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Emergency Generators: Everything You Need to Know

A few-hour power outage is usually little more than an annoyance, necessitating the use of flashlights and a little patience. However, when a large storm knocks out power for days, living without a generator may quickly turn dismal. Food spoils, mold develops, and flood-prone basements lose their operating sump pump and begin to fill with water. In the winter, power outages may be much more deadly. Temperatures plummeting and a house without heat may be lethal, especially for the home’s oldest and youngest members. A backup power solution can literally save your life in these events.

Sizing Made Simple

Generator manufacturers such as Generac and Kohler all have helpful sizing tools on their websites to help you get started. Consumers enter the square footage of their house and mark out the appliances, gadgets, or systems that will be powered by the generator during a power outage, such as the refrigerator, microwave, central air, and television, from a list. An hypothetical home of 2,000 square feet was used to test Kohler’s Sizing Calculator. The refrigerator, microwave oven, stove, TV, personal computer, central air, dehumidifier, fan, security system, and a few more things were among the equipment to be powered during an outage. The Kohler 15 kW Residential Generator was found to be a suitable fit for the imaginary home when the calculator added up the total wattage of the selected units as well as the start-up volt-amps.

Of course, homeowners who are still unsure about utilizing an online resource to match a generator to their property or want to speak with an expert may always contact Kilo Hollow Energy for a consultation.

Exercise Mode

The regular “exercise” mode is one of the necessary evils of a backup generator.
Units are configured to run for a short period of time on a regular schedule to guarantee that the generator will offer quick power during an outage. While this mode gives the homeowner piece of mind, it also means that the calm and quiet surrounding the house is disrupted on a frequent basis. Generators are motors, and motors make noise. Another point of comparison that manufacturers are addressing in newer models is the decibel (dB) level of a generator. During the weekly test-run, Generac’s Quiet-Test® technology reduces the generator engine speed, decreasing noise to that of an idling vehicle.

Generators Win the Cost Battle

For liquid propane and natural gas-fueled generators, power has gone up and cost has gone down. Homeowners can spend the same amount they would have in 2016/2017 for a 12kW generator, as a 18kW generator with a transfer switch today in 2024 (around $4,860). Those savings are passed directly to the consumer, with a better product at the same or lower price point. Compared to a home-backup battery, if cost is the primary factor, a standby generator wins.

The increased affordability of the permanent generator systems could see more homeowners, especially elderly ones, considering this option over the less-convenient, less-powerful portable generators. A permanent standby generator that starts automatically during a power outage powers the home’s vital components and can be purchased for an affordable price can seem like a sensible investment for any home, but particularly for elderly homeowners who might find an interruption in power to be as much a safety and health concern as an inconvenience.

We’re Your Local Experts

Give us a call at (804) 508-9526 if you are considering installing a standby generator. Our team will be happy to assist you in choosing a generator model, sizing, fuel choice, installation location and even recommend financing options. Kilo Hollow Energy is also here to service your generator and assist with routine maintenance.

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