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Considerations for Installing a Whole-House Generator

natural-gas-generatorWith all the storms that have struck the East Coast and the Southeastern U.S. over the past few years, whole-house generators have become more vital than ever for keeping houses powered and families comfortable and safe.

In California, whole-house generators are less common—but that doesn’t mean there’s no use for them. Some of you may remember the rolling blackouts we experienced here in the mid-2000s. Those can happen again in the future, and most likely during intense heat waves when the stress from the operation of air conditioners can cause the electrical grid to fail. This jeopardizes comfort, which can be life-threatening for homes with elderly people or infants in them. Power failures also endanger residents of homes who rely on powered medical equipment.

Have you been thinking about installing a whole-house generator? If so, you probably aren’t sure where to start. The best place is to call us: we’re local experts in generator installation.

Here are a few considerations, things to think about, when you start out looking for a generator.

What do you need powered in your house?

If the power goes out, what do you most need to continue to work? Make a list of the critical systems. For example, the air conditioning and the refrigerator are at the top of the list for most people so they don’t overheat or their food spoil. This list will help you find the ideal size generator for your needs.

Understand what sort of fuel the generator will use

Generators come in different models that use a range of fuel sources: natural gas, liquid propane, diesel, gasoline, etc. If you have a connection to a natural gas line, a gas-powered generator is one of the best options. If you don’t, most of the time it’s most cost-effective and reliable to use liquid propane. Remember, the propane will need to be replenished after the system is used, and replaced after a few years so it won’t become stale.

Consider an automatic-standby system

What does this mean? It means the whole-house generator doesn’t need to be operated manually. If the power goes out, the generator automatically turns on to supply the house with electricity. You don’t have to go outside to turn it the system on, and it will activate if you’re not home.

Know where the generator will go

The generator must have a large space outside available. (It can’t be inside because of exhaust fumes.) The space will be close to where your electrical service is. See if there’s sufficient space to hold a small generator.

You must call an electrician in West Hollywood, CA or elsewhere in Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley when you want a whole-house generator installed. This isn’t a basic device like a portable generator you can just plug appliances into! It’s a complex machine requiring technical expertise for all services. Since the majority of generators run off natural gas, only licensed professionals can do the work safely (and in most jurisdictions, legally).

Kilowatt Heating, Air Conditioning and Electrical: Serving Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley since 1990.

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