Generator Purchasing Guide

So It’s Time to Buy a Generator

Imagine this. You are sitting at home when suddenly a power line is struck by lightning and all of your lights go out! Now, we have all experienced instances where we have been without power. Sometimes, it lasts for a few hours, and sometimes, it lasts much longer. Depending on your situation and experiences with power outages, you may be considering purchasing a generator. Generators are a wonderful solution to power outages, but before you hit that buy button, it’s important to do some research.

Whole-house vs. Portable

There are a few questions you need to ask yourself when considering what option is best.

Generator, Kohler, Power
(Image Credit: Kohler Power)

Are you usually home when a power outage occurs?

If the answer is yes, a portable generator is a cheaper solution to emergency power. All you have to do is pour gasoline into the machine and plug it into the device that requires power. Just remember, you will need to go back outside to refill the gasoline every few hours. It typically takes 38 gallons to run an average sized portable for 2 days.

Generator, Kohler, Power
(Image Credit: Kohler Power)

If the answer is no, a portable generator is not for you! If no one is home to operate the machine and make sure that no issues arise, a whole-house generator is the way to go. Whole-house generators do not require human operation to power on. As soon as your power goes out, it will kick on. This is ideal for families who leave during natural disasters like hurricanes or for people who travel often. A whole-house generator will ensure that your food stays fresh and that your house remains at an optimal temperature even when you are away.

What is your budget?

It is important to set a budget for your purchase before diving in. There can be a significant price range between your two options. Pricing for a portable generator typically ranges from $750-2,000 plus the cost of fuel, whereas the pricing for a whole-house typically ranges from $5,000-14,000.

Another thing to consider when making your budget is the cost of installation. Whole-home generators require permits, electrician work, and the placement of a concrete slab. This entire process can take weeks to months. The cost of installation can easily add a few thousand dollars on top of the cost of the generator.

In addition to installation, whole-house generators require a connection to natural gas or liquid propane. This can be done by installing a natural gas or liquid propane tank on your property or by connecting to city provided supplies. If you already have natural gas or liquid propane on your property, installation will be less expensive.

Generator, Kohler, Power
(Image Credit: Kohler Power)

A lot of buyers become frustrated when receiving a whole-home generator quote. Many major companies provide the price of a unit without mentioning the additional costs involved with installing it. Altogether, the cost of purchasing and installing a whole-home generator typically ranges between $8,500-17,500 depending on it’s size.

How much power do you need?

Think about your needs. If you are looking to provide power to essential items like your refrigerator or work laptop, a portable generator is the way to go. If you want to be able to watch television or heat your jacuzzi, you are going to need a whole-house generator. Portables are great for the little things. They are an easy, cheap solution to power if you are only powering essential items, but the average sized portable generator does not have the capacity to power your entire home.

How much risk are you willing to take?

With the use of any machine comes risk. Just like your car, generators release hazardous gasses. Since a portable generator can be placed anywhere, you have to keep a close eye on it. Never place a portable inside your home. Hazardous gasses and fires can cause significant harm if not used properly. Always place a generator in a well ventilated area outside of your house.

Whole-house generators are more controlled. Every county has their own rules on how and who can install one of these. There are distance requirements that dictate where they can be installed and special permitting is always required. This aids in safe operation and reduces the risk of house fires or dangerous gasses entering into your lungs.

Making a decision

Now that you have answered all of these questions, you should have a better idea of what kind of generator is going to work for your lifestyle and household. For more information on specific options or to set up a consultation for a whole-house generator, contact Complete Power Resources today. As an authorized Cummins, Kohler, and Generac dealer, Complete Power Resources can recommend best fit options for your needs.

(Servicing Florida residents and businesses from Jacksonville to Orlando: 866-330-4277)

Cummins Kohler Generac

 

Generator Horror Stories- Rat Attack

Rat Attack

Jerry woke up early Friday morning, grabbed his toolbox, and drove out to the Gibson’s house. It seems they lost power and their generator was not working. Prepared to investigate, Jerry removed the cover on the generator, and something immediately caught his eye. He discovered that a rat had chewed through the wiring! Jerry informed the Gibson’s of the problem and they were shocked! How could a rat have possibly caused so much damage?

generator, rat, wiring, chewing, horror

Small animals can wreck havoc on your generator. Rats, raccoons, mice, and other critters can chew through wiring and create nests inside. If your generator is not working like expected here is an acronym to keep it in top shape.

