Home Backup FAQS

 

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

  • The American Red Cross recommends permanently installed backup generators as a safer way to provide backup power to a home than a portable generator.
  • With an automatic backup 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.

An automatic backup 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. 
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 backup generators, selling five times as many generators as all competitors combined. 
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.
Unlike other engines, used in backup power generation, Generac OHVI engines are made specifically for generators. They are engineered to run for the long periods of time required during a severe power outage or on a job site, utilizing the same type of pressurized oil lubrication used to give automobile engines long and trouble-free lives.
In addition to its sturdy galvanneal steel enclosure, Generac is one of the few companies to offer premium aluminum enclosures for its residential backup generators. Aluminum enclosures are naturally rust and corrosion resistant. For salt air or high humidity conditions, aluminum is highly recommended to ensure decades of worry free 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. Our automatic generators are produced for use as backup to utility power specifically and should not be used as primary power. 

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 some basic information you can determine an estimated size by using our Generator Sizing Calculator.

The very best way to understand your options and work within your budget is to schedule a free in-home assessment. During your consultation you will receive the personalized attention and detailed evaluation you need to find a solution that works for your need.

With the broadest product line available, essential circuit coverage starts with the economically priced Generac CorePower™ 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.

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.

As an option, Generac offers the Guardian Series systems prepackaged and pre-wired with comprehensive installation instructions. You could perform the simpler site preparation steps and have a professional make the electrical panel and fuel connections, or you could complete the entire installation yourself. However, for safety reasons and to ensure adherence to all local, state and national electrical codes, particularly for non pre-wired or larger systems, Alternative Power recommends you use our team of authorized, licensed dealers. 
All generators require periodic oil and filter changes to ensure maximum performance for years of reliable service. Scheduled maintenance kits are available and many Generac authorized dealers offer annual maintenance contracts for a worry-free ownership experience. We recommend you have your unit serviced every 6 months by an authorized independent service dealer. Refer to the owner’s manual for routine maintenance procedures and schedules.
An SAE rated high detergent oil that meets API Service Class SF requirements for gasoline engines, similar to your car. Refer to your owner’s manual for details. 
Generac generators are equipped with overload protection. In the rare event of an overload, the generator’s circuit breaker will trip, disconnecting the unit from the load. Simply correct the overload and reset the breaker in the generator. For more information, please consult your owner’s manual or contact us.
Owner’s manuals and other technical / repair information can be downloaded from the Gerenac website’s Product Support Page or contact us for further assisance.