Which size home generator is right for me?
It is important to have an accurate idea of how powerful your generator needs to be. If you buy a larger output generator than needed, you will spend unnecessary money, but if you purchase a generator that is unable to meet your requirements, you will put unnecessary stress on the unit and the appliances connected to it.
In order to determine the correct generator for your home, you will need to determine which appliances you will be running with the generator during a power outage. To get a general idea of what generator you need, add up the wattage of the appliances you expect to run on it at the same time. You might find that you can purchase a less expensive generator by not running large-wattage appliances on it simultaneously.
If you need further help determining wattage, AirPlus professionals can help you determine the appropriate generator for you. AirPlus installs Generac and Cummins brand generators, but can help you maintain, repair, and service any generator, and offers maintenance agreements on any brand of home generator.
How do home generators work?
Whole-home standby generators are wired directly to your home in order to automatically supply backup power as soon as the electricity goes out. Your generator will detect power outages and switch on to supply backup power to your home with no manual set-up required from you. Whole home standby generators have the capacity to power your whole home indefinitely, so you can maintain normalcy in your home during a blackout, whether it lasts a few days or a few weeks.
How much will a home generator cost?
Generator costs vary by brand and wattage allowance, with most ranging from around $1800—$6000. Installation cost for whole house generators varies widely. Each home is different, and requires different generator placement, wattage, materials, and fuel sources. A simple installation might start as low as $2,000, but complicated installs with larger generators can be as much as $7000.
AirPlus offers free in-home assessments so that you will know the exact cost of your home generator installation upfront. AirPlus will listen to your generator installation needs, assess your home, supply you with a quote, and help you choose the best generator for your home.
How much maintenance will my home standby generator need?
Home standby generators require little hands-on maintenance, and they do not require refueling, since they can run off your natural gas line. Many home generators will run automatic self-checks, but it is always a good idea to have human eyes check over your generator, too.
Just like your car, the amount of preventative maintenance your generator requires will depend on how often you use your generator (more frequent use will require more maintenance), as well as the conditions your generator is regularly exposed to. With Northern Virginia’s highly humid weather and extreme seasonal variance in temperature, more frequent maintenance may be required to keep your generator running smoothly.
You should self-check your generator at least once a month. Check the oil, fuel, and coolant levels, make sure the unit is free of debris, check for loose or corroded wires, and scan the unit for obvious damage. Consider biannual or, at least, annual preventative maintenance inspections of your generator by a qualified technician trained to check over each component of your generator. Problems caught early will be easier and less expensive to fix.
Maintenance During an Outage
During a power outage, be sure that your generator stays running smoothly by ensuring that it is clear of debris or snow. Don’t put unnecessary stress on your generator by running too many appliances at once. If possible, shut your generator down once or twice per day during an extended outage to give it a chance to cool and to check the oil level in your generator.
What are the most common home generator repairs?
Common home generator repairs include:
- Coolant System Leaks - Generators become very hot during normal usage and need a supply of coolant. When coolant levels are below the acceptable amount, heat sensors inside your generator will switch the unit off. Coolant leaks should be fixed as soon as possible by a certified technician.
- Wiring - If you notice low voltage warnings, malfunctioning gauges, or tripped breakers, you may have a problem with generator wiring. Wiring can fray or corrode over time; and is a crucial repair that should not be postponed.
- Fuel Failures - Fuel lines may become blocked, or fuel could go bad as a result of sediments being sucked into the system.
- Bad Belts - Belts can wear out with age or frequent use. Worn or cracked belts should be easily identified during inspections and replaced before they break.
- Dead Batteries - Generator batteries typically need replacement every 2—3 years. Batteries that are not updated as recommended may cause damage to other generator components.
How can I have a home generator installed in Arlington, Virginia?
If you need a home generator installed in Arlington, use a local home standby generator installation company that you can trust. AirPlus is Arlington's top home generator installation and repair company. We will assess your home’s unique needs and provide you with a free estimate for your home standby generator installation. Our team of generator experts can answer your questions and help you choose the perfect generator to meet your needs.
How long do home generators last?
During a power outage, your home generator will run indefinitely, as long as it has a fuel supply. As for the lifespan of your generator, it will depend on how often you run the generator. Typically, you can expect a home standby generator to last between 1500 and 3000 active hours. Since your home generator should be powered on for about half an hour each week to exercise it, even with no power outages, it will run for at least 26 hours per year. If you have frequent power outages and use your generator often, it might not last quite as long, but with normal use your home standby generator should last at least 20 years, and some well-maintained generators will last up to 40.
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