A whole house generator is exactly the thing that homeowners need to keep their home’s most important appliances up and running, even during a power outage. Flashlights and candles are good short-term solutions if you find yourself suddenly without power during a storm. A home generator for your entire house, though, is a long-term investment that makes it much easier to get through power outages that can last days or even weeks!
The electrical repair and installation experts at Best Home Services know that if you’re living in or around Southwest Florida, then you need a whole house generator to handle the region’s intense hurricane and storm season. But how much does a whole house generator cost, anyway, and how do you know what a reasonable price to pay for one is?
Our team is here to break down everything there is to know about whole house generator costs so that you can purchase the best one for your needs.
Why Whole House Generators Are Important
Power outages can spell disaster for all of the most important appliances in your home: your freezer full of food, your HVAC system, and even the critical medical equipment that you and your family rely on.
Not only are power outages incredibly inconvenient whenever they occur, but they can also be expensive and even dangerous under certain circumstances. Homeowners need a reliable way to protect their homes and their families during prolonged outages, and a whole house generator is exactly the tool they need to trigger backup power and keep things running in the event of tumultuous weather that isn’t letting up any time soon.
Whole house generators, once limited to large buildings like hospitals, are now widely available to many homeowners who need them — especially those who live in areas like Southwest Florida that are regularly under pressure from heavy storms and hurricanes. The team at Best Home Services will work closely with you to determine the best solution for you and there are a few factors that can increase or decrease this cost.
What, then, are the most crucial factors to consider when calculating the cost of a whole house generator? Let’s take a look.
Calculating the Cost of a Whole House Generator
There are multiple factors that homeowners need to consider before they decide on the whole house generator that’s right for them and their family’s needs. The biggest factors, for instance, include the weather conditions in your area as well as your local market’s availability for whole house generators. Each of these factors can cause the cost of generators available for purchase to fluctuate, which is why they’re worth keeping in mind as you begin to browse the products that may suit your situation.
Another crucial factor to consider when calculating the cost of a whole house generator is the possibility of an ongoing power outage in your area. In other words, if your region is experiencing a prolonged outage due to an intense storm or a hurricane, the price for whole house generators in your local market is guaranteed to immediately skyrocket due to high consumer demand.
There are, additionally, several more variables when it comes to whole house generators themselves that the Best Home Services team recommends you consider as you shop around. These variables can make an enormous impact on the final cost of the generator you purchase.
Types and Sizes of Whole House Generators
The size and type of the whole house generator that you buy can affect your final cost by thousands of dollars, so let’s take a look at these first.
In general, there are two types of whole house generators that homeowners can consider purchasing: fixed generators and portable generators. The vast majority of generators that can power a whole house are of the fixed variety, meaning that they’re permanently installed on your property and hardwired right into your home’s electrical system. Fixed whole house generators come in lots of different sizes and usually range in power from anywhere between 7 to 38 kilowatts, with the cost typically increasing as the kilowatt power increases.
Portable generators, on the other hand, offer much less power but are also much less expensive than their fixed counterparts. Portable generators typically only offer about 2 to 8 kilowatts of power and can only provide electricity to a few electrical appliances and lightbulbs in your home: these types of generators are best used as backup tools that can keep your basic electrical items up and running, which is often a huge benefit during a storm or other power outage.
Whole House Generator Power Sources
The Best Home Services team also recommends that homeowners consider the power source and type of manual start of the generator they’re interested in. Generators of all kinds need a source of fuel to provide electricity to your appliances and your home, so you need to understand how to power your generator and how to start it properly.
Although the power source of your generator won’t necessarily impact your purchase price, it will definitely play a part in the total cost of purchasing and storing your generator’s fuel source — gasoline, liquid propane, diesel, and natural gas, for instance, are the most common power sources you’ll come across. Your power source, in turn, will affect the total cost that you need to pay to keep your generator running when you need it most.
It’s also important to consider your generator’s type of start. Whole house generators, be they of the portable or fixed variety, usually include a manual start option. Not all manual start options, though, are created equal. Most portable generators, for example, include pull cord-style manual start options that are like the starters that you’d find on a standard lawn mower.
Other generators like fixed whole house ones, however, often include an electrical switch as a manual start option. Since fixed standby generators can automatically turn on when they sense a power interruption in your home and don’t require you to start them manually, their manual start options are best used as a backup and tend to have higher price tags.
In addition to your costs of installation, the actual cost of a whole house generator can be high all on its own. It’s true that whole house generators can save you money in the long run since they allow you to stay inside during a heavy storm and prolonged outages. Once you purchase and install your generator, though, you still need to consider several additional costs.
For one, maintenance is a must when it comes to keeping whole house generators running smoothly over an extended period. Your standby generator will automatically run by itself for a few minutes each week to keep its engine oiled and properly running, and it can even run diagnostics to let you know when and if there’s a problem that you need to address. These automatic processes won’t cost you anything by themselves, but you’ll still need to spend some extra cash to keep your generator properly fueled year-round.
Be prepared to schedule occasional maintenance with electrical installation and repair technicians like those at Best Home Services. Maintenance is especially important for your whole house generator’s longevity before Florida’s hurricane season hits –so having a yearly maintenance check-up for your generator increases your preparedness for the season.
Enhancements and Improvements
As the owner of a whole house generator, you have the option to make important enhancements and improvements to your new product. There are a few potential upgrades that can increase the efficiency of your generator, and they’re worth considering if you live in the Southwest Florida area.
Several potential upgrades can make your whole home generator more efficient: a wireless monitor, for instance, can provide you with constant access to the status of your generator. This is especially useful if you find yourself away from home when a storm suddenly hits and your house loses power. A wireless monitor can give you the peace of mind you need knowing that your generator has automatically switched on in the event of an outage, even when you aren’t home to switch it on yourself.
Other enhancements and improvements include tools such as smart load managers, which make it simple to create different “zones” in your home that your generator can allocate various levels of power to. A smart load manager can make an undersized (and less expensive) generator work well even in a larger home.
Living in Southwest Florida and thinking about either purchasing a new whole home generator or improving it with regular maintenance and enhancements? The professionals at Best Home Services have got your needs covered.
Before choosing and having a whole house generator installed in your home, you’ll need to make quite a few decisions. Those decisions aren’t always easy to make by yourself: call the team at Best Home Services today at Call us today at (833) 263-3097 to get the help you need every step of the way as you purchase and improve your whole home generator.