Whether they have resided in the Sunshine State for only one hurricane season or dozens, Florida residents know first-hand the havoc a severe storm can wreak. The arrival of a major hurricane during the late Florida summer means two options are available: evacuating, only to return to deal with the damage, or staying put, only to have to deal with the damage, all the same. When a power outage strikes during or following a major storm, those who have invested in generators are often glad they did. However, far more goes into purchasing a generator than swiping a card or writing a check. When it comes to generator sizing, for one, there are wrong answers for your home. As a Florida resident diligently preparing to safely make it through hurricane season, the first step to take after deciding to buy a generator is determining what size is right for your needs. Read on for our guide outlining the steps to successfully size a generator for your home.
Why Size Matters
On a superficial level, investing in a smaller generator may seem like a money-saving move up front. After all, don’t they all just do the same thing?
The answer is no. Generators are actually sized according to their energy output, be it in watts (W) or kilowatts (kW). This means that, the higher the number of watts, the “larger” the generator; for all intents and purposes, physical size is irrelevant.
No two differently sized generators are created equal, and investing in a too-small machine doesn’t mean that certain areas of your home will be left powerless. It actually means insufficient energy to support your appliances, leaving them – and the generator itself – highly susceptible to long-term damage.
Too-large generators, on the other hand, mean unnecessarily high operation and maintenance costs for your generator unit. So, much like Goldilocks, the objective is to look for what fits just right.
How to Size a Generator for Your Home
Sizing a generator for your property isn’t too difficult and can, in fact, be done in a series of simple steps:
First, you’ll need to create a master list of every single appliance you’ll be looking to keep powered on in the event of an outage. This will include things like your central A/C and water heater, as well as your standard kitchen appliances.
Next, you’ll need to consult with an expert or use an online calculator to determine the wattage of each appliance on your list. This means knowing how much wattage it takes to power up each appliance – and to keep it running.
Finally, sum up the total wattage for every item on your list. That number is the total wattage you should look for in a generator.
There is actually a bonus step: Consult with an expert about the dimensions, appliances, and power needs of your home. The best way to do this is by seeking out a generator supplier who deals in and specializes only in generators. They’ll be able to leverage their expertise to double-check your calculations and ensure you’ve got the right fit for your home.
Successfully making it through Florida’s infamous hurricane season is easier with a powerful, expertly installed generator – and the first step to getting one is making sure you’re looking for the right size. To consult with an expert about finding the perfect generator for your property, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.