How to Choose a Home Generator

by Westridge Electric

Experiencing frequent power outages can be frustrating. It is always nice to know that a backup is in place for when these outages occur. This is where a home generator can be of value. Large home generators called standby generators will stay in an idle mode outside your home until there is an outage; when this happens, the generator will spring into action automatically and power your entire home. Standby generators are not your only option though, and you may want to consider smaller, less powerful generators if you do not experience frequent power outages. Westridge electric can assist in all of your home generator needs, including installation.

What is a Home Generator?

An automatic home generator, or backup generator, stays in an idle state while your home has power but will automatically turn on if there is a power outage. The generator will become a temporary power source for your home, providing you with heating and electricity while your utility power source is out. Typically generators are boxes that are installed outside of your home and will be powered by propane or natural gas. 


How Does a Kohler Generator Work?

What is a Kohler Generator?

Kohler Standby Generators do not have to deal with the hassles brought upon by portable generators. They will start and stop automatically, and do not require any involvement from the homeowner. Kohler Standby Generators require no extension cords and no refueling. Kohler Home Generators run on either natural gas or propane.

When the Power is Working

The Automatic Transfer Switch (ATS) will constantly monitor the flow of electricity coming from the utility. The ATS has a power indicator located on it that lets you know whether your power is being provided by the utility or by the generator. In order to ensure that your Kohler Generator will be ready when an emergency occurs, it will run automatically for 20 min each week and perform diagnostic tests.

When the Power Goes Out

When the generator senses a power failure, or the power drops to an unacceptable level, the ATS will signal the generator to start. In about 10 seconds, the ATS will transfer your power to the running generator.

While the Generator is Powering Your Home

Your generator will continue to supply your home with electricity until the utility power is restored. Your generator’s commercial-grade engine is capable of handling large starting loads like central heating and air conditioning without having to cut power to your other appliances. Before the purchase and installation of a Kohler Standby Generator, it will have undergone rigorous testing to make sure it is reliable. Each generator comes with a 3-year full parts and labour warranty, and a 5-year parts warranty from Kohler.

When Power is Restored

When the ATS detects that utility power has been restored, it will automatically transfer your power from the generator to the utility. The generator then automatically shuts down and will be ready for the next outage, repeating this process if the occasion arises.

Portable Home Generator on concrete pad outside of home

Choosing the Right Size for Your Home Generator

When picking the size of your generator, you need to consider the wattage that it will need to output to power the appliances and utilities that you want. Standby generators, for example, are the largest type of generators you can get and will output up to approximately 20,000 watts. This will power your entire home, including all of its utilities.

  • If you lose power frequently, it is best to have a standby generator. These generators will make sure that your daily life will not be impeded by the constant loss of power in your home. Another option is to purchase a large inverter or portable generator; while they have less output than standby generators, they are less costly and might fit your personal needs better.
  • If you only experience occasional power outages, a large inverter or portable generator will be your best option. These generators require more attentiveness, as they are not directly connected to your home and will not turn on automatically. You will have to manually set up the generator each time there is an outage. Overall, these generators will serve their purpose well and save you money compared to standby generators.
  • If you very rarely experience power outages, a recreational or midsize inverter can fulfill your needs. These generators are much smaller and easier to maneuver around compared to large inverters and portable generators. They can give you peace of mind knowing that you will have some backup power in the case of an emergency. It is important to be aware that these generators will only power a few appliances and utilities when they are being used.

Installing a New Generator

If you have decided on purchasing a standby generator for your home, Westridge Electric can help install and maintain your generator. Contact us for a quote or any inquiries.