Do you live in a part of the country where heat is necessary more than a few nights a year? Do you have food in your refrigerator or freezer you would like to keep should you experience a power outage? Do you run a business where time is money and electricity is needed to get the work done? These are all reasons to invest in a backup generator. Here we discuss generator installation, the myths associated with it and the reality only professionals know.
Myth 1: Generator Installation Needs to be a Huge Project
While a generator may prove critical to your safety, comfort and/or business, the process of installing one does not have to be a month-long, pain in your you-know-what. In fact, you can keep your family safe, your home and business functioning and your bottom line protected by simply doing a bit of research to choose your generator of choice (usually requires simple math regarding appliance and system needs to determine a recommended kW), then calling a company you trust to install it.
Why call the professionals? Generator installation should not be considered a DIY project unless you are knowledgeable with electric systems. Here are the steps usually necessary for generator installation:
- Preparing site
- Pouring a concrete pad
- Installation of fuel tank (should be completed by utility company)
- Installation of new sub panel, including automatic transfer switch
- Review and update of electrical wiring and lighting to ensure it is up to code
A professional can also help you create a plan for which appliances and electronics should be disconnected while your generator is in use. This will help protect these systems and allow power to go where it is necessary.
Myth 2: Generator Installation Can be Done on the Cheap
Perhaps you’ve heard neighbors or friends talk about finding a generator for cheap and installing it themselves over the weekend. Unfortunately, proper generator installation is not something you want to cheap out on. The national average to install a backup generator is between $4,000 and $10,000 but can easily top out around $15,000 depending on which model you choose. Here’s a quick breakdown:
- 7-10 kW: This size will run some basic systems within your home but cannot power your entire house. It will also likely need a manual start. These range from $2,500 to $4,500 for the generator and $500 to $1,000 for installation.
- 12-20 kW: This mid-size generator will allow for more power in your house, but, again, it will not sustain the needs of your entire home. It is a good option for anyone who may rely on a generator for heat during cold weather. Mid-size generators will cost between $4,000 to $10,000 for the equipment and $1,000 or more for installation.
- 22-45 kW: These larger systems will be able to provide power to an entire home and are purchased and installed with the intention of being a permanent solution. These large units will cost between $9,000 to $15,000 plus a few thousand dollars for installation.
Myth 3: All Generator Installation Companies are the Same
This just isn’t true. You will want to find a company you trust with such an important investment. First, locate a company that has at least 10+ years of experience installing generators. You may also want to find one that is experienced in both residential and commercial services, as this ensures they’ve seen a lot and know how to handle just about any situation.
Next, find a company who will work with any size generator, from portable to whole-home, and with a wide array of manufacturers. This way, you know you can choose the system you are most comfortable with, and won’t be pressured into buying what the company tries to sell you.
Finally, find a company with generator installation reviews available for you to consider.
If you aren’t quite sure which generator is right for you and your residential or commercial needs, reach out to AC Electric. We give free, unbiased advice regarding generator selection so you know you are getting the right information from a professional you can trust. We also offer installation of all types of generators from all different manufacturers.
Ready to get started? Contact us today.