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all you need to know about a stand by generator

Feb 28, 2008
In the past, most people deem it ridiculous when common households own their very own standby generator. Usually, a stand by generator would be needed only by businesses, hospitals and other establishments to supply electricity when a power outage occurs. What these people don't know was that the stand by generator will later be considered as one of the most important piece of machinery the household cannot go without.

Nowadays, it is all too common to own a stand by generator. Families just couldn't afford to go through yet another power outage. Important tasks might be delayed, their safety might be compromised and valuable information might get lost. If you do not want to risk this happening to you, the only answer would be for you to get a stand by generator.

What is a Stand by Generator?

A stand by generator is a type of electric generator that is permanently installed outside. It supplies electricity in case of a power outage. It works quite similar to your typical electrical appliance, say, your air-conditioning unit. But there are two factors that set a stand by generator apart from an AC unit.

A stand by generator has an engine, rather than the electric motors of an AC unit. Obviously, when a power outage occurs, the electric motors of your AC cannot function, while the stand by generator can.

The stand by generator also uses an automatic transfer switch as opposed to the thermostat in your AC units in monitoring utility power. When a power outage occurs, the switch automatically turns the generator on, without any manual supervision. When power is restored, the automatic transfer switch turns the generator off.

What makes stand by generators better than portable generators?

It all depends on what meets your needs. If you'd rather have a generator that is light, and can be transported anywhere, a portable generator is definitely right for you. On the other hand, a stand by generator is recommended to those who do not like having to turn the generator on every time a power outage occurs. A stand by generator also means not having to carry it with you, no power cords, and no need to fill up the gas tank.

OK. Now I know what a stand by generator is. What's the first step in choosing the right one?

First, decide whether you want to power the whole house or just the important parts like your office, bedroom, or kitchen.

You can choose a stand by generator that powers the whole house if you really want to be protected from a power outage. Just be forewarned that these generators are very expensive. A 20-kilowatt liquid-cooled generator can cost anywhere from $6,275 to $12,500, and this still does not include installation costs and the automatic transfer switch.

For those who are on a tight budget, you can get a stand by generator that powers select circuits. A typical select circuit generator can power 8-16 circuits and costs $1,999 to $3,850, already inclusive of the automatic transfer switch.

Investing in a stand by generator is a wise decision. If you have the financial resources to power the whole house, go for it. And don't worry if you don't. There are several ways available for you to revive as many parts of the house as possible.
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