Generators come in two basic types: portable generators and standby generators. There also are inverters, which are not standby generators but may meet your needs. The source of backup standby generators you ultimately choose will be determined your power requirements.
Standby generators are fueled by liquid propane or natural gas. The number of circuits to which standby generators can provide power and the number of appliances you can run with standby generators is determined by the power capacity of that standby generator.
Standby generators are about the same size as a standard central air conditioner. A standby generator may cost as little as $1,500 or as some standby generators as much as $15,000 or more. The greater the standby generators power capacity, the higher the cost.
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Standby Generators Features and Accessories
Aside from pure power production, there are some useful features and accessories to consider for a standby generator.
To use standby generators to power your home, you'll need a sufficiently sized standby generator and a transfer switch. The transfer switch safely closes off the utility power line and opens a direct line to the standby generator and reverses when power is restored. Standby generator models can work with a manual or an automatic transfer switch. The benefit of an automatic transfer switch is that it senses when utility power has been lost and automatically switches to standby generator power.
Standby generators are not necessarily quiet. Some standby generators offer extra features to reduce the noise.
Make sure the standby generator you purchase is suited for the climate in which you will use it.