FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS FOR PROSPECTIVE AIR-COOLED GENERATOR OWNERS

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Why Generac?

Why Generac?

Since 1959, Generac has been designing and manufacturing backup power generators for residential, commercial and industrial applications. They have grown to be the world’s largest provider of residential standby generators, selling five times as many generators as all of their competitors combined. Generac’s broad product line ranges in output from 800 watts to 9 megawatts, and are available through the industry’s largest network of independent generator dealers, retailers and wholesalers. Generac is a proud supporter of the Home Safety Council and its products have earned the Good Housekeeping Seal.

Where are they made?

Generac engineers and builds their generators in the USA. They are manufactured in Wisconsin, by Generac Power Systems to ensure that their products are built to the highest standards.

Description of Operation

What is an automatic standby generator?

An automatic standby generator is a back-up electrical system that operates whether you are home or away. Within seconds of an outage, it automatically supplies power directly to your home’s electrical circuit breaker box. After utility power returns, the generator shuts itself off and waits for the next outage. It operates on natural gas or liquid propane gas and sits outside just like a central air conditioning unit.

Why should I buy an automatic standby generator instead of a portable generator?

During a utility power outage, an automatic standby generator provides numerous advantages over a portable generator:

  • The American Red Cross recommends permanently installed standby generators as a safer way to provide backup power to a home than a portable generator.
  • With an automatic standby generator properly installed outside, your home is protected from deadly carbon monoxide poisoning that is a much greater risk with portable generators.
  • Running on the home’s natural gas or LP fuel supply, it is less expensive to run than gasoline and does not need to be refilled.
  • They start automatically within seconds of a power outage, and eliminate the need to haul a portable generator outside or run extension cords throughout your home.
  • They provide protection 24/7, whether you’re home or away, and they turn themselves off when utility power returns, so there is no need to monitor the unit during an outage.

What is the difference between an automatic air-cooled generator and an automatic liquid-cooled generator?

The engines! Air-cooled generators come with engines that use fans to force air across the engine for cooling, while liquid-cooled generators use enclosed radiator systems for cooling, similar to an automobile. Generally, liquid-cooled engines are used on larger kW generators due to the larger engines required for the higher power output.

Can an automatic standby generator replace utility service?

No, the generator fuel costs would be much more expensive than buying power from the utility company since their cost to produce electricity is divided among thousands of customers.

Selection/Sizing

How do I correctly size a generator for my home?

The most logical way to determine your needs is to envision your home without power. Some outages may be short in duration, while others could last for days or weeks. What would your family miss during an outage? With the broadest product line available, essential circuit coverage starts with the economically priced Generac PowerPact™ Series. Other systems are available to cover virtually any application: Essential Circuit Coverage – Generac takes the guesswork out of sizing by offering prepackaged Guardian Series generator systems. The generator is paired with a transfer switch containing a predetermined number of circuits based on the generator’s kW power rating. Each circuit is directly connected to a matched circuit on the home’s main circuit breaker panel, providing electricity to that specific appliance or area of the home. For example, ten circuits are supplied by the 8 kW generator. With this system, you could connect

  1. lights and TV in the family room,
  2. microwave and lights in the kitchen,
  3. refrigerator,
  4. power to the bathroom,
  5. computer and home office,
  6. garage door opener,
  7. window air conditioner, and
  8. furnace.

Managed Whole House Coverage – You can get more coverage with less generator, up to whole house coverage, by pairing a smaller generator with one of Generac’s Nexus™ load shedding switch options. This creates a managed power solution where non-essential circuits are shed when the generator approaches maximum capacity. They are cycled back on when essential circuits no longer require power, so all circuits receive power at different times. Complete Whole House Coverage – Easily cover every circuit in your home by pairing one of Generac’s larger kW units and the proper transfer switch to provide full coverage. No circuit is ever left uncovered, so every appliance is available every minute. Contact us for a free quotation, including sizing the generator.

Can I install the generator myself?

Yes, you have complete freedom to purchase the generator on-line and install it yourself. Click here for tips on buying a generator and selecting an installer. For safety reasons and to ensure adherence to all local, state and national electrical codes, Generac recommends you hire us. We are your local generator experts and can provide the complete installation including:

  • Free site visit and generator sizing.
  • Furnish and install generator and automatic transfer switch.
  • Furnish and install electric and gas connections.
  • Obtain permit and application to Nicor.
  • Perform start-up and maintenance.

Contact us to schedule a free quotation.

What is the cost for an installed system?

An 7.5kW generator and basic installation starts at $3267. Contact us for a free quotation.

How long does it take to install an automatic standby generator?

The actual installation process is typically performed in a single day. The entire process including obtaining a permit and obtaining Nicor’s response, typically requires 2 – 4 weeks.

Service/Maintenance

Do they have to be maintained?

Yes, simple maintenance is required. All generators require periodic oil and filter changes to ensure maximum performance for years of reliable service. We can provide a scheduled maintenance program for your needs and budget. Contact us for a free quotation.

What is the cost of maintenance?

The cost for SM (scheduled maintenance) starts at $184. First-time customers are eligible for a 10% discount (cannot be combined with other offers or discounts) on their first SM visit.

If I have a problem with my generator where do I go for help?

Contact us for all your installation, warranty or maintenance needs.