Backup Generator Installations – Key Takeaways

  • Whole house generators provide a seamless power supply during outages, safeguarding your home against disruptions.
  • Portable generators are a flexible solution for temporary power outages, suitable for less critical needs.
  • Post-warranty maintenance is crucial for the longevity and reliability of your generator, requiring regular check-ups and preventive care.
  • Generac and Honeywell offer different levels of support after the warranty period, with various options for maintenance and service.
  • Understanding the differences between Generac and Honeywell support can help you make informed decisions on maintaining your generator post-warranty. (Note: Generac took over the Honeywell branded generators in 2011. Backup generators are still sold under the Honeywell brand name)
  • My Home Electrician our technicians are well-versed and have done many backup generator installs. We’re happy to talk with you and help you in Denton County, Collin County and north of Dallas Fort Worth.

2 Types of Installed Backup Generator Systems. Which Is Right for You?

The first type is permanently installed whole house generator systems. The most recognizable generator manufacturers are Generac and Honeywell. These systems are individually designed around your home’s power usage. They run automatic maintenance checks and their biggest benefit, they automatically turn on in the event of a power outage.
It is the most “hands free” system we install. Most of our clients that choose this system appreciate the convenience of not needing to touch a thing during a power outage. For our other clients with physical disabilities or other physical limitations, this goes beyond convenience and is a necessity. Whole home backup generators keep life essential medical systems and medical equipment running to keep people alive. Average pricing for these automated systems varies greatly on the size of your home and individual home power usage. Most systems I installed in the range of $15,000 to $20,000.
On the extreme opposite side of this, are the manual generator systems. Manual modular portable backup generators use minor UL Listed modification to their existing main electrical panel and the use of a generator inlet box on the exterior of the home.
In the event of power outage, simply roll out your modular mobile generator, plug it into the inlet box, fire up your generator, and move the installed panel switch into the “On” position (which disconnects the main utility service) and you now have the majority of your plugs and lights back in the game. For clients that simply need the peace of mind, knowing that the food in their fridge/freezer will keep, your router/internet will work if you work from home or just desire you and your children to have streaming access, your lights will stay on, and the majority of your plugs will still function…this fits the bill for their needs. Average pricing for these manual generator installations ranges between $700 and $1,500.
For For most of our clients, they fall into one of these two camps.

Maximizing Whole House Generators

Whole house generators are a game-changer when it comes to maintaining power during an outage. They kick in automatically, often within seconds of losing electricity, and can power everything from your lights to your heating system. But to ensure they’re ready when you need them, understanding their mechanics and the benefits they offer is key.

The Mechanics of Whole House Generators

Whole house generators are connected to your home’s electrical panel and powered by an external fuel source, such as natural gas, propane, or diesel. They’re equipped with an automatic transfer switch that detects a power loss, activates the generator, and then switches the electrical load to the generator.

This seamless transition is what makes whole house generators so valuable. Unlike portable generators, there’s no manual setup or refueling in the dark. You can continue with your daily routine, barely noticing there’s a power outage.

Real-Life Benefits During an Outage

Imagine a storm knocks out power in your neighborhood. With a whole house generator, your lights stay on, your refrigerator keeps running, and your HVAC system continues to regulate your home’s temperature. This isn’t just about comfort; it’s about safety and preventing loss. Medications that require refrigeration are protected, and home security systems remain active.

Moreover, for those who work from home or have medical equipment that requires electricity, a whole house generator isn’t just convenient—it’s a necessity. It ensures that life goes on uninterrupted, no matter what’s happening outside.

But what about situations where a whole house generator might be overkill? This is where portable generators shine.

Portable Generator Advantages for Temporary Outages

Portable generators are a versatile and cost-effective solution for short-term power outages. They’re perfect for powering essential appliances, like refrigerators and lights, and they’re easy to store when not in use. Plus, you can take them with you for camping trips or tailgating, making them a multi-use investment.

Scenarios: When a Portable Generator Makes Sense

Consider a portable generator if you experience infrequent outages or if you’re on a tight budget. They’re also ideal for homes where the power grid is generally reliable or for those who only need to power a few critical devices during an outage. A portable generator keeps your food fresh, your phones charged, and your lights on without the higher cost of installing a whole house system.

Essential Maintenance Beyond the Warranty

Regardless of the type of generator you own, maintenance doesn’t stop when the warranty expires. In fact, that’s when your role becomes even more crucial. Regular upkeep is the key to ensuring your generator is ready to go when you need it most.

Preventive Care for Generators

Preventive maintenance for generators typically includes routine checks of the battery, oil levels, and filters. It’s also important to run your generator periodically to ensure it’s functioning properly. By staying on top of these tasks, you can catch and fix small issues before they become big problems.

How Regular Service Ensures Longevity

Regular service goes beyond the basics of preventive care. It involves professional inspections of the fuel system, engine, exhaust, and electrical components. This thorough approach not only extends the life of your generator but also ensures it operates efficiently and safely, providing peace of mind that it won’t fail you during an emergency.

