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How Much Does a Home Backup Generator Cost?

How Much Does a Home Backup Generator Cost?

Power outages can happen at any time for a variety of reasons, from severe weather to utility maintenance. Having a backup generator can provide peace of mind and ensure you and your family are prepared for these unexpected situations. There are many different types of home backup generators, and the cost varies. So, what type of generator should you choose? This article will help clear up all your doubts by detailing the different classifications of home backup generators, key factors that affect the price, and some useful tips in buying a generator. Keep reading and find out more!

What Is The Price Range For a Whole House Generator?

The price range for a whole house generator can vary depending on the size, features, and brand. Generally, a basic whole house generator can cost between $3,000 and $6,000. However, larger and more advanced models can cost upwards of $10,000 to $15,000 or more. The installation cost is not included in this price range and can vary depending on local codes and requirements.

What Affects the Cost of a Home Backup Generator?

The price of different generators varies so widely, and what affects the cost of installing a home backup generator? Here are five important factors you must consider:

Generator Size and Output Capacity

The size and output capacity of a generator are important determinants of its cost. Larger generators with higher output capacities tend to be more expensive. Therefore, the first thing to consider when purchasing is the size of the generator, which requires you to estimate the total watt-hours of the appliances you will be operating.

Generators Types

Different types of generators, such as portable, backup, or inverter generators, have different costs.

  • Portable Generators

Portable generators tend to be more cost-effective but have restricted power output and necessitate manual handling, including refueling every few hours. They also generate considerable noise, produce toxic and polluting gases, and are limited to outdoor use.

  • Portable Power Stations

Portable power stations are the most environmentally friendly and safe generators available today, and typically consist of lithium-ion batteries or LiFePO4 battery packs. The noise is small, and no harmful gas will be produced. Most of them use solar energy conversion technology, which uses solar panels to convert solar energy into electrical energy, which is environmentally friendly and clean.

  • Backup Generators

A backup generator is a permanent unit that installs in the switchboard and in the pipes of the house. It will start up immediately if the power goes out in the home, providing a higher level of convenience and power supply, but at a higher cost between 10,000-20,000 dollars.

  • Inverter Generators

Inverter generators are a type of portable power generator that uses advanced electronic circuitry to produce high-quality, stable, and clean AC power output. Unlike traditional generators, inverter generators use a three-step process to convert AC power into DC power, before finally converting it back to clean AC power. This process allows them to produce a high-quality power output that is suitable for sensitive electronics such as laptops, smartphones, and other electronic devices. They are generally quieter than traditional generators but can still produce a significant amount of noise, especially at higher loads.

Fuel Type for the Generator

The type of fuel your generator uses is another important factor that affects its cost. Common fuel choices include gasoline, diesel, natural gas and propane.

  • Gasoline

Gasoline is one of the most commonly used fuel types for generators. It's relatively easy to find and store, and it's usually the cheapest option. However, gasoline has short shelf life, and is volatile and flammable, so it needs to be stored safely and handled with care.

  • Diesel

Diesel fuel is often used in larger generators that are designed to provide backup power to commercial or industrial buildings or in remote areas. Diesel generators are more fuel-efficient and durable than gasoline generators.

  • Natural Gas

Natural gas is becoming an increasingly popular choice for powering generators due to its low cost and clean burning properties. It is less expensive than diesel. The downside is that natural gas requires a natural gas line, which may not be available in all areas.

  • Solar

Solar energy is increasingly becoming a practical choice for powering generators, thanks to technological advancements and the declining costs of solar panels and batteries. Silent and emission-free solar generators like the Anker 767 Solar Generator require no fuel. Thus, after an initial investment, little to no money is spent on fuel later on. Boasting a capacity of 2048Wh, the Anker 767 Solar Generator can also accommodate most electrical appliances.

Permits

Obtaining the permits required for generator installation is a critical step that can affect overall costs. Local building codes and regulations often require a permit to install a backup generator, and the associated costs can vary depending on the location and complexity of the installation, but generally range from $50-$200.

Installation

The installed cost of a generator can vary depending on factors such as the size of the generator, the complexity of the installation and its location. Generally speaking, installation costs are between $500-$3000.

DIY Generator Installation

The cost of a DIY backup generator installation can vary depending on several factors such as the size of the generator, the type of fuel it uses, the complexity of the installation, and the location of the home. Generally, a whole-house generator can cost anywhere from $2000 to $15,000. Other factors that can affect the cost of a DIY backup generator installation include the need for permits, the distance from the generator to the home's electrical panel, and the need for additional materials such as conduit and wiring. It is recommended to have an electrician review the installation plans to ensure they meet local codes and safety standards.

Professional Installation

The cost of professional backup generator installation can range $5000 to $20,000 based on several factors. However, professionals have the expertise and experience to handle complex installations, ensuring they are installed correctly and in compliance with safety standards and electrical codes. Plus, they offer warranty coverage that can save you time and effort.

Tips to Keep in Mind when Buying and Installing a Backup Generator

Purchasing and installing a home backup generator can be complicated. Here are some helpful tips to reduce your chances of errors and make things run more smoothly:

  • Determine Your Power Needs: Before purchasing a backup generator, evaluate your power needs. Think about the essential equipment and systems you want to keep running during a power outage. Calculate their power requirements to determine the right generator size for your needs.
  • Research Generator Types: There are different types of backup generators available, including portable generators, solar generatorsand more. Each type has its advantages and caveats. Research the pros and cons of each type to determine which is right for your requirements, budget and fuel availability.
  • Check the Fuel Types: Backup generators can be powered by a variety of fuels, such as gasoline, diesel, natural gas, or propane. It is important to select the right fuel type for your generator so that it can perform efficiently and safely.
  • Determine the Installation Location: The installation location for a backup generator is important because it needs to be close enough for fuel delivery and maintenance, but far enough away from any hazardous materials. It should also be located somewhere with easy access so that the generator can be checked frequently in case of a power outage.

Wrapping Up

In conclusion, the cost of a home backup generator can vary greatly depending on the size and type of generator chosen. While the initial cost may seem high, the investment in a backup generator can provide peace of mind and save homeowners from the inconvenience and potential dangers of extended power outages. It is important to carefully consider the power needs of your home and consult with a professional to determine the right generator for your specific situation. With proper installation and maintenance, a backup generator can provide reliable power for many years to come.

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