Choosing a Home Standby Generator

Posted May 29, 2014

For many Chicago area homeowners, a backup generator is no longer considered a luxury; it's a necessity. With an aging, overworked power grid and intensifying severe storms, extended power outages are not uncommon. Here are a few things to consider when purchasing a home generator.

1. Portable or Permanently Installed?

During a power outage, a portable gasoline-powered generator is wheeled out of storage and started manually to power a limited number of appliances and lighting fixtures. A portable generator must be refueled manually. By contrast, a permanently installed generator starts automatically when the power goes out. And because it's connected directly to the home's natural gas line, it never needs refueling and runs quieter and with less pollution than gasoline powered generators.

2. What Do You Need To Power?

For many homeowners, the essential items that need power are an air conditioner, refrigerator, sump pump, lighting, and small appliances. Because a whole house generator is plugged directly into the service panel, it can power whatever electrical circuits you need to have working.  

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