Tips for Owning a Standby Generator for Your Home
The Cannondale Generators family understands the time and effort that goes into purchasing a standby generator for your home. Having a home standby generator saves you a lot of stress in the long term.
However, looking through different home standby generators for sale and becoming informed about how they work can be intimidating. Today, we would like to put your mind at ease. We will be walking you through general facts and tips about owning a standby generator for home use. Cannondale Generators is happy to help you simplify the process and welcome you to the useful world of the home standby generator.
All About Home Standby Generators
How a standby generator for the home works
A standby generator for your home use serves as a backup energy source in the case of a power outage. Set up to automatically step in when needed, a home standby generator will work immediately in the case of an outage whether you are at home or away from your home. When a normal source of power returns, the standby whole house generator will automatically turn off until needed again.
Using natural gas or liquid propane gas to run, these standby generators eliminate the need to monitor fuel as regularly. Often, the standby generator will be placed in your backyard, similar to an air conditioning unit. Make sure to properly set up any standby generator for home use in order to ensure proper ventilation of carbon monoxide exhaust.
The importance of a home standby generator in inclement weather
Having a standby generator for home use is pivotal when a power grid goes out or is temporarily unavailable. Power outages can occur anytime and anywhere. You might lose power due to a severe thunderstorm, high levels of heat or low levels of cold, an accident causing equipment damage, or any other number of reasons.
Having a home standby generator ensures that you will be able to continue normal home operations as usual under these circumstances. Just a few examples of what having a standby generator for home use can prevent include:
- Pipes freezing and bursting due to a turned off furnace
- Basement floods without a sub pump
- Shutdown of work or business operations
- Loss of food and other resources that cannot be kept under proper conditions
A home standby generator allows for temperature control, safeguarding of perishables, availability of hot water, prevention of basement flooding, and improvement of the resale value of your home.
Finally, modern home standby generators for sale allow for remote usage. This means that if there is a power outage and you are away from your home, whether at work for the day or on vacation for the week, you can check on the generator functioning to make sure your home is safe.
Why a standby whole house generator does not replace a utility service
Having a standby whole house generator is indispensable during a power outage. When you have purchased a high quality generator, it is possible to power your entire home for as long as needed.
However, the energy produced from a home standby generator does come at a higher cost than more standard grid power. Having normal utility services to keep your house running will be cheaper and more environmentally friendly.
When considering day-to-day needs of your house, there is no replacement for the power grid systems in place. Standby generators are not built to run as a replacement to your typical grid power source, but are designed to be used as a backup source.
Common Concerns for Standby Generator Owners
Do generators stop when overloaded?
When you are looking through home standby generators for sale, you will assess the necessary size and installation requirements based on your home and the power required to run it. A standby generator expert can help you choose the best home standby generator for your circumstances.
Given this decision process, it is unlikely that your home standby generator will become overloaded when it is properly designed for your home. However, should an overload occur, the Cannondale Generators home standby generators come equipped with full overload protection. What this means is that in the case of an overload, the standby generator’s circuit breaker trips, which will disconnect it from the load. Once you have corrected the overload and reset the breaker within the standby generator, you can restart the machine and be as good as new.
How long do standby generators last?
The engine of a standby whole house generator can provide up to 20 years of operation. This estimate assumes that your home standby generator is being used under emergency power situations and not being run in a continuous manner.
The lifespan of your home standby generator may vary depending on its size, but you can expect somewhere between 700 and 1500 hours of use. Regular and proper maintenance of any standby generator for home use will increase its expected lifespan as well.
Should you encounter an extended power outage, it may be worthwhile lightening the load that your home standby generator is expected to carry. For example, while these generators are intended to maintain normal levels of power for you and your family, you may be more mindful of not using unnecessary power during an outage to make sure basic needs are being met for the longer term. Overall, home standby generators are built to last a long time, making them a valuable investment.
How often should I run my generator?