Routine Exercise
Oil Change
Debris Removal
Examine for Animals
New Filters
Test Fuel Connection
Schedule Maintenance

To schedule maintenance through Complete Power Resources, click here.

Florida Hurricane Supply Tax Holiday 2018

It’s Tax Free!

Tropical Storm Alberto arrived a week early in the same fashion as Hurricane Irma. With hurricane season approaching quickly, Florida is providing a Tax Free Holiday for Hurricane supplies. From generators to batteries, the Holiday is expected to save Floridians as much as $4.5 Million. Hurricane season lasts from June 1 to November 30, and the current number of predicted storms is high. We encourage Floridians to take advantage of these savings. Check out the list of approved tax free items below or at floridarevenue.com/disasterprep.Tax Free Holiday 2018

Portable generators priced $750 and less are tax free. Easy to use, they can provide power to cooking sources, lights, and so much more. Complete Power Resources currently has portable generators in stock. Do not forget to inquire about yours between June 1-7 to enjoy the benefits of the Tax Free Holiday. For more details on Portable Generators check out our offered brands below or contact a representative at 407-293-7158.

GeneracGenerac Power Generators

KohlerKohler Power Generators

CumminsCummins Power GeneratorsBriggs & Stratton

Briggs & Stratton Power Generators

PSA- Hurricane Preparation

Preparation and Generators

News providers report there is a 60% chance that a tropical depression will form in the Gulf of Mexico. Regardless of formation, Southwest Florida can expect upwards of 2-4 inches of rain. Some counties have already experienced rainfall well above the average for this time of the year. In addition to tropical depressions, the 2018 hurricane season is expected to be above average (see chart below). This being said, let us talk about preparation.

Hurricane Prediction 2018
2018 Hurricane Season Prediction USA TODAY

Hurricane season is ramping up. Consequently, it is important to make sure your generator is up to date on maintenance. Time and time again, we see families who have neglected maintenance. This results in a generator that does not work when you need it the most. With power outages that can last days, or even weeks, you do not want to be looking into the disappointed eyes of a spouse for a week when the A/C no longer works.

Generators are similar to vehicles, they require oil, filter changes, and routine usage. Maintenance should typically be performed once every two years. Things such as debris and failed parts can inhibit proper functionality. Providing maintenance on a generator can seem like a daunting task. Luckily, authorized dealers have experienced technicians specifically trained on the maintenance and upkeep of generators.

PSA- Hurricane Preparation

Having a generator alone is not enough. They require proper care in order to maintain your peace of mind. We encourage home and business owners to prepare before a Hurricane threatens Florida. Don’t be left in the dark.

PSA- Hurricane Preparation
Contact Us Today

After the storms, the world of home generators may evolve quickly

home generators evolving
The devastating hurricane season this year has put generators back in the news. That’s prompted a lot of people to start thinking about whether their home needs a backup system in the event of a natural disaster.

Even those homeowners who were not directly impacted by the storms almost certainly were motivated by the coverage of the widespread blackouts in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico. And they clearly started to realize they did not want to endure a similar loss of power if a generator could prevent it.

What hasn’t been covered in the news, though, is the fact that technology is bringing advancements and improvements to the rapidly-evolving world of home and commercial generators. That means an investment in a generator today will help ensure that you’re not going to be impacted by a blackout like the millions who endured Hurricanes Harvey, Maria and Irma.

It isn’t just the storms fueling these advances. In this day and age, our daily lives and how we function are intricately tied in to our computers, laptops and smartphones. And without the ability to power them, our lives can come to a grinding halt.

The industry understands that. The idea isn’t just to make it durable, but to find innovations as well.

Among the latest technological advances that some new model generators have are:

• An emergency LED flashlight built into it;
• A waterproof cover to withstand storms;
• The ability to charge solar generators using direct sunlight;
• Small models designed for hiking and camping trips;
• Lightweight emergency battery generator systems can provide power to two devices simultaneously.

And after Hurricane Maria wiped out power to the entire island of Puerto Rico, impacting 3.4 million residents, there have been predictions of even more changes to come for the generator industry.

