One of the most common questions we get is what size generator should I purchase. It’s really not that complicated. The summary is that not only can we get an exact read on what you need, it’s always smart give yourself a little flexibility, just in case.
First, the cost differential between at 16kW and 22kW Generac Generator (air cooled) is under $500. As an example Generac offers 16kW, 20 kW, 22 kW, 25 kW, 27kW, 30 kW, 32 kW, 36 kW and on. We carry all of these sizes. As you go up each size, the differential between sizes is pretty insignificant compared the installation cost. But when we use the 80/20 rule, 80% of our customers, based on standard home size, would qualify for a 22kW unit. A standard 3-4 bedroom home with traditional power needs works optimally with a 22kW.
The real cost of the generator is in the installation. With all of the plumbing for gas, electric, permits and man power, the biggest cost is the installation process. So, why choose a bigger generator? The answer is simple. To perfectly size a generator is difficult because nobody can predict your future generator needs and if you get a generator that’s too small, some appliance may not work when the generator turns on. We can spend our time tweaking the set to insure that most of the important appliance work, (this is called load shedding) but it may backfire in the long run. If you have a really small house, or only want a few things to run, it may be wise to get a smaller unit, but the majority of consumers in the US, with a 3-4 bedroom house, a 22kW will handle 100% of 80% of the households with traditional needs. If you are considering an expansion of your home, growing family or family members, putting in a jacuzzi or pool, or planning for the future growth of your energy needs, which few people do, it’s best to error on the side of caution but buying a more powerful unit. The cost to run and maintain it are the same, the only difference is the few extra hundred dollars on the unit itself.
Here’s the good news. Before you purchase, one of our techs will show up at your house and test your amperage (the “amps” your house is generating when each appliance is using when turned on) so they can get an exact reading of what size generator is right for your home. We can also look at the historical use of your power consumption via your energy bills. But, in our experience, your more likely than not, to end up in a 22kW anyway.
So if you consider yourself somewhat a somewhat normal power user, and don’t want to choose what works in your house and doesn’t work during an outage choose the standard size. Every time I experience an outage, which is often where we live, I don’t even realize it. No only is the generator pretty quiet, but everything in my house operates normally. The washing machine, dishwasher, HVAC units, we have 2, lights, TV’s etc. Everything works as if I am still on utility power. My actual usage at it’s peak is 17kW, but I purchased a 22kW because I did not know if what my future power needs are going to be and I did not want to choose what works and what’s turned off during an outage. The bottom line is that this can be an exact science. You can analyze the usage and match up the perfect size generator, but most of cannot predict the future, so it’s better to go the next size just in case. Kind of like buying a belt:)
Want to learn more, or have question, please contact us at (844) 487-4743