Use wintertime to plan your generator purchase, installation
For homeowners in the north looking to purchase and install a standby generator, the winter season can be more of a waiting game than anything else. That’s because standby generators, designed to keep a home’s appliances powered when utility power to a home is disrupted, can be difficult to install when the ground is frozen.
And that’s okay.
The decision to purchase a standby generator isn’t typically made overnight. In fact, most homeowners who purchase a generator spend weeks or months investigating the best standby generator for them and the best way to install the generator on their home’s property. Therefore, winter can be the perfect time to take a step back and really figure out which generator to purchase and to outline the best installation plan for a home.
Here are a few things to determine when planning out a generator purchase and installation:
What Generator Fits Your Needs?
Before anything else can be decided upon, a homeowner should first determine what exactly should remain powered in the home when a utility power outage occurs. Do you only require a few critical appliances be powered by the backup generator? Or do you want whole-house power from your home generator?
A good place to begin this determination is at an online generator size caluculator. Tools like these can help you select what appliances you expect to have access to during a power outage, which leads to finding the correct size of generator for your individual needs.
What Kind of Professional Help Do You Want?
First and foremost, it’s important to note installing a standby generator is not a DIY project. There will be some professional assistance needed. Once you’ve determined the type and size of generator your home requires, there are essentially two ways to go about installing the generator at your home.
Some customers may feel comfortable enough to purchase their ideal generator directly from a retail location, or even through online retail at Home Depot. If that’s the preferred path, the next step would be to hire a local electrician who is competent and comfortable with wiring and installing a standby generator.
The other option involves contacting your local generator dealer from the start. This is the best route for homeowners who may know they want a standby generator, but prefer to have a professional guiding them in all of the purchasing and installation decisions. An online dealer locator can take the guess-work out of finding a local dealer.
A dealer will typically set up time to come out and inspect the home to determine how to wire the generator to the home. If asked, they can also take prospective customers to homes with a generator already installed. This helps educate the homeowner on how the installation process will occur.
However the purchase and installation is completed, it’s good to embrace the “waiting game” of winter and use it to your advantage. Use this time to educate yourself about the products and installation options available in your area. When spring comes, you’ll be confident and ready to make power outages a thing of the past for your family.
Visit www.gegenerators.com for a whole host of material to learn more about standby generators.
Mike Gersmeyer Mike Gersmeyer is the product manager for the Standby Power division at Briggs & Stratton. He has more than 17 years of product development experience in outdoor power equipment, consumer products, paper machinery, and automotive. Gersmeyers previous roles at Briggs & Stratton have included program management and engineering management. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of WisconsinMadison and an MBA from Northwestern Universitys Kellogg School.