Standby Generator FAQ

Jun 10, 2020

Our home of North Carolina gets its fair share of power outages each year due to hurricane season and stormy coastal weather. Whenever a blackout occurs, the concern for many people is just how long it’s going to last and how they’re going to maintain a comfortable home and complete their daily activities.

Many homeowners avoid this stress by equipping their property with an automatic standby generator. A standby generator supplies a home with immediate, uninterrupted power whenever an outage happens.

If you’re thinking about installing a generator in your home, you’ll certainly have some questions upfront, so we’ve put together this list of FAQ below to help.

What is an automatic standby generator, in plain terms?

An automatic standby generator is a piece of equipment that we install on your property in a fixed location (like an outdoor central air conditioning unit), and it provides your home with backup power whenever a power outage occurs. That’s why you’ll hear these types of generators also referred to as “automatic backup generators.”

Do I need to “start up” an automatic standby generator when the power goes out?

Nope! Your automatic standby generator will kick on immediately as soon as your home loses power–this is why it’s called “automatic.” The equipment will start supplying your home with power within 30 seconds of detecting an outage. Generac standby generators that we install typically start supplying power to your home’s electrical circuit breaker box within seconds. Once the utility power comes back, the generator turns itself off.

What fuel does an automatic standby generator use?

Most automatic standby generators run on liquid propane gas or natural gas. If you purchase one that uses natural gas, the installer hooks it up to your gas line. You will occasionally need to refuel a propane tank model but not nearly as often as you would need to refuel a portable generator.

What can an automatic standby generator power?

An automatic standby generator can meet all of your usual, daily power requirements. Along with keeping electricity flowing to your lights, appliances, and electronics, you’ll also be able to keep high-powered systems like your air conditioner and your sump pump operational.

A portable generator is cheaper; why should I get a standby generator?

Although portable generators are available at a lower price point, automatic standby generators do have several advantages over them:

  • Standby generators can supply enough electricity to power everything you normally use in your home. A portable generator can only supply enough power for a few essentials.

  • Standby generators are also more convenient because they’re always in one location, turn on automatically, and don’t need the daily refueling that many portable generators require. You don’t need to store them, uncover them, or start them up in the midst of terrible weather.

  • Additionally, standby generators don’t present the danger of carbon monoxide poisoning that incorrectly placed portable generators do.

You can read more about portable generators versus standby generators here.

Generator Installation in Raleigh

At CMC Electric, we are a certified Generac service provider, and we pride ourselves on a clear-cut installation process that puts our customers’ needs first. Click here to learn what the process looks like and what benefits you can expect from owning a Generac standby generator. Please feel free to call us with any questions or to schedule a free, no-obligation site survey: (919) 694-4454.

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