How to Choose the Best Whole-House Generator for Winter Outages?

Image for Snow-covered house

Power outages caused by snow are a common issue in Illinois. Small gas generators are handy, but they usually can only power a few items at a time. Having a Whole House Generator is great for saving more than the food in your fridge. Generators can power other important appliances like sump pumps, air conditioners, furnaces, and important medical equipment. Generators aren’t just great for keeping your lights on, they can also add value to your home. If you’re considering a whole house generator before intense winter weather hits, then trust the generator experts at Edelman to help you find the best generator for your home. 

Factors to Consider When Purchasing a Whole House Generator 

A whole house generator is like any appliance, it’s a large purchase that should not be considered lightly. Many people think that the size of the generator depends on the size of the house. Not true. Instead, you should consider these other factors instead when comparing generators.

How Many Appliances It Will Be Running

Before purchasing a generator, make a list of all the appliances that need to run when the power goes out. Sump pumps, furnaces, and refrigerators require much more energy than a personal computer or a cell phone charger. Energy is measured in watts, and most manuals will tell you how much energy your appliances consume when running. Not only do you need running energy, but if your appliances have a motor you’ll also need to make sure that your generator will be able to start up your appliances. These appliances need 3 times as much running power to start up. 

Once you’ve made a list of all the necessary appliances you’ll need to keep running during a power outage, figure out how much energy you’ll need to run them all. You’ll want a generator that can power all of these things, plus a little extra to be safe. 

Type Of Fuel

When it comes to fueling your generator, you have a few options to choose from. Most generators are fueled by diesel gasoline, natural gas, or liquid propane. Diesel fuel is the most inexpensive, but it is notorious for being difficult to light in cold weather. Remember that your generator will need to be outside, and going outside to add more fuel to your generator might not be ideal in extreme weather. 

Most people who buy a whole house generator opt to tap into their local gas line and power their generator with natural gas. However, if you do not have a local gas line accessible to you, then this is not an option. 

Liquid propane is another great and reliable option to fuel your generator, especially if a natural gas line is not available to you. Liquid propane is very resistant to low temperatures, and a propane whole-house generator will activate quickly and reliably as long as your propane supplies are stored in an insulated tank.

Whole House Generator Enclosures

Since whole house generators are not portable, they are operated and stored outside. To protect your generator from debris and water, it’s best to make sure they are properly enclosed in an insulated steel or plastic composite housing. Generators, even whole-house generators are very noisy when running. If your generator is installed very close to your house, or you have very close neighbors, consider getting a specialized sound-attenuating enclosure, which will effectively muffle generator noise.

Automatic Transfer

You have two options when it comes to how to turn your generator on. You can flip a switch manually, or have your generator start automatically. The generator experts at Edelman highly recommended opting for the automatic transfers even though it’s more expensive. If you are not home when the power goes out, your generator will automatically kick on. Without it, you may come home to find you have no power and a fridge full of rotten food. 

Contact Edelman to Learn More About Whole House Generators

Need to keep the power on this winter? Our team can help you find the ideal-sized generator for your home. We install dependable Generac whole house generators to keep you and your family comfortable and safe even during the worst snowstorms this year. 


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