire home. It is permanently installed outside your home and runs on natural gas or propane.

Q: Why should I consider installing a whole home generator?

A: Whole home generators offer peace of mind during power outages by ensuring that essential appliances and systems in your home, such as lights, HVAC, refrigerators, and security systems, continue to function. They also protect against food spoilage, water damage from frozen pipes, and other inconveniences caused by power loss.

Q: How does a whole home generator work?

A: When a power outage occurs, the automatic transfer switch (ATS) detects the loss of utility power and signals the generator to start automatically. The generator then begins supplying power to your home within seconds. Once utility power is restored, the ATS switches the electrical load back to the utility grid and shuts down the generator.

Q: What size generator do I need for my home?

A: The size of the generator depends on the electrical load you wish to power during an outage. A professional installer can perform a load calculation to determine the appropriate generator size based on your home’s specific needs.

Q: How long does it take to install a whole home generator?

A: Installation times can vary depending on factors such as the size of the generator, the complexity of the installation, and local building codes. On average, installation typically takes between one to three days.

Q: Do I need a permit for generator installation?

A: Permit requirements vary by location, so it’s essential to check with your local building department or municipality to determine if permits are needed for generator installation.

Q: How often does a whole home generator need maintenance?

A: Regular maintenance is essential to ensure the reliable operation of your generator. Manufacturers typically recommend annual maintenance performed by a qualified technician. Maintenance tasks may include checking fluid levels, inspecting electrical connections, and testing the generator’s operation.

Q: Will a whole home generator increase my home's value?

A: A whole home generator can increase the value of your home, especially in areas prone to frequent power outages or severe weather events. Additionally, having a generator already installed can be an attractive feature for potential buyers.

Q: Can I install a whole home generator myself?

A: Installation of a whole home generator requires expertise in electrical wiring, plumbing, and gas connections. It is highly recommended to hire a licensed and experienced professional generator installer to ensure the safe and proper installation of the unit.

Q: What is the lifespan of a whole home generator?

A: With proper maintenance, a whole home generator can last between 10 to 30 years, depending on the make and model. Regular maintenance and timely repairs can help extend the lifespan of the generator.