Generators come in various sizes, features, fuel types, power quality, noisy vs. quiet, automatic vs. owner connected, portable, permanent, power on monthly self-test vs. no tests, various brands, and ease of use. It is like buying a car: all have 4-wheels, seats, and a motor, but some last 4 years while others last 14 years and experience no problems.
All generators require annual oil change, run-tests and load checks to assure that the backup generator is reliable when needed. I separate generators into two groups: those generators that automatically operate with no homeowner involvement for peace of mind during homeowner absence, and portable generators that require knowledgeable and strong people to move the generator into place and to safely connect the wiring or extension cords.
The next separator is how much of the house do you want to reliably operate during power outages? Bigger generators can run a whole house and tend to require less internal house re-wiring, while smaller generators require changing wiring and moving circuits into another breaker panel for the backup generator to operate while the power is out.
Then there is the quality of the power for operating electronics, computers and control systems. Generators that have electronic inverters provide consistent and clean electricity and tend to vary the engine speed and fuel use according to the load required. Simpler generators run at full speed and provide constant maximum power regardless of load – like most portable generators.
Costs and features vary substantially and require the knowledge and experience to recognize and choose the appropriate unit according to amperage need and cost. Choosing a generator is like choosing a home computer, there are various needs, features and costs to consider when making this decision. They all do the same thing but at different costs and features.
Mosby Building Arts offers generator sizing. We can suggest options and discuss costs of various generators during a consulting visit in your home. Call our office at 314.909.1800 or contact us here.