Frequently Asked Questions about Whole Home Backup Generators

Navigating the decision to invest in a home generator involves a myriad of questions and considerations, from selecting the right size to understanding installation processes and maintenance requirements. At Texas Generator Pros, our comprehensive FAQ page is designed to address the most common inquiries we receive, providing clear, concise answers to help you make the best choice for your home's needs. Whether you're contemplating the benefits of a whole house generator or seeking advice on upkeep, our FAQs are here to guide you every step of the way.

What size generator do I need for my home?

This depends on the size of your home and what appliances you need to run during an outage. A professional assessment can help determine the right size based on your specific needs.

How much does a whole house generator cost?

Costs can vary widely based on the size of the generator, installation complexities, and additional features. Prices can range from a few thousand dollars to over $10,000 for large, fully-featured models.

Is it worth investing in a whole house generator in Texas?

Considering Texas' susceptibility to power outages from natural disasters, a whole house generator can be a worthwhile investment for peace of mind and to maintain essential functions during outages.

What are the most popular and reliable brands of generators available on the market today?

Several brands stand out for their reliability and popularity among homeowners and businesses alike. Generac, Kohler, and Briggs & Stratton are widely recognized for their quality, durability, and range of options to suit various needs.

Generac is particularly noted for its extensive selection of both portable and standby generators, making it a go-to choice for residential and commercial applications. Kohler is renowned for its robust build and reliability, offering powerful solutions for critical applications. Briggs & Stratton, another leading name, provides a variety of portable and standby generators known for their performance and value.

Each brand offers unique features and benefits, ensuring that consumers can find a generator that matches their specific requirements for power, size, and budget.

What is the difference between a portable generator and a whole house generator?

Portable generators are smaller, less expensive, and can power a few appliances. In contrast, whole house generators are permanently installed and can power an entire home.

How often will I need to maintain my whole house generator?

Regular maintenance is crucial for ensuring reliability. This typically includes annual servicing by a professional, along with periodic checks of oil and coolant levels by the homeowner.

Can I install a whole house generator myself?

Due to the complexity and the need for adherence to safety and building codes, professional installation is strongly recommended.

How long can a whole house generator run continuously?

This depends on the generator's fuel supply. Natural gas models can run as long as the gas supply is uninterrupted, while propane models are limited by the size of the propane tank.

What are the fuel options for whole house generators?

Common fuel options include natural gas, propane, and diesel. The best choice depends on availability and personal preference.

Will a whole house generator increase my property value?

In areas prone to power outages, a whole house generator can be an attractive feature that may increase home value and appeal to potential buyers.

What should I consider when choosing a location for my whole house generator?

Considerations include local building codes, proximity to windows and doors (due to exhaust), noise levels for living areas and neighbors, and flood risk areas.

Do I need a special permit to install a whole house generator?

Yes, in most cases, installing a whole house generator requires a permit from your local municipality. This ensures that the installation complies with local building codes and safety regulations. Your installer or contractor will typically handle the permit application process, but it's important to discuss this with them upfront.

What should I consider regarding the placement of a whole house generator?

The placement of your generator is crucial for safety, efficiency, and compliance with local codes. Considerations include keeping it away from windows and doors to prevent exhaust fumes from entering the home, ensuring it's placed on a stable, level surface for proper operation, and adhering to local noise ordinances and setback requirements from property lines.

How does a whole house generator connect to my home's electrical system?

A whole house generator is connected to your home's electrical system through an automatic transfer switch (ATS). The ATS safely disconnects your house from the utility grid when it detects a power outage and switches your home's electrical load to the generator, then switches back when utility power resumes. This process is automatic and seamless, ensuring continuous power during outages.

Is there anything special my home needs to be able to install a whole house generator?

Beyond space for the generator itself, your home needs a gas line (for natural gas or propane generators) and an electrical system that can integrate with an automatic transfer switch. Some homes may require upgrades to their gas meter to accommodate the additional gas flow required by the generator. It's also important to have a clear area around the generator for maintenance and proper ventilation.

Can a whole house generator power everything in my home during an outage?

Whether a generator can power everything in your home depends on its capacity and your power needs. Some homeowners choose to power essential systems and appliances only, such as heating/cooling systems, refrigerators, and lights, to reduce the size and cost of the generator. Others opt for larger generators to maintain their usual lifestyle without interruption. Discussing your priorities with a professional can help determine the appropriate size for your needs.

Get your free estimate today

If you're within 50 miles of the Greater Houston or Katy area and considering a whole house generator, Texas Generator Pros is here to help you prepare for the next power event. We understand the importance of keeping your home powered during unexpected outages. That's why we offer a free estimate to assess your needs and recommend the best generator solution for your home. Fill out our free estimate form today, and let's ensure your home is ready for whatever comes its way.