It’s not unusual to see multi-day power outages in the Charlottesville area during this time of year. A home generator can make a real difference in your comfort and safety during a power outage.
At first look, choosing a home generator can seem pretty overwhelming. Use our helpful tips to make an informed decision.
Portable vs standby
There are two primary options for homeowners shopping for home generators: portable or standby.
Portable generators provide power to a select few appliances such as a refrigerator and microwave. Portable generators offer a lower price point and don’t require professional installation; however, they do have some significant drawbacks. Portable generators typically only power a few appliances and rarely provide enough wattage to power everything in your home. They are powered by gasoline and have relatively small tanks. Unless your power outages tend to be brief, you may need to refuel several times a day. Additionally, if not operated properly — outside with proper ventilation, a portable generator can be dangerous because of the carbon monoxide exhaust.
A standby generator (whole-house generator) is a better choice than a portable unit for most homeowners because it has a higher capacity and is automated. When sized correctly for your home, a standby generator has the capacity to power most or all electric devices in your home simultaneously, including your heating and air conditioning (HVAC) system.
A standby generator starts automatically when the power goes out and turns itself off when power is restored. There is no need to start it yourself, monitor fuel levels, or worry about turning it off when power comes back; you don’t even need to be home for it to work! While they do require professional installation, standby generators offer true peace of mind in power outages.
Portable generators are gasoline powered; standby generators are powered by natural gas or propane. A standby generator connects directly to your home’s existing fuel supply. If you don’t already have a fuel source at your house, you can have a propane tank installed on site.
For professional installation of a standby generator, Fitch Services will help you calculate wattage requirements for your home. If you want to do the math yourself, you’ll need to determine the total watts you’ll need to run the desired equipment in your home. Add the running wattage for all the equipment. Then, identify which appliance has the highest starting wattage and add that number to your previous total to get your total wattage requirement. You can find wattage requirements in your appliance owner’s manuals or on the appliance’s information plate.
Charlottesville generator installation
For Charlottesville and Central Virginia homeowners: Fitch Services can help you select a standby generator that best suits your needs. As part of our initial free estimate, we will:
- Identify your fuel type
- Discuss your budget
- Review equipment that you’d like to have powered by the generator. Don’t worry; we can make recommendations for important systems and appliances.
- Calculate your wattage requirements
- Discuss possible locations for the unit
- Recommend one or more generator models that fit your needs and budget
Once you’re ready to have your generator installed, we’ll place the order and take care of any required permits. At installation, we will connect the unit to your house and show you how it all works.
Don’t wait for the next big storm to knock out power in the Charlottesville area! Call Fitch Services today for a free estimate for your home generator and start the process to ensure your family’s comfort and safety during the next power outage.