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A generator is a smart installation for any home. If you suffer from power loss, you’ll enjoy comfort and peace of mind knowing that your essential home systems will still function. If you’re considering a new generator for your Mobile, Alabama, home, it’s important to make sure it’s properly sized. Learn the critical factors of system sizing so you can purchase the right generator for your home.

Consider Square Footage

Your home’s square footage is an important consideration when you’re sizing a generator that will power whole-home systems like your air conditioner and furnace. A larger home will naturally need a larger generator to support it. The size of your home will also determine how many lights and electrical outlets you have throughout the space.

Keep in mind that you shouldn’t need to power everything in your home with a generator. When you’re operating off generator power, you’ll likely downsize to a few rooms, keeping most of your lights off  and turning off unnecessary appliances. Think through every room of the house and consider which areas you’ll use on generator power so you can provide this information to your service technician when sizing your home for a new system.

Pick Your Appliances

If you’re running on generator power, which appliances will you plan to use? It’s best to avoid powering all your standard appliances if you can. Instead, opt for just the basics. You’ll want to keep your fridge running, but you shouldn’t need your oven, range, microwave and toaster oven all at once.

You can easily switch from using the dishwasher to hand-washing your dishes. Don’t power every television, computer and gaming system in the house when you can pare down to your most essential entertainment products. Your HVAC system is critical for comfort in inclement weather and should always be included when you’re determining the necessary generator power.

Understand Running and Startup Volt-Amps

For every item that you want to run on generator power, you’ll need to determine the running and startup volt-amps. Many appliances use more voltage when they first start up than they do when they’re running.

You can find the voltage for most appliances in the owner’s manual. If you can’t find the specs for a particular appliance, general estimates are available online for most common products. Add up the necessary volt-amps for everything you want to run to determine how much power your generator will need.

Consult a Professional

While you can come up with a good estimate of how much generator power you’ll need from your new installation, it’s best to consult a professional before making your final purchase. You can use the information you’ve gathered on your own to help guide your decision, but an experienced service technician is the best resource for an installation.

You’ll want to keep your service technician’s number on hand after your purchase and installation, too. You should schedule regular maintenance visits to keep your system functioning as efficiently as possible. Our service technicians offer annual maintenance agreements for regular tuneups, so you can rest easy knowing that your system is always primed and ready for any emergency.

Opt for the Larger Option

If you’re on the fence between generator sizes, you should always opt for the larger option. An undersized generator is a serious hazard. If your generator is too small you can suffer from:

  • System failures
  • Shutdown from capacity overload
  • Longer system lifespan
  • Tripped circuit breakers
  • Unstable output
  • Damage to equipment powered by the generator

Remember that sizing a generator is not like sizing and selecting an HVAC system. A furnace or air conditioner that’s too large will cycle on and off too frequently, suffering from excess wear. A generator that’s larger rather than smaller offers a little extra power and protection in an emergency.

If you’re in the market for a new home generator, give Keith Air Conditioning, Inc. a call at 251-476-3610. We’ll help you choose the best product to power your home effectively no matter what comes your way.