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GENERATORS 101

Don’t Be Left in the Dark During the Next Storm

Severe weather systems can wipe out power to your home in an instant. You know what’s at stake if you lose power often: your security system shuts down, groceries go to waste as fridges and freezers thaw out, plumbing system failures can cause water damage, and more. It’s stressful and expensive to repair your property after a power outage. ϸƵ is here for you with reliable emergency power solutions to keep the lights on at your house when the rest of the city goes dark. 

Powering Home Peace of Mind

A backup home generator works automatically, so you can enjoy peace of mind at all times within your home. Advanced monitoring technology guarantees your generator steps in at the right time to power your entire home without missing a beat if there is a utility interruption – the generator unit monitors the electricity in your home 24/7. Implementing an emergency power plan for your home is simple with PM Tech. We handle all the details – from recommending a properly sized generator unit to installation and maintenance.

Generator Selection Tool

 How Does It Work?

Before the power goes out

Your automatic transfer switch (ATS) works 24/7 to monitor the electricity coming from the utility so it can trigger your generator to respond in a moment’s notice when needed. You never have to worry about refueling or running an extension cord to your generator – it’s directly connected to your existing natural gas or LP fuel supply.

Power during an outage

When the power fails or drops below a sufficient level, your automatic transfer switch triggers your generator to kick in so your power remains ON. The ATS immediately changes your power source from the utility to the generator in seconds so your life remains uninterrupted. With an ATS you do not have to manually initiate your generator.

The utility power returns.

Your generator will continue to power your home until utility power is restored, then the automatic transfer switch will respond by shifting the power load back to the utility. Your backup generator will automatically shut down so it’s ready for the next power outage – you don’t have to do anything!

What Type of Home Generator Do I Need?

ϸƵ generators generally fall into three categories, based on your household power needs:

Low Power Needs

Select Circuit:
Only the Essentials

A select circuit generator provides backup power tailored to your basic household requirements to get you and your family comfortably through a power outage. This might include heating and cooling, refrigeration, or lighting. Since a select circuit generator is typically sized according to essential appliances rather than the square footage of your home, this option tends to be more cost-effective.

Medium Power Needs

Managed Whole-Home: Practical Full Coverage

A managed whole-home generator is ideal for homeowners who don’t use all of their appliances at the same time. This option typically features a smaller generator unit paired with a “smart transfer switch” that actively manages the power consumption of every appliance in the home during a power outage – offering a more energy efficient whole-home solution.

High Power Needs

Complete Whole-Home: Maximum Backup Power

In the event of an outage, a complete whole-home generator restores power to every system and appliance in your home within seconds, and keeps it powered until the main utility comes back on. This option is ideal for homeowners who live in areas that experience frequent power outages, those that would prefer to not be disrupted in the event of any outage, or those with critical appliances like medical equipment that cannot lose power for any length of time, under any circumstances.

Find Out Which Generator is Best for Your Needs!

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Generac generator

What Type of Fuel Will My Home Generator Need?Natural Gas or Liquid Propane?

For residential applications, generators run on either natural gas or liquid propane. 
When comparing the differences between both fuel types, there are a couple important factors to consider:

Longevity

As a household utility service provided by your municipality, natural gas is a practically endless source of fuel capable of powering your generator for weeks. Propane, on the other hand, can keep your generator running for days but must eventually be replenished.

Energy Density

A generator installed using natural gas typically has a power output of 18 kilowatts. If the same generator were converted to a propane fuel source, which has a higher energy density, its power output would be about 20 kilowatts. This means that you can power more with the same generator, and potentially avoid having to upgrade to a larger, more expensive unit.

Availability

Natural gas is not available everywhere, especially in rural areas. Moreover, the cost of upgrading to accommodate demand can be high. Propane can be safely stored and maintained on virtually 
any property.

Cost

Natural gas is about 40% of the cost of propane, making it less expensive to use than propane. Furthermore, propane requires the purchase of storage tanks and other potentially costly accommodations such as refilling and resizing, making it more expensive to store and maintain in the long run.

Generac generator

Choosing the Right Home Generator Size

The size of a generator is measured in watts, which determines the power output of the unit and its ability to provide the appropriate amount of power to your desired circuits or entire home. Estimating the wattage you’ll need depends on two factors:

Starting Load - This is the amount of electricity needed to startup an appliance. Generally, this is about three times the amount needed to keep the appliance running.

Running Load - This is the amount of electricity needed to keep an appliance powered after the initial startup. It is typically three times less than the starting load, but is delivered continuously to the appliance being powered.

It is critical that both starting load and running load are taken into account when calculating what size generator is best for your household power needs.

Try our interactive Generator Sizing Tool!

Estimate what size generator you will need based on the appliances you wish to power in the event of an outage.

Generator Sizing Tool

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do I choose the right size generator?

    Our team will evaluate your property needs in order to recommend the right size generator for you. We consider the square footage of your home and the electrical demands you would like the generator to provide. Whether you want to power just a few circuits or want power delivered to your whole house, we will make sure your generator is a perfect fit for your home power needs. 

  • Do I have to service my generator?

    We recommend that you routinely service your generator to maximize its lifespan and promote uninterrupted function. The comprehensive preventative maintenance plans available from ϸƵ help you protect your investment by guaranteeing your backup power equipment functions at optimal performance at all times. Your generator will always be standing by, ready to power your home when an emergency need arises if it is cared for properly over time. Your generator may run automatic tests on a routine basis, however, it’s also still important to receive professional routine maintenance to care for the technical aspects of your unit.

  • What will my generator power in my home?

    Your generator can power every aspect of your home, assuming you’ve had the right size generator installed to meet your home’s power needs. Let us know what you want to power in your home, and we’ll ensure your generator is properly sized to handle the power load… Keep appliances operating as usual. Keep your fridge and freezer powered to prevent food from going to waste. Keep your electronics charged and protected from unexpected power surges. Keep your heating and air conditioning systems running to provide your home with a comfortable atmosphere… No need to light candles or mop up backed-up sewage, because your property will be protected from water damage that could result from a water well or sump pump failure!

  • What's the difference between a portable generator and a home generator?

    A portable generator is a great option to power mobile needs. If you like to camp in the woods comfortably or need to power equipment on the go, a portable generator might be a good fit. These units often run on gas or propane and must be set up each time you wish to use them. A home generator is a more robust, comprehensive emergency power solution that can power your entire home in the event of a power outage. There is no need to refuel your home generator or worry about setting it up. Once the unit is installed, it runs off of your homes’ natural or LP gas and will initiate automatically when needed so you’re never without power. 

  • Can I install my generator myself?

    ϸƵ recommends that you utilize a certified expert, like our trained technicians, to complete your generator installation process. This will save you from unnecessary stress and complications that can arise from an improperly installed unit. Our experienced technicians can get your generator installed efficiently, and ensure all your power is properly routed.

  • Does ϸƵ handle warranty protection for my generator?

    Our technicians will complete the necessary paperwork for your generator’s warranty after the unit is installed. This way, the warranty begins the day the unit is installed, instead of the day it leaves the factory. We are also well versed in all of the rules and requirements of your generator’s warranty so we can ensure you don’t prematurely lose warranty protection should your generator need service or repair. 

  • Is a whole house generator worth the cost?

    Absolutely! Emergency power solutions are an investment in the value of your property. The cost of repairing your home following the damage from a power outage can add up over time, especially if you lose power often. Further, your generator will allow you to live your life uninterrupted, so you’ll never have to find another place to stay or reschedule life events due to power outages. The day your generator is installed, you’ll be able to begin quickly realizing your investment. 

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See how a home generator can help you keep the lights on.

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