Generators 101: Everything You Should Know

  • < Back to Blog

    Whether it’s an unexpected ice storm, a catastrophic hurricane, or an isolated incident, when the power goes out – and stays out for several hours – many people wish they had a backup plan. You can’t minimize the value and security of a generator during times like these. Let’s explore everything you need to know about generators so that you can select the right one for your home or business.

    What is a Home Backup Generator?

    For homeowners who never want to lose power again, a home backup generator is what you need. These generators turn on automatically as soon as a power outage occurs. They are installed outside your home, encased in a weather-proof enclosure, and powered by natural gas or propane. When any power failure occurs, your generator will begin to supply power to your electrical system within seconds. This type of generator will power your entire home – including air conditioners or heating systems, refrigerators, lights, sump pumps, and more.

    What is a Business Standby Generator?

    Power failures often hit businesses the hardest. When you can’t resume normal operations for hours – or even days – it can mean thousands of dollars lost in product and revenue. Many business owners don’t think about the damage a loss of power can have until they experience it. When you install a business standby generator, you ensure that your business can provide its products and services for your customers no matter how long the power is out. These large generators are installed outside of your business, kick on the instant that electricity goes out, and is powered by natural gas. They come in various sizes, so companies of all sizes can stay open and ready for business.  

    Does My Home or Business Need a Generator?

    Power outages can occur at any time – some are short, but others can last for hours or even days. During Hurricane Ike, some people were without power for over two weeks! The longer a power outage lasts, the more significant safety and health risks. You should consider installing a standby generator if it’s important for you to power your lights, appliances, or cooling and heating systems during an electrical outage. A generator will also power your phones and computer servers, so your business is not interrupted during a power outage.   

    What Size Generator Do I Need?

    Average standby generators range from about 8-150 kilowatts and will fit almost any power need for residential and small businesses. So, it’s crucial to choose a generator that will meet your specific needs. If you only need to power everything in a smaller home or a few appliances in a large home, an 8-30 kilowatt generator may be big enough for you. But if you want to power everything in a larger home, you may need a bigger one. A load calculation will determine the proper size generator to meet your needs. Here are a few other things to be aware of before choosing the generator size:

    • Electrical codes
    • Location
    • Local noise ordinances
    • Adequate gas service and meter
    • Aesthetics

    Is it Difficult to Install a Generator?

    Installation usually takes two days to complete by our licensed electricians. A permit is required before installation, and an inspection is needed after installation is complete. It’s also necessary to submit a gas load inquiry to your utility company before installation to confirm your existing meter and gas service can handle the additional generator gas load. Malek Service Company will take care of these steps, so your installation is professionally coordinated. 

    Once installation is complete, our technicians will do various start-up tests and register your generator for its warranty. We also offer a Total Protection Plan to ensure your generator stays reliable and cost-effective – and ready for the next power outage. 

    How Do You Operate a Generator?

    We install high-quality generators that are self-reliant. Even if you aren’t home when the power goes out, the generator works automatically – it turns on when the power is interrupted and switches off once the power is restored. 

    What If I Already Have a Generator?

    If you’re not sure about your generator’s condition or reliability, one of our experienced technicians can come check it out. We’ll work with you to ensure your generator has been correctly installed and maintained – and make sure you’re ready for the next power outage.

    Final Thoughts

    Homeowners and businesses can’t afford to be without electricity for long periods. So, before the next power failure, contact Malek. If you’re in Bryan, College Station or Central Texas, our experienced team will meet with you and help you decide what kind of generator best fits your needs. Your generator will be installed efficiently and quickly, so it’s up and running when you need it most. At Malek Service Company, we want to bring you the peace of mind that comes from knowing your home, family, and business are protected from unexpected power failures.

    April 23, 2021