What Size Generator Do I Need for My Florida Home? A Guide
If you’ve been searching the web for information on home generators, you’ve likely come across the advice to be sure and buy the “right size” equipment for your home. However, “size” doesn’t mean a generator’s physical dimensions. It refers instead to how much electrical power the generator can supply.
It’s an important distinction to understand, as a too-small generator likely won’t be able to put out enough energy to power your lights, appliances, and electronics adequately. An oversize unit can lead to what’s known as “wet stacking,” or a carbon buildup in the engine that causes power loss and home equipment damage.
David Gray Electrical is an authorized Generac dealer with over 40 years of experience installing and repairing standby and backup generators for Jacksonville, St. Augustine, and Florida’s First Coast homeowners.
Whole-Home vs. Partial-Home Power
You have four options when investing in a home generator:
- Whole-home generators
- Portable generators
- Backup generators
- Standby generator
Each model serves different purposes and has varying capacity levels.
For instance, a whole-home generator:
- Has a much larger capacity and supplies enough juice to power your entire home, including the HVAC system, electronics, water heater, and kitchen appliances.
- Is typically installed in a permanent location outside the house.
- Connects directly to the electrical panel.
- Requires professional installation and might need a permit.
Partial generators, on the other hand:
- Power only essential appliances or circuits like refrigerators, lights, and medical equipment.
- Can be portable or stationary.
- Are typically connected to specific circuits.
- Are often installed by a licensed electrician or the homeowner.
When it comes to cost, a whole-home generator is significantly higher in price. However, the benefits you enjoy generally make it a wise investment, particularly in hurricane-prone Florida.
How To Calculate Wattage
Calculating generator wattage for your Florida home is a relatively simple five-step process:
- List all home appliances and devices you want to receive consistent power during an outage.
- Look at each item’s label or owner manual to determine its starting and running wattage. You can also use a wattage meter to measure it.
- Find the total power you need during an outage by totaling up the running wattage of everything on your list.
- To calculate how much surge power you need to run for every piece of equipment simultaneously, add the highest starting wattage of all items on the list to the total from step 3.
- Select a generator that provides, at a minimum, the total surge power from step 4 and the total running power from step 3. Many experts recommend choosing a generator with a bit of extra power to ensure it’s equipped to handle any unexpected power surges.
Want an even easier way to calculate your home’s power needs? Generac offers an online tool that helps you estimate the right size generator more quickly. The electrical and generator professionals at David Gray Electrical can also help you find the right size generator for your needs.
Preparing for Florida Storms With Generators
Florida homeowners who invest in one or more generators enjoy numerous benefits, including:
- Continuous power: Generators provide uninterrupted power for lights, appliances, and other devices during outages caused by hurricanes and other destructive weather events.
- Comfort and security: A generator can power heating and cooling equipment essential during extreme climate conditions. It can also power medical devices needed for health and safety.
- Whole-house protection: This includes powering a sump pump to prevent flooding or a security system to deter potential looters.
Installing a generator can also increase a home’s value and lower home insurance rates.
Choose David Gray for Generator Services
Installing a generator at your Jacksonville, St. Augustine, or Florida’s First Coast home offers significant comfort and safety benefits, particularly during hurricanes and other severe storms.
David Gray Electrical has extensive experience and expertise in installing, repairing, and maintaining home generators of all sizes and types. We provide personalized customer service, ensuring you receive the most suitable equipment for your property’s requirements. You can rely on the Generac generators we install to be of the highest standard and give you the peace of mind you deserve during outages and other emergencies.