FAQ: Home Standby Generators & Generator Installation
Let’s face it: electricity is not always reliable here in Westchester. Storms can leave you without power for hours or even days at a time. It’s bad enough in summer when you lose your AC. But when winter arrives, you may find yourself without heat, which can be deadly. That’s why more and more homeowners are installing home standby generators that can keep them safe and comfortable when a storm knocks out the power.
TIP: Since permits and utility approvals are needed for some types of generator installation, the process can take time. It’s a good idea to get started as soon as possible.
Here’s what you need to know about home standby generators.
What are the benefits of home standby generators vs. portable generators?
If you’re tired of dealing with power outages, here’s why a standby generator is the best emergency generator for your home:
More convenient (especially if you have frequent outages). Unlike a portable generator that you have to set up and turn on, a standby generator is a permanently-installed backup generator. It automatically turns on when you lose power and turns off when your electricity returns. The generator is integrated with your home’s electrical system, so you don’t have to plug appliances into it like you do with a portable generator.
Provides power for much longer outages. Portable generators generally work for a few hours. Home standby generators can keep running continuously for as long as 500 hours.
Can power more appliances. Standby generators have a higher capacity than portable ones, so they can power more of your home, including your AC, heating, hot water, appliances, lights, TV and more.
No need to store fuel or fill the device. With portable generators, you need to store sufficient fuel for a power outage and keep refilling the device. A natural gas standby generator is connected to your home’s gas supply, so there’s no need to store fuel or refill.
Much safer. There is a long list of safety issues with portable generators. You can’t run them indoors (and without proper clearance from your home) because they generate carbon monoxide. You can’t use them in wet conditions and they need to be grounded for electrical safety. You can also run into trouble if you overfill the tank. With a standby generator installed by experts, you don’t have to worry about these safety concerns.
Last longer. A standby generator can last 20 to 30 years, while portable generators last about 10 years.
What types of home standby generators are available?
Home standby generators can be fueled by either natural gas or propane. Here are the pros and cons of these two types of generators.
Why you might choose a natural gas generator for your home:
Natural gas tends to be less expensive than propane in most areas (including Westchester, Putnam and Fairfield counties). Plus, a natural gas generator connects directly to your home’s natural gas supply from your utility company, so it’s convenient and always available.
On the downside, the generator installation process can take longer for natural gas, because your utility company must be involved and must give required approvals.
Why you might want a propane generator for your home:
If your home doesn’t have natural gas, or you need it in a hurry, you might need to go with a propane generator.
However, be aware that fuel will cost you more. And you’ll need a large propane tank on your property, which could be a safety concern.
Download our Generator Buyer’s Guide to learn more.
How much wattage do I need to power my home?
If you’re planning to install a natural gas generator in Westchester, it’s a simple matter of following the guidelines of ConEd, your natural gas supplier. They determine the generator capacity (wattage) you can install based on your home’s size.
If you go with propane (or you live in Putnam or Fairfield counties), you have more flexibility in choosing the wattage of your generator.
Bruni and Campisi’s generator installation experts can work with you to determine exactly what you want to power with the generator, and choose the wattage and model that’s best for your needs.
How long does generator installation take?
If you’re getting a natural gas generator for your home, the process can take as long as a few months, so be prepared for that. Gas generator installation is a longer process because it requires permits and approvals from both your municipality and your natural gas utility company (ConEd here in Westchester).
If you’re going with propane, the process can often be completed in a few weeks.
Does a standby generator need maintenance?
Just like the heating and air conditioning systems you rely on to keep you comfortable, home standby generators also need regular maintenance to stay in peak operating condition.
With a yearly maintenance checkup, your generator will last longer and run more efficiently. Maintenance also helps you avoid breakdowns at the worst possible time, and prevent generator problems that can cause damage to your home.
Bruni & Campisi makes it easy and affordable with our generator maintenance program.
How much does a home generator cost?
In general, home standby generators cost at least several thousand dollars, but there’s a fairly wide price range depending on the brand, capacity, and complexity of installation. The price you can expect to pay depends on your specific needs, preferences, and requirements.
Start with a free consultation with Bruni & Campisi’s experts. We will provide a detailed quote for the best home standby generator for you, including generator installation.
Bruni & Campisi provides 24/7 emergency service, installation, and maintenance for plumbing, heating, air conditioning, and generators in Westchester, Fairfield, and Putnam Counties. We also offer energy audits, sewer cleaning, and chimney cleaning. With our 40+ years of experience and training, you get the quality service you need.