Answered: Your Top Questions About Whole House Generators

Dangerous weather events are occurring across America in record numbers, from tornados to floods and forest fires. Upstate New York is not immune to these climate crises. As Mother Nature continues to exhibit her strengthen in response to our changing climate, homeowners in Queensbury and surrounding areas of Upstate NY are taking steps to protect themselves and their property from the effects of a dramatic event that may pause power inside their home. One method of protection is the purchase and installation of a whole house generator. If you have not been in the market for a whole house generator before, you will probably have a few questions before making this sizable investment. Below are the top questions that the experts at Simons Heating & Cooling have received about this important product:

What Is a Whole House Generator?

Simons’ Answer: Whole house generators are back-up electrical systems powered by natural gas or LPG. The generators usually are located outside near the side of a home and operate on stand-by in the event a situation occurs (bad weather or accident) that results in your utility power being disrupted or cut-off. These generators will immediately sense the loss of power to your Queensbury home and automatically turn on to restore that power throughout the home.

How Does a Whole House Generator Work?

Simons’ Answer: A whole house generator works off fuels such as natural gas or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). Your fixed standby generator is connected to a fuel supply and a battery-powered starter motor turns the engine over and runs to rotate the generator rotor shaft. The generator rotor shaft spins the armature core inside a magnetic field within the generator to convert the mechanical energy of the spinning shaft into electrical energy supplied to your house. When the transfer switch detects a utility power outage, it sends a signal to the generator controller to start the engine and get the generator ready to supply your Queensbury home with backup power. The transfer switch then connects generator power to your home’s electrical system when the switch receives the transfer signal from the generator controller.

What Size Whole House Generator Should I Buy?

Simons’ Answer: To pick the proper size whole house generator for your Queensbury home, you should consider the wattage of all the appliances and systems you want to power. Add up the wattage of all the appliances you want to power via the generator and multiply by 1,000 to get the kilowatts. To allow for future expansion, you should build in 20-25% extra than what your appliances require. You should also consider the fuel source available to you, whether that be natural gas, LP, or diesel. Finally, you should pick a transfer switch with the same amperage as your home’s panel.

What Are the Best-Selling Whole House Generator Brands on the Market Today?

Simons’ Answer: According to Forbes Home, the most popular whole house generators being sold today are manufactured by Generac, Briggs & Stratton, Kohler and Champion. Simons Heating & Cooling is an authorized retailer for Generac (the nation’s top selling brand), because of the reliability and flexibility of the units they offer. Generac generators run on natural gas or LP and can power a range of appliances and systems in your home. It is also equipped with a transfer switch with the same amperage as your home’s panel, allowing for easy installation and operation.

How Much Does a Typical Whole House Generator in Upstate New York Cost with Installation?

Simons’ Answer: The purchase and installation cost for a whole-house generator in Queensbury, NY, typically ranges between $5,500 and $10,000, depending on the size and complexity of the project. Installation costs can also vary depending on the type of generator, fuel source, and transfer switch.

Is a Whole House Generator Tax Deductible?

Simons’ Answer: Regrettably, no, a whole house generator typically does not qualify for tax credits from the federal government, nor will New York provide such deductions. But that does not mean you cannot save money when you purchase one. Simons Heating & Cooling will work with you to ensure every manufacturer discount is secured for you, if available. This includes equipment and warranty offers.

How Long Does a Typical Whole House Generator Last?

Simons’ Answer: The lifespan of your home standby generator may vary depending on the quality and its size, but you can expect somewhere between 700 and 3,000 hours of use powering a mid-size home in Queensbury. With proper maintenance, you can extend the life of your generator and ensure it will be there when you need it.

How Long Can a Whole House Generator Run Continuously?

Simons’ Answer: Most manufacturers of whole house generators recommend to never exceed 500 hours or 20 days of continuous use. Like most appliances or power equipment, generators can overheat and burn up the oil it needs to lubricate components of the engine. Providing several hours of rest will protect your generator and allow it to be there for you during your “darkest hours”.

Can You Install Your Whole House Generator by Yourself?

Simons’ Answer: Installing a whole house generator in Queensbury is a complex job that requires a professional. While the cost of purchasing a generator is one factor, the installation cost is an equally important factor. Installing a generator requires an understanding of both electrical and mechanical systems. It’s not recommended that you install a generator on your own, as it can be hazardous and may void the warranty of the generator.

Mitigate the risk of losing power in your Upstate New York home by investing in a whole house generator. The security and peace of mind that these products provide homeowners, and their family, is well worth the cost. To find the best option for your home, call Simons Heating & Cooling at (518) 955-1051 or schedule an appointment to receive a complimentary consultation and estimate.