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Mar 21
2016

5 Questions To Ask When Choosing A Home Standby Generator

By: Patti Dinneen

 

Standby generators automatically operate after your home experiences a power outage, helping homeowners following a severe storm. Are you considering installing a standby generator in your home to protect your investments and family’s sanity? Be sure to consult with a professional generator dealer first, and be sure to ask them these five questions before purchasing.

What Size Generator Is Best Suited For My Home?

Typically, generators are sized for a home based on what the homeowner is planning on powering when the utility power goes offline. The best generator size for a home depends on what the homeowner is hoping to power when the utility power is knocked offline. Generator sizing calculators can offer homeowners a general idea of the best size for their home before meeting with the installer. To find a perfectly-sized generator, Kohler has a simple calculator to determine what is best for your home.  Check it our here.

Where Is The Best Place To Install A Standby Generator?

A prospective dealer can assist homeowners to determine optimal generator placement on the property. The dealer will also figure out if any custom installation work will be necessary. Generally, custom installation focuses on factors like burying wires underground or adding a concrete pad for the generator to be installed on.

Are There Any Installation And Permit Requirements?


If you’re talking with a reputable dealer, it’s likely that they will start their on-site visit by determining your home’s specific installation needs as well as the local permits that are required before starting a new project. If you feel that the dealer’s knowledge on the subject is less than satisfactory, look elsewhere!

Are There Any Specifications To Look For In A Standby Generator?

There are numerous specifications that indicate a quality generator. When you speak with a dealer to determine if they are a fit for your generator installation, keep these qualities in mind:

  • Local service – Unfortunately, many homeowners overlook this when they are searching for generators. Some online retailers can’t support their customers with service after the sale is finished. Luckily, Kinsley has an extensive service program, covering almost all of New England.
  • Warranty – For most products, warranty indicates quality. When you are searching for a generator, be sure to ask what the warranty covers. Does it cover parts, travel time, and labor? Some generator manufacturers only include parts and labor in their warranty. Kohler Generators offers one of the best warranties in the industry.
  • Electronic voltage regulation is another indicator of a quality generator. The alternative to electronic voltage regulators - droop governors - can lead to voltage spikes, which can potentially damage electronic equipment. With electronic voltage regulation you get a variation of only +/- 2% in voltage fluctuation, meaning that your power will oftentimes be cleaner than it would coming from the local utility.
  • Reputation - Since you need your generator to protect you from unforeseen power outages, you will want to select a generator company that has a solid reputation for quality and thousands of hours of experience in the field.

What Type Of Fuel Options Are Available?

The dealer will also discuss which fuel option (natural gas or liquid propane) is accessible and will work best for your home's generator system. In almost all instances, the dealer will suggest a generator that uses the fuel option that is already being used in the home.

Kinsley Power Systems

As the exclusive distributor of Kohler Power Systems solutions in the Western New England, Kinsley focuses on the specification, sales, service and rental of permanently installed generators, transfer switches, and switchgear (from 8.5kW home systems to 3.25MW industrial generators). Kinsley's residential sales are through our extensive dealer network of over 150 Kohler-certified dealers with extensive generator expertise.  Locate one in your area here.

If you are looking to discuss residential generator service plans, please contact us.


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