How often do you lose electricity? If power outages are a routine in your region, you should consider purchasing a residential generator.
These units provide backup power in the event of a blackout by powering up most of the appliances in your home. There are different types and sizes of generators to choose from. The ultimate choice should be based on your needs after making the necessary calculations.
Follow the tips below to purchase or rent the right unit.
Choose a type
The first consideration when shopping for a generator in Vancouver is the type. Buyers can make a selection from portable, standby, and inverter models. Portable units are powered by gas, and they should be plugged into a subpanel or directly into your appliances. You can invest in a dual-fueled model that runs on not just gas but also propane, the latter of which is cheaper and more convenient to store. Keep in mind that gas models require a fuel stabilizer in case you wish to store them with gas in the tank for more than a week.
Moreover, portable units are beneficial when renovating your house/apartment. These devices provide enough power to juice up several construction tools at the same time. Make sure the model you purchase or rent has wheels in order to transport it easily. These generators usually weigh between 20 and 23 kilograms, which is still a lot of weight to carry around. Read more about the benefits of having a portable generator.
In terms of cost, portable units cost between $500 and $1,500 based on their power output. Nevertheless, you won’t have to pay professionals for installation, as there is no need for such a thing.
Standby generators, on the other hand, start automatically when the power goes out. These units restore electricity to the entire household, meaning they are ideal for Vancouver households facing frequent blackouts. Regarding the fuel, users are advised to rely on liquefied petroleum gas to run these units. This fuel is safer and more eco-friendly when compared to diesel and petrol.
Petrol isn’t the wisest fuel source for homeowners dwelling in cold regions, while diesel is infamous for being noisy. When it comes to noise levels, buyers are recommended to invest in a model with advanced technology that produces significantly less noise. Also, these devices run tests for self-diagnosis on a weekly basis.
Regarding costs, standby models are much costlier than portable ones. The starting price of these generators is $5,000. High-tech models with advanced technology can cost up to $15,000. Installation fees are charged separately from the cost of the unit. In general, trained professionals charge up to $1,000 for installation.
Experienced professionals install standby generators outside customers’ homes and connect them to their circuit breaker boxes. See this URL, https://www.familyhandyman.com/project/breaker-box-safety-how-to-connect-a-new-circuit/, for some breaker box safety tips. They set these machines up to start automatically when a blackout occurs. Make sure not to install the unit by yourself so as to avoid unpleasant scenarios. Normally, a standby unit won’t be an option if you plan to rent a generator.
Inverter generators are suitable for buyers who plan to use them for outdoor activities like camping. These devices are lightweight and less noisy than the above-mentioned models. The best way to use inverter models is for powering small electronic devices like laptops, mobiles, computers, etc. They are designed for outdoor, not indoor, use due to the emission of carbon monoxide.
Select the right size
Once you have opted for a type, the following consideration is the size. The best way to estimate the size is by considering your wattage requirements. You need to decide which appliances you want to keep running when the electricity goes out. Walk around the house and create an appliance list by writing down the name of the appliances and their wattage.
Wattage information is usually included on a label on every appliance, which is found either inside the door or on the back. Make sure to include the essential appliances, such as a fridge, an AC, a sump pump, a well pump, etc. Before you make any calculations, don’t forget to consider the surge watts of some devices like air-conditioners and sump pumps. They use plenty of more wattage when cycling on, so you need to account for these watts as well.
The power consumption and approximate startup power of some appliances are the same. Nevertheless, both types of wattage should be considered when determining the generator’s size. There is a variety of custom power generation solutions, such as PRIMA Power Generators, whose product range includes natural gas, diesel, and propane-powered units. For instance, a coffee maker needs equal power to run and start, which is 650 W.
In contrast, a microwave oven has a power consumption of 1,000 W but approximate startup power of 1,800 W. The wattage of refrigerators ranges between 700 and 1200 watts. Washing machines require at least 1,200 W. Conversely; sump pumps use 800 W. Televisions use no more than 300 watts.
Once you add up the wattages of preferred items, you should multiply the sum by 1.5 in order to get the minimum generator wattage. The more items you wish to power up in the event of an outage, the larger the size of the generator.
Consider your experience with blackouts
Homeowners living in areas susceptible to harsh weather conditions should invest in a large standby generator to be prepared at any time. Individuals dwelling in regions with occasional outages should purchase a portable unit. Check out some tips for connecting a portable generator to a house.
There is no logic in spending more than $10,000 on a unit if you experience blackouts only once a year. In case you rarely lose electricity, a midsized inverter unit would be suitable to satisfy your needs.
To sum up
Investing in a unit of this kind is a must for Canadian homeowners living in regions prone to blackouts!