Comparing Generac and Honeywell Post-Warranty Support

When the warranty on your generator expires, you’re faced with a critical question: how do you ensure it continues to operate smoothly and reliably? Generac and Honeywell, two leading generator manufacturers, approach post-warranty support with unique service plans and maintenance options. Let’s dive into what they offer.

Generac’s Approach to Customer Care Post-Warranty

Generac, known for its robust and reliable generators, provides comprehensive service options even after your warranty has lapsed. They offer extended warranties that can be purchased to prolong the coverage period. If you prefer not to extend, their Customer Support team is helpful and we at My Home Electrician are ready to help you in Denton County, Collin County, and north of Dallas Fort Worth.

Besides that, Generac’s website is a treasure trove of resources, including user manuals, troubleshooting guides, and FAQs that can help you handle minor issues on your own. For more complex problems, their network of dealers and certified service providers ensures that professional help is never too far away.

Honeywell’s Service Solutions After Warranty Expiry

Honeywell, on the other hand, partners with a network of service providers who offer maintenance agreements to keep your generator in top condition. These agreements typically include annual inspections and tune-ups, which are essential to prevent unexpected failures.

Even without a maintenance agreement, Honeywell supports its customers with a variety of resources. We at My Home Electrician are a trusted resource to help you with your Honeywell backup generator. Honeywell’s online portal provides access to product manuals and warranty information to guide your maintenance decisions.

Most importantly, when choosing between Generac and Honeywell look at the warranty that fits your preferred style, the cost of maintenance agreements, and the complexity of the services offered.. My Home Electrician licensed techs are here to service you in your area. This ensures you’re never left in the dark during a power outage.

Uninterrupted Living: Generators in Action

Let’s face it, power outages can happen at any time, and they’re more than just an inconvenience—they can disrupt your life. That’s why having a generator is about ensuring uninterrupted living. Whether it’s a whole house generator that kicks in without you lifting a finger or a portable generator you can start with a pull-cord, the goal is the same: to keep the lights on and your life on track.

Securing Your Home Against Power Variability

Generators do more than just provide power during a complete outage; they also protect against power variability. Voltage fluctuations and surges can damage sensitive electronics. A generator ensures a consistent power supply, safeguarding your appliances and devices from the unpredictable nature of the grid.

FAQ

As we wrap up, let’s tackle some common questions about post-warranty generator support and maintenance.

What Should I Consider When the Warranty on My Generator Expires?

When your generator’s warranty expires, there are several key factors to consider. Firstly, assess the condition of your generator and any service history to determine if it might need repairs soon. Second, explore service options from your manufacturer or My Home Electrician technicians to keep it in top shape. Third, consider the cost of potential repairs or replacement parts without warranty coverage. Finally, weigh the benefits of purchasing an extended warranty or maintenance plan to manage future costs.

It’s also wise to familiarize yourself with the signs of wear and tear so you can anticipate issues before they arise. Regularly inspecting your generator for any abnormalities can save you from unexpected breakdowns. And always remember, the manufacturer’s guidelines are there to help you maximize the lifespan of your generator.

Here’s a quick checklist to help you stay on track:

  • Review the generator’s service history and current condition.
  • Research local service providers and compare maintenance plans.
  • Consider the costs of repairs without warranty coverage.
  • Check for the option to purchase an extended warranty.
  • Stay proactive with regular inspections and care.

How Often Should I Service My Generator Post-Warranty?

Regular servicing is the heartbeat of a generator’s longevity, especially post-warranty. Generally, you should service your generator at least once a year, but more frequent checks are recommended if you use it often or if it’s subjected to harsh conditions. Keep an eye on the basics between services—like oil, filters, and battery—and run your generator for a short period every month to ensure it’s in working order.

Can I Extend the Warranty on My Generac or Honeywell Generator?

Yes, both Generac and Honeywell offer options to extend your warranty. These extensions can provide additional years of coverage, giving you peace of mind and potentially saving on future repair costs. Check with your manufacturer for the specifics, as terms and conditions can vary. It’s a good investment if you want to minimize the risks of costly repairs down the line.

What Are the Typical Costs Associated with Generac and Honeywell Support?

The costs for post-warranty support from Generac and Honeywell can vary widely based on the type of service or maintenance plan you choose. On average, you might expect to pay anywhere from $200 to $500 for an annual maintenance contract. Individual services, such as repairs or parts replacements, will have separate costs depending on the issue at hand.

Is it Worth Investing in a Whole House Generator?

A whole house generator is a significant investment, but it’s worth considering if you live in an area with frequent power outages or have critical power needs. The upfront cost can be substantial—ranging from a few thousand dollars to over ten thousand—but the benefits of uninterrupted power can far outweigh this initial expense. It’s not just about convenience; it’s about ensuring your safety, preserving your food, and protecting your home from the risks associated with power outages.

Before making a decision, evaluate your power needs, the stability of your local grid, and the potential costs of power loss to your home. If you decide to move forward, remember that proper maintenance will be key to your generator’s performance and longevity.

Ultimately, whether you opt for a whole house generator or a portable model, the goal is to ensure you’re prepared at the level you decide for any power outage. With the right maintenance and support, your generator can be a reliable safeguard for your home for many years to come.