Blog posts of '2022' 'April'

Should You Buy A Generator For Your Home?

More and more people today are investing in a standby generator for their homes because of the possibility of greater numbers of power outages. There is a definite increase in violent storms, the like of which we have not seen since October 15th 1987, and these can bring down power lines and cause blackouts.

Buying and installing a standby generator for your home or business will give you the peace of mind that you know you will still have power if or when the worst happens.

To some extent, a standby generator is a matter of choice. For some people, even one blackout is enough to warrant a purchase, but if you live in an area with frequent (more than three a year) or long blackouts, then it becomes something of a necessity.

Generators come in different sizes, depending upon the mount of power that you need. This is not just related to the size of your home, but more to the complexity, or otherwise, of your electrical system, especially if you have air conditioning. You will need an electrician to calculate the size of generator that you need.

Manual or Automatic Changeover Switches?

You also need to decide whether to install a manual changeover switch or buy an automatic transfer switch in the UK. If you have a manual changeover switch, it means that when the power goes down you will have to manually start the generator and then switch over when it is up and running. That’s OK if you are at home or on your business premises when the power goes down, but it means that if you are not at home then there will be no electricity. In turn, that means that your fridge and freezer won’t be running, along with anything else such as a water heater or the heater that keeps the tank of your pet gecko at the right temperature.

If you buy an automatic transfer switch in the UK, then that will detect the power outage, fire up the generator and then automatically switch over, so your home is only without power for a matter of seconds.

Manual Transfer Switch For Your Generator Or Automatic? Which Is Best?

One of the biggest arguments for buying a standby generator is that you will always have electricity, no matter what. So, any issues with the electricity supply will not affect you.

This is becoming more and more important in this day and age, particularly with climate change. As we have seen very recently, there have been some very large and powerful storms that have affected homes and businesses in the North-West and Scotland, and it seems that these could become more commonplace. Some homes have been without electricity for as long as two weeks.

When you have a generator as a backup to your business, you can forget about time and productivity losses, because your generator can kick in and take over while the power is down. And there can be more to it than time and productivity losses, because when there is a sudden power outage it can cause serious damage to devices and machinery when the power comes back on if there is a power surge, yet this can be avoided if there is a power backup.

You can also cut down on your electricity consumption in a business by using a generator as a backup during peak hours. Some studies have shown that you can save as much as 40% during this time slot.

A Range Of Sizes

Backup generators come in a range of different sizes, and in order to establish what you need, whether for your home or business, you will need a qualified electrician to calculate the amount of power required. The cost of a 1kW generator is only around £300: a 7kW one would be about £2,000, a 15kW one £6,000, and so on. To this, you need to add the cost of installation which can be around another £1,000.

Now we said that you will always have electricity, and this may, or may not, be true. It depends upon the type of transfer switch that you install. You can have a manual transfer switch or an automatic transfer switch.

As you might guess, if you have a manual transfer switch you have to switch over to the generator manually. That means that if you are not on the premises when the power goes down you won’t have electricity, so if you happen to be away on holiday for three or four days, you can say goodbye to the food in the freezer!

However, an automatic transfer switch will detect when the power goes down, fire up the generator, and within a few seconds the lights will be back on. The choice is yours.