Log In   ·   Become A Member
http://www.hamptons.com/gallery/ads/2149.gif

Backup Generators: Is Bigger Better?

Sponsored Guest Post by Thomas Ickovic

  |   1 Comment · Print Article

Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc on homes in the Hamptons. (Courtesy Photo)

With fresh memories of Hurricane Sandy, many local homeowners are thinking about purchasing a backup electric generator. Losing power brings the hardships of no lights, no heat, no air conditioning, and in many cases, no water. Without water, your toilets won't flush, the showers are dry, and even brushing your teeth becomes a challenge.

Backup generators come in a wide array of sizes and features. There are many small and inexpensive portable units that can run your water pump, refrigerator, and even a few lights.

Electric ranges and cooktops consume a lot of power, so a portable generator will likely be too small to help. If you have a gas-fueled range, a small generator will easily provide the small amount of power required to ignite the flame (a match will also do it).

Power needs for heating are typically relatively small, but air conditioning is another matter. The A/C compressors consume a lot of power, and would require the larger "whole house" varieties, at much higher costs.

With a "whole house" system, the big decisions are the size of the generator, and equally important, the capacity of the fuel storage system. When the power goes out in a large area, it is often impossible to get fresh fuel supplies. Pictures of long lines at gas stations after major power disruptions are all too familiar.

How big a generator do I need? This is sometimes a difficult decision, as bigger is usually better (more electrical systems will work normally). However, this decision is offset by the increased amount of fuel that bigger generators require.

Most modern homes typically have a 200-amp service entry. To provide the same amount of power, you would need approximately a 48 - 50 kW generator. This size typically uses a large (5.7L) 8-cylinder engine, which is a lot bigger than your average family car uses. Obviously, it will use more fuel than driving your car down the highway at 60 MPH.

On the other hand, a 100-amp generator (22 - 25kW) will use half the fuel, and provide plenty of power. Houses never consume all 200-amps at one time. If you exclude the non-essential, large power consumers (the sauna, steam room, electric dryer and range, etc.), 100-amps of power should be adequate to energize everything else in the house as needed.

In other words, if your stored fuel supply only gets you a day or two, the expense of a "whole house" generator might not be justified, particularly when the power is out for a week or more.

Fuel storage capacity for your backup generator is typically the biggest limitation of any system. When purchasing any backup system, make sure this aspect is not overlooked, or given too little attention.


Tom and his business partner, Bill Milia, are currently working on a variety of projects in the Hamptons, including additions, renovations and new construction. Over the past 40 years they have built a portfolio of beautiful, energy efficient, and highly functional homes. www.designbuildhamptons.com


Guest (Karen Scheuermann) from Exton, PA says::
wondering why the author didn't talk about load shedding for the a/c and other 240volt appliances. this could be a big help in offering power via a 17-20kW generator.
May 29, 2014 2:55 pm

 

Submit Your Comment

Please note, you are not currently logged in. Your comment will be submitted as a guest.
To submit your comment as a member, please click here.
Your Name:
Location:*
Comments:*
* Comments will be reviewed and posted in a timely fashion
* All fields are required
Question:*
What color is the sky?
(For spam prevention, thanks)
 
 
 
http://www.hamptons.com/gallery/ads/2143.gif
http://www.hamptons.com/gallery/ads/1824.gif
Advertise on Hamptons.com - Have your business be seen by over 2 million viewers including NEW searches
Hamptons.com- Our exclusive online magazine has 2.6 million Page Views YTD for 2015. Contact us to join our elite group of clients that benefit from having a presence on the Hamptons award winning publication www.Hamptons.com

Hamptons Carpet One Floor & Home
We pay less,and so do you.With over 1,000 stores in our buying group, we can get the lowest prices from the best flooring manufacturers — and pass the savings on to you.Visit our other locations: Hamptons Carpet One Floor & Home, 675 North Sea Road,Southampton, NY 11968

CP Complete- Landscape Design & Construction
Paul Guillo And Chris Hall Two Of The Most Respected Names In The Community Together, they are partners in CP Complete. They bring their years of experience and integrity to creating and renovating luxury backyards.

D+J Concepts is known for a high-end cutting edge approach to design.
D+J Concepts is known for a high-end cutting edge approach to design with a balance between functionality and imagination. We skillfully and tastefully transform ordinary spaces into classic modern styles, which are understated, and luxe. We’re known for our modern transitional style incorporating antiques and modern elements for an unexpected edge.

Hamptons luxury real estate specialist for 33 years, Andrea Ackerman offers outstanding expertise in the field.
Hamptons luxury real estate specialist for 33 years, Andrea Ackerman offers outstanding expertise in the field. Trusted, experienced and successful, Andrea has solidified herself as the go-to broker of the Hamptons and a wholehearted advocate for her clients. A pioneer in the real estate industry on the East End of Long Island, she is driven by her passion for the business. Andrea is based in the Bridgehampton office of Brown Harris Stevens as a licensed real estate associate broker and consultant. Formerly, a principal partner and Senior Director at Brown Harris Stevens, Andrea now assists in developing their corporate strategy for the Hamptons region, advising other brokers and sales associates, as well as being one of the top producers and listors.