Your Guide to Choosing the Best Home Generator: Tips from the Experts

Home Generator

Your Guide to Choosing the Best Home Generator: Tips from the Experts

January 31, 2024

A home generator is an invaluable investment for Milwaukee County residents, providing peace of mind and reliable power backup during outages, storms, or emergencies. With various options available, selecting the best generator for your specific needs can be a challenging task. As seasoned HVAC service professionals serving Milwaukee, Washington, and Waukesha counties, we aim to make your decision-making process as smooth and informed as possible.

Read on as we will guide you through expert tips on how to choose the best home generator that meets your unique requirements, suits your budget, and guarantees dependable, long-lasting performance. By understanding the factors to consider, you’ll be well-equipped to make an informed decision, ensuring that you’re protected against unexpected power disruptions for years to come.

Determine Your Power Requirements

The first step in selecting the best home generator is to determine your power requirements. Begin by identifying the essential appliances and devices you want to keep operational during a power outage. These may include your refrigerator, lighting, heating or cooling systems, medical equipment, security systems, and communication devices.

Once you have compiled your list, calculate the total wattage required to power these items. Keep in mind that some appliances, such as air conditioners and refrigerators, require a higher wattage at startup (known as surge wattage), which needs to be taken into consideration. By understanding your power needs, you can select a generator that provides sufficient capacity to accommodate your essentials.

Choose Between Portable and Standby Generators

There are two main types of home generators: portable and standby generators. Each has its pros and cons, depending on your specific needs and preferences.

Portable generators are typically less expensive and can be moved from one location to another as needed. They require manual setup during an outage, which includes connecting the generator to your home via extension cords or a transfer switch. Portable generators often run on gasoline, which can be a limitation during emergencies when fuel availability might be scarce.

Standby generators, on the other hand, are permanently installed outside your home and offer a higher level of convenience. They are connected directly to your home’s electrical system and automatically start when a power outage occurs, even if you’re not home. Standby generators typically run on natural gas or propane, which provides a more reliable fuel source in emergencies.

Consider your budget, desired convenience level, and fuel source availability when deciding between a portable or standby generator.

Select the Fuel Type

Home generators can operate on a variety of fuel types such as gasoline, diesel, propane, or natural gas. Each fuel option has distinct advantages and drawbacks that need to be considered.

Gasoline, although readily available, has a relatively short shelf life and can degrade over time, which may pose a problem when storing it for emergencies. Diesel offers a longer shelf life, but the generators are typically more expensive and require more robust maintenance.

Propane and natural gas options are often used for standby generators due to their convenience and reliability. Natural gas generators are connected directly to your home’s existing gas line, while propane generators require a separate storage tank. Both of these fuel types are generally less harmful to the environment and have an indefinite shelf life.

Consider your budget, storage constraints, and preferred fuel type when selecting your generator.

Focus on Noise Levels and Local Regulations

Generators can produce significant noise levels, which may cause discomfort to you and your neighbors or even violate local noise ordinances. When researching generators, consider models that have built-in mufflers and noise-reduction features. It’s essential to verify local regulations and guidelines to ensure that your chosen generator complies with any mandated noise limits.

Compare Generator Features and Warranty Options

Generator models come with various features that can enhance their performance, convenience, and safety. Look for options that include automatic voltage regulation, electric or remote start, low oil shutdown, and transfer switch compatibility. Also, consider the warranty options provided by the manufacturer, as a warranty can give you peace of mind in case of any defects or performance issues.

Consult with Professionals

Choosing the best home generator can be a complex decision with many variables to consider. It’s crucial to engage with professionals who can help guide you through the selection process, recommend appropriate models based on your power requirements, and ensure proper installation and maintenance.

Consulting with experienced HVAC service providers and electricians can help you make a well-informed decision that aligns with your budget, needs, and compliance with local regulations.

Maintain Your Generator

Once you have purchased and installed your home generator, regular maintenance is critical in ensuring its longevity and performance. Keep an eye on fuel levels, battery condition, and any signs of wear or damage. Schedule ongoing maintenance, such as oil and filter changes, to keep your generator in top condition and ready for any unexpected power disruption.

Invest in Reliable Backup Power with Expert Guidance

Investing in the best home generator for your Milwaukee county residence is a crucial decision with long-lasting benefits. By following expert tips and considering various factors such as power requirements, generator type, fuel options, noise levels, and maintenance, you can choose the right backup power solution for your needs and preferences, ensuring peace of mind during unforeseen power disruptions.

As a reputable HVAC company in Brookfield and Milwaukee, Burkhardt Heating & Cooling is dedicated to helping you make well-informed decisions for your home’s comfort, safety, and energy efficiency. Contact us today for expert guidance on selecting, installing, and maintaining the ideal home generator tailored to your specific requirements. Let’s work together to provide your household with dependable, long-lasting backup power, keeping you prepared for any power outages or emergencies that may come your way.

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