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What Size Generator Should I Buy for My House?

Choosing a Generator that Meets Your Needs

The most logical way to determine your generator need is to imagine your home without power. Dark, isn’t it? While some blackouts are short or lasting for only a few hours, there are others that could last for days or weeks. There are many questions that you can ask to determine which generator will work best for you. Start with what you think is essential for your family or what they would miss. If you are looking into a commercial backup generator, however, consider what you need to protect during a power outage. The very best way to understand your options and work within your budget is to schedule with Clinton Electric for your free in-home assessment from a licensed professional.

During your site survey and initial consultation, our Baltimore County generator technicians will provide you a detailed evaluation to find the best solution. Before we leave your house, our Lutherville-Timonium electricians make sure you understand your options, are clear about how a standby home generator can work for you, and email you a proposal with a complete up-front pricing breakdown.

Call us or contact us online for more information on choosing a generator.

Determining the Perfect Size of Generator for Your Home or Commercial Space

In the event of an outage, what do you want your generator to power? There are many sizes of generators available. A generator’s size is measured in kilowatts (kW). This number describes the maximum electrical output and determines how many appliances or circuits it can support.

Different devices require different levels of power. Some examples are as follow:

  • A refrigerator could need up to 1500 watts (1.5 kW) at startup
  • Central air is 5 kW
  • Your coffee maker is 1.8 kW

Auditing your needs requires us to add up all your load requirements, and match you with a generator that can handle all these.

Main Approaches to Protecting Your Property

There are three main approaches to protecting your property from power outages including the essential circuits, the managed whole house coverage, and the whole house generator with no load management. These three approaches vary depending on the specific needs of your property during a power outage.

Essential circuits (7-12 kW)

A 16 circuit automatic transfer switch is paired with a generator scaled to meet your needs. It ensures that you can continue using some of the most important appliances in your home with each circuit directly connected to a matched circuit on your main circuit breaker panel. This approach can keep the more important appliances such as your refrigerator and furnace running. When you prioritize specific circuits you protect the essentials even if your whole neighborhood is in the dark.

Managed Whole House Coverage (12-20 kW)

For more coverage or up to whole house coverage, you may pair a smaller generator unit with Evolution load shedding switch options. This load-shedding switch creates a managed power solution by turning off the non-essential circuits as the generator approaches maximum output. It may also cycle on and off depending on the amount of load you are using on your property.

Whole House Generator with No Load Management (20-48 kW)

If you wish to get your home or commercial space up and running without having to choose which circuit or appliances to prioritize, this whole house generator can provide you with the power backup supply that you need. This is usually a liquid cooled generator that produces enough power to cover the demand of your whole house.

Our Lutherville-Timonium electricians can provide a free, detailed estimate of all three options when on site. Call now to schedule an appointment at (410) 449-7292!

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See What Makes Us Unique!
  • Family Owned & Operated Since 1969

    Clinton Electric has proudly served the Baltimore area for half a century

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    Our team is equipped with specialized gear to handle nearly any electrical issue.

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    We'll arrive to your property in three hours or less once your service request is received!

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    Our courteous technicians are dedicated to treating you and your property with the utmost respect.