HOME BACKUP FAQS
HOME BACKUP GENERATOR VERSUS HOME BATTERY FAQS
During a utility power outage, an automatic backup generator provides numerous advantages over a portable generator:
- The American Red Cross recommends permanently installed backup generators as a safer way to provide backup power to a home than a portable generator.
- With an automatic backup generator properly installed outside, your home is protected from deadly carbon monoxide poisoning that is a much greater risk with portable generators.
- Running on the home’s natural gas or LP fuel supply, it is less expensive to run than gasoline and does not need to be refilled.
- They start automatically within seconds of a power outage, and eliminate the need to haul a portable generator outside or run extension cords throughout your home.
- They provide protection 24/7, whether you’re home or away, and they turn themselves off when utility power returns, so there is no need to monitor the unit during an outage.
An automatic backup generator is a back up electrical system that operates whether you are home or away. Within seconds of an outage, it automatically supplies power directly to your home’s electrical circuit breaker box. After utility power returns, the generator shuts itself off and waits for the next outage. It operates on natural gas or liquid propane gas and sits outside just like a central air conditioning unit. See our “How It Works” video for more information..
Unlike other engines, used in backup power generation, Generac OHVI engines are made specifically for generators. They are engineered to run for the long periods of time required during a severe power outage or on a job site, utilizing the same type of pressurized oil lubrication used to give automobile engines long and trouble-free lives..
The engines! Air-cooled generators come with engines that use fans to force air across the engine for cooling, while liquid-cooled generators use enclosed radiator systems for cooling, similar to an automobile. Generally, liquid-cooled engines are used on larger kW generators due to the larger engines required for the higher power output.
Since 1959, Generac has been designing and manufacturing backup power generators for residential, commercial and industrial applications. We have grown to be the world’s largest provider of residential backup generators, selling five times as many generators as all of our competitors combined. Generac’s broad product line is available through the industry’s largest network of independent generator dealers, retailers and wholesalers. To learn more, visit our About Us page or connect with us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google+..
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, in 2013 the average annual electricity consumption for a U.S. residential utility customer was 10,908 kilowatt hours (kWh). This translates to about 30 kilowatt hours per day.
The most reliable source of power for extended or unpredictable power outages is a home backup generator. The generator, which in most cases is connected directly to a home’s natural gas line, has a constant supply of fuel and can operate through extended outages, keeping homes safe, lit and powered.
For people concerned with a loss of natural gas supply during a storm, generators can be fueled by a dedicated LP tank as well.
With this continuous fuel source, generators are much better able to face the unpredictability of dangerous, storm-prompted or lengthy outages rather than a home battery, which relies on an external power source to recharge it after only a few hours of use.
The simple answer is no. Both products do help supply electricity that homeowners can use for any electrical device in their home—from air conditioning to microwaves.
Home backup generators, when properly installed and wired to the home’s circuitry, can provide adequate wattage to the home to run all selected circuits simultaneously, with the output they require. Home appliances draw different amounts of power when they operate—a microwave may require 1000 watts of power, and a refrigerator may require 500 to 750 watts to operate. Generators steadily produce their power, fully supporting all circuits they are wired to.
Home batteries cannot supply the full wattage of the power they may hold all at once. For example, a battery that may be charged with up to 10 kWh of energy, in order to protect the longevity of the battery, cannot dispense its power at more than a 2 kilowatts-per-hour rate. This means that only certain appliances would be able to draw power at any given time from the battery. In a power outage, the battery could support only limited items in a home at one time (e.g., just the refrigerator, but not the furnace).
Visit the home backup generator sizing calculator to learn what it takes to power your home
A: Heating and air conditioning are top concerns, along with running water and hot water. All of these items are high-load appliances and require a high capacity to start. These actions consume significant power and could quickly drain a battery.
There a number of ways homeowners can prepare for a power outage.
Homeowners who wish to operate the appliances and features of their home without being connected to their community’s standard power grid explore a number of options to provide constant energy to their home.
Often these options still require a fuel source. In the case of certain battery backup options, the fuel source is stored solar energy. By going “off grid” a home only powered by a battery power source using solar fuel must rely on the unpredictable coverage and collection of sunlight to recharge it—impractical in most parts of the country.
Home backup generators’ fuel is often available in the home’s area in the form of natural gas or propane. A more reliable resource—natural gas—is abundant, relatively inexpensive and cleaner burning than many other fuel types. Propane fuel can be delivered and refilled as the owner desires, unlike sunlight.
For those homeowners who wish to disconnect from the power grid in their area, the power that supplies their home must be sourced to a power-supplying unit and safely designed to transfer to their electrical system, a process that requires a professional electrician or generator/battery installer.
For anyone who is interested in grid independence, a generator is a valuable component of their off-grid process.
Generac has engineered the EcoGen home backup generator as the first automatic unit warranted for off-grid use when used in an alternative energy system.