A home standby generator system typically is set up to run a test cycle of about 10 minutes once per week. This ensures that the generator is running properly and acts as a form of preventative maintenance.
If there is nothing wrong with the home standby generator during this process, then you are good to go and do not need to do anything. If an issue is present, the generator will let you know with an alarm or a warning.
Other than these maintenance cycles, you should only be running a standby generator for home use during emergency power outage situations. A home standby generator is not intended for regular ongoing use and is not a way to improve availability of regular power. These generators are meant to be run when needed as backup because other power sources are unavailable.
How long can a generator run?
The run time of a typical home standby generator will vary a bit based on the specific design. Factors that influence how long a generator runs include the size of the engine and the size of the gas tank. Reading the owner’s manual for your home standby generator is a great way to know about how long you can expect that generator to run.
During a power outage, you can expect your home standby generator to run indefinitely as long as it is properly fueled and checked for proper coolant and lubrication oil levels.
When running on natural gas fuel, your standby generator will be connected to your home’s gas line, allowing for ongoing access. If your home standby generator runs on liquid propane, you will want to know the size of your fuel tank to understand how long it can run. Most standby whole house generators come with approximately 2-3 day LP fuel tank, which is more than enough for the average power outage.
When you are properly maintaining your home standby generator, it will run for a longer time during an extended outage. Keeping the generator free of snow or debris will decrease the effort it needs to exert to run as well. Also, using less electricity during an outage and shutting your home standby generator off occasionally will increase its lasting time during an extended power outage.
What are the safety concerns with fuel for a home standby generator?
Standby generators for home use run on liquid propane or natural gas. These types of fuel are preferable to gasoline because they are long lasting and do not spoil, are simple and safer to use, and do not require quite as much cleaning or maintenance. Importantly, natural gas and liquid propane are still flammable substances and must be handled with care.
What tips are there for general maintenance of a home standby generator?
The beauty of home standby generators is that they are reasonably self-maintaining. However, there are some good practices that you can keep up in order to help your home standby generator function properly and for as long as possible. Check in on your generator for the built-in weekly self-check it will conduct.
If there are any issues, you will find a warning signal and will want to address the matter immediately. Make sure that your home standby generator is set to auto mode. This will allow it to automatically start when you need it most without having to worry about turning it on in an emergency. It will also allow it to automatically shut off when no longer in use. Clean away any debris from your standby whole house generator when possible to make sure it can function at its best.
Finally, having your home standby generator maintenanced by an authorized service dealer about twice a year will guarantee that it is in top shape and ready to use when you need it.
Purchasing a Standby Generator for Home Use
Where to buy home standby generators?
You can buy a home standby generator from any number of suppliers, in store or online. One of a major benefits of buying a home standby generator from Cannondale Generators is that you are purchasing our expertise as well as our local servicing. We are familiar with the installation, maintenance, and repair of a wide range of different home standby generators.
When buying a home standby generator, there are a lot of individual needs of a particular buyer. Thanks to the selection available at Cannondale Generators, we are able to match your home standby generator to your unique needs. Beyond that, we are available in an ongoing capacity to help with any issues that arise during ownership.
What do I do if I have trouble with my home standby generator?
If you find you are having any trouble with your home standby generator, you can contact Cannondale Generators for assistance. All of the technicians at Cannondale Generators are fully certified by the numerous manufacturers that we work with. Having extensive training in a wide range of home standby generators, we sell and install a variety of these machines.
We are happy to conduct regular maintenance checks in addition to any needed servicing onsite. Additionally, referring to the owner’s manual that came with your home standby generator is a great way to troubleshoot smaller, more straightforward issues. If you have lost the owner’s manual that came with your machine, just let us know and we can replace it based on the make and model of your standby whole house generator.
Contact Cannondale Generators Today
At Cannondale Generators, we know what goes into getting a standby generator for your home. We hope to have covered the basics here to help you feel prepared as you search for your own home standby generator. Don’t hesitate to contact our support staff today at 203-762-2608 or send us a message to have any of your additional questions answered.