The hum of generators can still be heard in some neighborhoods around the tri-state area and beyond in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. It is estimated that eight million people were without power during the storm, and as of the writing of this post, there are still some without power in the tri-state area.
For those who already owned, or were able to purchase, a portable generator in time, the long lines for gas made the use of the generator frustrating and tenuous at best. Those who had the foresight to install a whole house standby generator reaped the rewards during Hurricane Sandy. Unlike portable generators, residential standby generators kick in 10 – 30 seconds after the power goes out, restoring whatever electrical circuits have been wired to the generator.
Generac was the first company to engineer affordable home standby generators and they now sell more residential standby generators than all other manufacturers combined. Generac also manufactures the widest range of power products available including portable, residential, commercial and industrial generators. A residential standby generator will require an investment of $6,000 up to $14,000 depending upon the size of your home and the extent of your power requirements during a storm. Many realtors indicate that having a standby generator not only increases the appeal of a home, but also enhances the home’s value.
Unlike portable generators, a standby generator does not require gasoline to operate. Instead it hooks directly into the home’s natural gas line or uses propane so that there is no need to purchase gas to start it or keep it running during a storm. Once the generator is installed it will start itself up each week for a brief period to ensure that oil is lubricating the system and that it is ready to operate if needed. After the initial eight hours of use it is necessary to completely drain and replace the oil to ensure the system is operating at peak efficiency. After the initial break in period the home owner should check the oil level at least once each month to make sure it is full.
According to Generac specifications, the oil and filter for a standby generator should be changed after 200 hours of operation. During extended power outages lasting eight days or more, the unit should be turned off each day to check the oil level and add oil if necessary.
Other maintenance tasks include inspecting the air cleaner and spark plugs and changing them every two years or after 200 hours of use. The battery should also be inspected twice per year to ensure there is no corrosion at the terminals and that the cables are securely fastened. The Generac Guardian Series of generators feature LED lights to notify the homeowner of a ready status or maintenance issue. Maintenance tasks can be done by the homeowner or by a Generac approved service provider. Yost & Campbell offers annual maintenance contracts for residential generators so that the homeowner can eliminate any concerns over remembering when to check or change the oil, spark plugs, etc.
With the threat of similar storms in the coming months, homeowners who want to consider the installation of a standby generator, should determine which electronic equipment they would want to operate during a storm and what they can live without and then make an appointment to find out which generator would best suit their power needs. An average installation takes 1 – 2 days depending upon the size of the house and approximately a week to schedule an appointment for installation. Therefore those considering installation are encouraged to call long before they hear the weather report predicting another nor’easter.
Yost and Campbell is a Generac PowerPro dealer and provides installation and maintenance of Generac whole house generators. This distinction is the highest level available for a Generac residential/commercial dealer. It is only open to those dealers that meet the most rigorous set of sales and customer service criteria. Yost and Campbell was established in 1939 and is one of the most respected names in heating, air conditioning and backup generators in the tri-state area. Yost and Campbell serves Westchester, the Bronx, Queens and Rockland County and installs and services heating systems, whole house air conditioning including ductless systems, the new Nest thermostat, water heaters and whole house generators.
Tags: Generators, PowerPro Dealer