From disaster comes innovation

The devastation that Hurricane Maria brought to the island of Puerto Rico delivered a shocking new reality to millions. What happens if a storm wipes out power to everyone on the island? Now, as the government of Puerto Rico struggles to bring power back and restore its existing power grid, it’s become clear it could take many months before power is fully restored.

This is not about providing residents with the convenience of lights or a working television set. In Puerto Rico, hospitals have been evacuated, and lives remain at risk for people reliant on life support systems.

Other companies have responded. Sonnen, a German company that also has manufacturing facilities in the U.S., has been installing solar and storage systems in Puerto Rico at emergency shelters.

Other industry specialists are looking at ways to replace Puerto Rico’s grid with a newer system that’s solar generated, or that uses battery storage. That will help make the entire system more resilient in the future.

Other islands, including American Samoa, have already turned to onsite solar and storage to provide power to homes and commercial buildings.

And this trend is happening in the U.S. as well, where the renewable technology of battery storage is gaining in popularity as a way to provide energy resiliency. The business community in particular has embraced this technology as a way to keep operating in the event of a utility failure.

However, both solar and storage remain a very small part of the market today. In theory, it usually takes a catastrophic event, done on a massive and widespread scale, to transition a niche market into something more mainstream.

Will the devastation on Puerto Rico be that moment?

Portables also gaining in popularity

Electricity is critical when you’re in your home — cooking, using your computer, and doing other tasks. But it’s also important to outdoor enthusiasts as well. That’s why portable solar generators have become so popular to generate electricity. They’re easy to use at camping sites and in your RV. And the latest solar generators have become more advanced and offer new features. In fact, they can even supply electricity for hours after the sun sets.

These portable kits come with two main parts, the solar panel and the solar power generator. It’s the solar panel that captures energy from the sun and converts it to electricity. That power is then sent to the battery bank to store.

And since the sun rises every day, that means solar offers a free power source, which can be generated anywhere.

You don’t need to be a camper or an outdoors enthusiast to use a portable solar generator. They’re ideal as a backup power source for your home in emergency situations as well.

So, what are the key differences between solar and fuel generators? Both are popular – and they’re different as well.

Solar generators work off the sun’s energy, so the owner doesn’t spend extra money on them. They are also silent because they don’t have moving parts inside them. They’re considered environmentally friendly since they don’t emit any gases. And the battery bank enables them to keep running when its dark.

In addition, the latest models of solar generators have special ports built into them. That enables you to charge your smartphone directly from both AC and DC devices.

The benefits of a transfer switch

The recent storms sent a lot of people rushing out to buy a generator in anticipation of a power outage. Anyone purchasing a home generator is advised to hire an electrician to install it for them. And it’s not clear if everyone took that advice before Hurricanes Harvey hit Texas or Irma hit Florida.

In the future, those purchasing a generator should also consider installing a transfer switch in their home to separate the generator from their main power supply. That’s crucial because it ensure the system won’t back feed and push power back into the power grid. That poses a serious risk for electrocution.

The manual transfer switch can be as expensive as the generator itself, costing between $500-$900. However, the safety this device offers can provide a high degree of peace of mind in a challenging situation.

Conclusion

If you have any questions about generators, how they work and what kind of model is best suited for your home, contact us today at Complete Power Resources, your dealer of choice for all your portable power needs.

Complete Power Resources is an authorized Generac, Onan and Kohler dealer. And we have Certified Technicians who can help you with a variety of other leading industry makes and models.

If you believe you need backup power, we can help you select the right model. And we get it installed for you as well. Our team will come to the location where the backup power generator is going to be installed, determine the best placement for the unit and install it for you.

After the installation is complete, we’ll schedule a test start up to ensure everything is in working order. And we also provide user training at the end of the process to ensure you fully understand how to use your backup power generator.

Call us today at 866-330-4277 to learn more. And follow our blog for the latest news on what’s happening in the rapidly-evolving world of home and commercial generators.

6 tips when purchasing a home generator

Tips purchasing generator

The stormy hurricane season across the southern United States this year left a lot of people with a frustrating reminder of just how problematic it can get to go days, weeks, or even longer without electricity.

