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What is an Emergency Power Generator?


The global emergency generator market is valued at over $7 billion!

Clearly, a lot of people worldwide are investing in these machines. Are you thinking about joining them?

Do you know the critical features of emergency power generators? Do you understand the importance of regular emergency power and generator inspection?

In this guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about emergency power generators.

What Is an Emergency Power Generator?

An emergency power generator (sometimes known as a standby generator or backup generator) is a device that provides electricity during a power outage. It is an independent source of electrical power that comes on automatically when a building’s main power goes out.

How Does an Emergency Generator Work?

An emergency generator goes through the following steps during a power outage:

  • Outage Detection: The system relies on an automatic transfer switch (ATS), which continuously monitors the utility power. When the ATS detects a power outage, it disconnects your home’s electrical load from the failing utility grid.
  • Generator Startup: The ATS then sends a signal to the generator to start its engine. The engine uses fuel to combust and create mechanical power.
  • Electricity Generation: The generator is connected to an alternator, which converts the mechanical power from the engine into usable alternating current (AC) electricity.
  • Supplying Backup Power: The ATS then safely transfers your home’s electrical load from the utility grid to the generator. This allows essential appliances and systems to continue functioning.
  • Returning to Utility Power: Once the utility power is restored, the ATS detects the presence of stable voltage. It then automatically switches the electrical load back to the utility grid and signals the generator to shut down.

Why Do You Need an Emergency Power Generator?

There are several reasons why homeowners should invest in emergency power generators, whether or not they live in an area that experiences frequent power outages. Some of the top reasons to use a generator are listed below:

Increase Safety

With working lights, you can avoid the hazards of navigating in darkness (including trips, falls, and other injuries). This is especially important for those who require mobility assistance or have young children in the house.

For individuals who rely on life-support equipment at home, a standby generator can also ensure these devices don’t get interrupted.

Prevent Property Damage

During long-term power outages, your home can experience significant damage. For example, a pipe may freeze and burst, or food may spoil in the refrigerator. You could easily spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars recovering from this property damage if you don’t have an emergency generator installed.

Enhance Security

Many homes these days have alarm systems, cameras, and other security technology that rely on electricity to function. If your electricity isn’t working because of a power outage, you and your family are more vulnerable to theft, vandalism, and other criminal activities. 

Increase Convenience

Don’t forget about the added convenience that emergency generators offer. You rely on electricity all day, every day. With a generator, you don’t have to worry about finding workarounds because you’ll have access to power when needed.

Critical Features of Emergency Power Generators

Before you invest in an emergency power generator, you must understand the key elements of these devices and how they work. The following are some of the most critical features of emergency power generators to consider:

  • Power Output: A generator’s power output is measured in watts (W) or kilowatts (kW). It tells you the amount of electrical power the generator can produce, as well as the specific appliances and equipment it can power. 
  • Fuel Type: Emergency generators can be powered by various fuels, including gasoline, diesel, propane, and natural gas.
  • Automatic Transfer Switch: An automatic transfer switch (ATS) automatically switches the electrical load from the utility grid to the generator when a power outage occurs and back again when power is restored.
  • Runtime: Runtime refers to how long the generator can run on a full fuel tank. When choosing a generator, it is crucial to consider the expected duration of power outages in your area.
  • Safety Features: To ensure safe operation, consider generators with safety features like overload protection, carbon monoxide (CO) detection, and low oil shutdown.

How to Maintain an Emergency Power Generator

Once you’ve chosen a generator, you must take steps to maintain it. Simple steps can go a long way toward keeping your generator running smoothly. Here are some of the most important ones to take:

Change the Oil and Filter Regularly

Regular oil and oil filter changes keep your generator functioning correctly. A good rule of thumb is to change the oil and filter after 500 hours of use or once a year. 

Use Clean, Quality Fuel

Make sure you’re using the correct fuel for your particular generator. If you’re not sure what to use, check the user manual before heading to the store.

Keep the Surrounding Area Clean

Wherever your generator is installed, make sure the surrounding area stays clean. Sweep it regularly to prevent dust, dirt, and debris from building up. Consider an enclosure to protect it from the elements, too.

Schedule an Emergency Power and Generator Inspection

An annual emergency power and generator inspection can help you identify potential problems with your generator before they have a chance to escalate (and become more difficult and more expensive to fix). Schedule a yearly service to ensure your generator works as it should when you need it the most.

Final Thoughts

Are you interested in using an emergency generator to power your home to outages? If so, it’s critical that you partner with a reputable installer and choose a high-performing brand to get the most out of your investment.

That’s where our team at Premier Generators comes in.

We are the number one Generac generator dealer in Tennessee, as well as the leaders in new Generac home standby generator sales and installations. We understand the critical features of emergency power generators and are eager to share our knowledge with you.

Whether you need help selecting a generator or are looking for emergency power and generator inspection services, we’re here for you. Contact us today to learn more.What is an Emergency Power Generator?