Important Considerations for Backup Generators | Best Pick Reports
Many Chicago-area homeowners install backup generators that run on
natural gas, propane, gasoline, or diesel to provide their homes with
electricity in the event of a power outage. Electricians typically sell
and install these systems.
One issue to consider is how much of your home you would need to use
when the power is out. A lower cost option might provide only enough
electricity to power the refrigerator and a few lights, while a more
expensive option may provide enough electricity to power the whole
house. Before purchasing a generator, add up the power requirements of
the appliances and fixtures you intend to operate, and then buy a
generator that is sized appropriately.
Another important decision is whether to purchase an automatic or a
manual generator. While more expensive, the automatic option senses the
loss of power from the public utility, automatically starts the
generator, and automatically switches the home’s load to the generator.
The manual option often requires the homeowner to plug it into the
home’s wiring, start it, and manually switch the home’s electrical load
to the generator.
All backup generator options that supply electricity through the
home’s wires require the installation of a transfer switch. As the name
suggests, the transfer switch transfers the home’s load from the public
utility to the generator and back again. Only qualified electricians
should install transfer switches.