All of the basic necessities we take for granted on a daily basis were suddenly gone. It was hot without air conditioning. It was dark without lighting. And amenities from television to computer access to the refrigerator were suddenly out of use.

Those storms had a lot of people, from Texas and Louisiana to Florida, turning to companies like Complete Power Resources so they could purchase a generator for the first time. Complete Power Resources was able to help them get a generator installed at their home. That way, they would never have to endure an electric shortage again.

For those who didn’t purchase a generator this time around but are now thinking about it, here are some helpful tips to consider first.

Why it’s important to have a home generator

Having a home generator is about more than just convenience. This is also about protecting your family when a disaster strikes. A generator becomes your long-term backup solution for a dependable power source whenever you need it.

It’s an ideal solution because during a power outage, a permanently installed standby generator brings power back to your home or business instantly. That’s true even if you’re away at the time.

A standby generator is built to sense when there’s a blackout and immediately begin producing power. Because it’s constantly monitoring incoming utility voltage. It takes only a few seconds for the standby generator to begin supplying electricity to the circuits you’ve selected for generator power.

And it will shut off automatically once your normal power source returns, since the generator now senses that utility line voltage has returned at a steady rate.

Your new generator will be hard-wired into your home’s electrical system. You don’t need to worry about extension cords.

But first you need to think about your own power needs and the right size generator to work best for you. Also think about how to properly maintain it, and what you need to do to set it up. Preparedness is the key to using a generator safely.

There are several factors you’ll want to consider when you’re looking to buy your first generator.

6 Tips Before You Purchase a Home Generator

That includes:

1. Ask about the amount of load that the generator will carry for your home. You want to be sure that in the event of an outage, the generator can meet the capacity of your family’s house.

2. Jot down a list of the electrical equipment you have that needs power if there’s a blackout. And be sure to find out in advance if your generator can handle the power that every single piece of equipment requires.

3. You may need a separate device, an automatic transfer switch to connect the generator to your existing electrical system. Most automatic standby generators come pre-packaged with a transfer switch. And this is something you want to ask about first. The transfer switch is what allows you to safely connect a generator to your home’s electrical circuits.

4. If you live in a region with a lot of salt in the air or high levels of humidity, consider getting an aluminum or composite generator enclosure. They’re resistance to rust and corrosion and protect your generator from the elements.

5. Take some time to educate yourself about what you need to do to keep the generator well maintained. Generators require periodic oil and filter changes. That ensures you get reliable service for years. You can also purchase a preventative maintenance kit. And be sure to get an owner’s manual for routine maintenance procedures and schedules.

6. To determine the right size generator for your home, consider having an installation specialist conduct a load measurement of the circuits you want backed up by your standby generator.

Why are these steps important?

Taking these steps will ensure that during the next major power outage, no matter how long your neighbors and the rest of the city are waiting to get power restored, you’ll be able to keep the lights on. You will also keep the refrigerator running, and the air conditioning or heating units operating.

You also want to consider safety as well. That’s why it’s important to test run the machine before the next outage strikes. Wheel it out to the location where you intend to run it, and try putting it through its paces. You want to be absolutely certain everything works as intended when the power goes out.

It’s also important to have the installation either done, or inspected by, a professional installer. Because overloading a home’s branch circuit poses a risk for creating a fire. That’s particularly true if you have an older home with an aging wiring system.

Conclusion

Complete Power Resources is your source for home based Backup Power Generators. And we have an effective and straightforward installation process.

Our team goes where the backup power generator is going to be installed. We determine the best placement for the unit. We’ll also advise you if we feel there needs to be any changes done to the installation site.

We provide you with a detailed explanation of the equipment required for your power needs. And we give you detailed spec sheets outlining what will be furnished and installed. We handle all your permitting needs.

We have a warranty available to cover your needs in the future. Our expert technicians can troubleshoot any issues
your backup power systems may be experiencing, and we can resolve them in a timely manner.

CPR recommends servicing your backup power unit twice a year. Our annual service plan will allow our certified technicians to perform a variety of safety and reliability checks on your unit. Performing routine maintenance on your system helps ensure it works when you need it most.

Call us today at 866-330-4277 to learn more about getting a generator to protect yourself and your family the next time there’s a natural disaster and a widespread power outage where you live.