Permanent Backup Generators 101 



If you have ever experienced an extended power outage during a storm or utility equipment failure, you know that it can be extremely uncomfortable. Around here, you never know if the power will be out for hours or even days. A permanent backup generator can supply your home with temporary power to keep your family preoccupied – we mean, comfortable – until the power comes back on.  


If you are on the fence about installing a permanent backup generator for your home, scroll down to learn more about how a permanent generator helps you during an outage.  



Powered Up: Permanent Generators 


A permanent generator sits outside just like your AC unit and waits until it senses that the power has gone out. It turns on immediately and runs on liquid propane or taps into your home’s gas utility lines.  


No matter the cause of the outage, your permanent backup generator will turn on automatically—whether you are at home or away. When the power returns, the generator shuts off and waits until it is needed again.  


Is a Backup Generator Right for My Home?  


Learn the answers to some common questions about permanent backup generators below: 



How Long Does a Generator Take to Kick on? 


Your backup generator will kick on about 10-15 seconds after the power goes out. To fully power up, it might take another 10-15 seconds, so you will have full power within 30 seconds of an outage! 


How Long Will a Permanent Backup Generator Run? 


If you have a supply of fuel, the backup generator can run for 24 hours a day for as many days as needed.  


Remember though, any backup generator is a mechanical piece of equipment and will need proper maintenance to keep running efficiently. If you keep up with regular generator maintenance, your generator will be ready to turn on whenever you need it most.  


Do I need to Check on My Generator?  


During an extended outage, we recommend checking your generator periodically, especially if it has been running nonstop. If it has been running continuously for 24 hours, it is wise to shut it down for at least 15 minutes to check the oil. Top it off if necessary, and then start it back up again.  



How Loud is a Permanent Backup Generator? 


By law, permanent generators must be below certain decibel thresholds, and permanent generators are about as loud as the average air conditioner when running.  


One big bonus of a permanent backup generator is that they are often quieter than their portable counterparts.  


Ready to install a whole house permanent generator for your Southwest Florida home? Call our reliable electricians at Best Home Services today—844-921-2833! 



Where are Permanent Backup Generators Installed? 


Generally, your permanent backup generator should be installed as close to your home’s electric and gas meters as possible. The further the generator is from these utilities, the more expensive it can be to install.  


Consider the following: 


  • Proximity to bedroom windows 
  • Distance from the house so the exhaust gases can be safely vented. 
  • If you live in a flood zone: install the generator above the flood line. 


Each city (and even HOA communities) typically has its own location requirements. Some will not allow permanent generators to be installed at the front of a home, and others may require them to be installed on a raised platform.  


You can trust when we install your generator at your Southwest Florida home, our electricians at Best Home Services will apply for the proper permits and follow all city guidelines for placement.  



Can a Backup Generator Power My Entire House? 


This is where installing a permanent generator makes sense. Not only can you install a generator to power your whole house, but you can also configure the generator to power only what you need when you need it. Who doesn’t love options?! 


Think about it, during a power outage you might want to run your air conditioner, refrigerator, lights, etc. which requires quite a bit of power. With a permanent generator, you can use a feature called “load shedding,” where certain appliances will be shut down when others are turned on.  


You can sequence up to 12 different household appliances so if the system draws too much power, individual items will be shut down in the order you specify to use the power more efficiently and conserve fuel.  


How Expensive is it to Run a Permanent Generator? 


Backup generators can be fuel-hungry, but that cost is a tradeoff for security and comfort. If there is an extended outage, losses from a defrosted freezer or refrigerator can outweigh the costs of the fuel to run your generator.  


In general, the cost of running a permanent generator will depend on whether you are using propane and what the going rate for natural gas is.  


Further, the more areas and appliances in your home that you power, the more costly it will be to run your generator. Powering a few lights and your refrigerator will use far less fuel than running the AC and a microwave for days at a time.  




Keep the Lights On: Install a Permanent Backup Generator  


A permanent backup generator has many benefits, from keeping you safe and comfortable, allowing you to use your lights and appliances, to keeping your food unspoiled during power outages. Connected to your existing propane (LP) or natural gas fuel supply, they start within seconds of sensing power loss – automatically – and then run for as long as necessary until utilities return. 


If you are ready to install a permanent backup generator for your home, or have any questions before you do, get in touch with our local electricians at Best Home Services today! We can help you make the best choice for your Southwest Florida home.  


Contact our local pros for an estimate today—844-921-2833! We proudly service and install generators in Southwest Florida.  



Skip to content