How to Choose a Backup Generator
Big storms are great for dropping buckets of rain, but could spell disaster if your power goes out. Wide-scale electrical failures do happen, often unexpectedly, but you can be prepared to keep the lights on and keep doing business as usual with a backup generator. Backup generators are not all the same, and your specific business’ electrical needs must be factored in when choosing the right generator to keep the lights on – even when the big storms hit. Here are the top 4 things to consider if you’re in the market for a backup generator:
- Identify the essential electrical systems and equipment that must stay on. This may include heating or cooling systems, ventilation, or industrial equipment. Whatever your mission critical systems are, identify them, and determine the amount of electrical energy they need to stay running on a backup electrical source. This will determine the size of your generator and help you factor in the costs to maintain and run a system of that size.
- Determine your preferred fuel source for the generator. Backup generators typically run on either diesel fuel or natural gas. Either fuel source has its advantages and disadvantages. To help pick the right fuel source to get the job done, consider consulting your preferred electrical contractor. The licensed Master Electricians at Capital City Electrical can schedule a complimentary generator consultation to walk you through the fuel options that would best suit your electrical backup needs and adhere to building codes and regulations.
- Nail down the size of the generator based on your electrical needs. Generators must be sized to fit your electrical system – remember one size does not fit all. Once you have determined the vital systems and equipment that have to be powered and the length of time they have to be powered for (i.e. during business hours or 24/7) then you can work with a trusted electrical contractor to select the right sized generator. Keep in mind that you will need more power to restart your electrical systems and equipment when the power fails than to continue operating them after the generator has kicked in.
- Determine any utility requirements or building codes. Just like with any electrical system, there may be permits needed during installation and codes that must be complied with. Before you commit to any backup system, work with both building or facility managers and a licensed electrical contractor to determine what appropriate steps must be taken to properly install and run a new generator. Generators should only be installed by qualified and licensed professionals who are well versed in building and electrical codes. Keeping the lights on during an electrical outage should not come at a cost – putting your employees’ safety at risk.