Gas powered generators are on the rise. And we’re not surprised – while it might need a little technical work to install upfront (by a professional), a gas generator can provide a more cost-effective backup power solution for homeowners on gas mains.
Here we answer your questions about gas-powered generators:
How does a gas generator work?
A gas-powered home backup generator works like a normal backup generator. If there’s a power outage, the generator turns on automatically and delivers backup power to your property – all within just seconds.
Plus, because it happens automatically, you don’t have to be there to flip the switch. So your appliances, such as fridge/freezers, will keep running even if you’re not at home. Read more about a gas generator.
So how is it different?
The difference is that this generator is connected to your existing natural mains gas supply. So there’s no need to keep petrol or diesel fuel on hand or worry about whether the fuel will run out.
You also have the option of running the generator from a bottled LP gas supply – however this is less popular than using mains gas, as it is less convenient and can be more costly.
What kind of power can I expect?
It depends on the generator. In the Australian market, the leaders for gas generators for home backup or small business backup are Generac. Their auto-start gas-powered generators range from 8 kVA to 13 kVA.
For most standard homes, 8 kVA to 13 kVA is a suitable size; it will keep your critical hard-wired systems running such as security systems and will run all your essentials throughout the home, e.g. your lights, fridges, freezer, computer, television, fans, kitchen appliances etc. When you start adding larger wattage appliances on top (e.g. Washing Machines, Dryers, Air Conditioners etc.), then you may need a larger unit. Again, 8 to 13kVA will work for most homes, but it depends on your particular home and the appliances. Some larger appliances like central air-con and heating units may need to be assessed on a case by case basis.
We recommend you engage a qualified electrician to undertake a power reading on your home / small business premises to find out what size generator you need.
What happens when the mains power resume?
If your gas-powered generator has an automatic transfer switch (like the Generac models), it will simply switch back when mains power resumes. The Generac models will also self-test weekly (without shutting off power).
How is it installed?
Gas-powered generators have to be installed by a qualified electrician and plumber, as certain building regulations must be met; A licensed plumber for the installation/sign-off, and an electrician for the Transfer Switch.
A professional will be able to work out the logistics of installing a standby generator in your home and connecting to the gas line.
We can recommend a professional installer in your local area, so please call us if you would like help in that regard; 1300 400 122.
Where is it installed?
A gas-powered backup generator is installed outside, like your central air conditioner unit. The transfer switch is located next to the main breaker box.
But don’t worry, even though it’s outside, you won’t have to worry about braving the elements to switch anything on or off; in the case of the Generac range; it all happens automatically.
Will the generator be noisy?
Generally, no. Most domestic standby generators are designed for home use, which means the noise level is very muffled. For example, the Generac range emits only 60 db(A) at normal operating load; this is about the same as an idling car or air conditioning unit.
Which should I choose?
That depends on your power needs, budget and other factors. Diesel and Petrol backup generator units are still very popular; particularly for people who aren’t on mains gas.
But if you have access to mains gas, then Auto-Start Gas Powered Generators are a very compelling proposition; once you have one professionally installed, you can set and forget, knowing that backup power to your home will always be there – instantly!