Ideal for prolonged and unexpected outages, whole house generators do exactly what the name promises: power your entire home. Once installed, you won’t need to worry about losing power, even for that must-have Florida appliance, the air conditioner!

Also called standby, or emergency, generators, they can add value to your home and provide peace of mind. If you are considering purchasing a residential generator, here are 6 things you need to know.


How Standby Generators Work

Your generator will sense when the utility is interrupted and it starts up, restoring your power within about six seconds. When the utility returns, your generator will turn off, complete a cool down process, and go back to standby mode. You don’t need to do anything to ensure it turns on, meaning it will operate even if you aren’t home. Not only does this prevent food spoilage, but if you have a security system, that will stay on too, and any electric garage doors or property gates will be able to open.


Installation Takes About 3 Days

Yes, you can go out and buy a portable generator right now and while that provides instant gratification, it isn’t a convenient long-term solution. For that, you’ll need a standby generator.

The process is longer but in the end, you don’t have to think about storing fuel, running extension cords, or fumbling around in the dark. Plus, your generator contractor will do the heavy lifting for you, both in terms of the physical labor and securing needed permits.


Use Natural Gas, if Possible

Generac’s residential generators can run on natural gas, liquid propane (LP), or diesel. However, if you can, use natural gas. You won’t have to worry about where to store fuel or what happens if you run out before the outage ends.

LP is a solid second choice, but like diesel, you’ll need a large container to store it in. If you don’t already have a tank or cylinder to store the fuel, you’ll need to obtain one.


It Will Make Noise, But Less Noise Than a Portable Generator

There is no way around this, any generator makes noise. Consumer Reports noted this in their comparison of generators and explained that standby will make less noise than a portable one. This is important for people who live in areas with noise ordinances because they’ll want to select a model that does not violate ordinances.


Generators Need to be Maintained

If you never get the oil changed on your car, it will eventually stop working. The same is true for your generator. A standby generator does self-testing on a weekly basis (portable generators need manual exercise on a monthly basis). You also want to have your generator contractor service it bi-annually, and follow these best practices from Generac.


Get the Right Size

Generac has a tool that will help you size your generator. All you need to do is enter your zip code and how many square feet your house is. You can then customize which appliances need to be powered and Generac will then provide recommendations based on what you estimate.

However, this is only for planning purposes and Generac recommends reaching out to a local, licensed dealer so that you have a properly sized generator.


Want to discuss your options?

If you want more information about the installation process, sizing a generator, or what backup power solution is right for you, we’re here to help! You can give us a call at:

  • (727) 938-8473 
  • (813) 814-5900
  • (941) 505-1212 

Or contact us online or via email ( so we can help you understand your options and next steps.