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How Does a Propane Generator Work and Do I Need One?

Date: September 30, 2019


Increasingly, power outages have become all too common for folks in many parts of the country, including Arizona. Power outages can happen throughout the year for a variety of reasons, including an overload of the electric grid and damaging storms.

Fortunately, there’s a solution available to you that keeps the power coming even when Mother Nature starts acting up — a whole house propane generator, available in varying sizes to power as much or as little as you need to keep your family and home safe and comfortable.

What exactly is a whole house generator?

A whole house generator is a permanent fixture connected to your home’s electrical system with its own fuel source, which is often propane. Basically, it looks like a central air conditioning unit with a cap on it.

The generator is designed to start automatically when you lose power from your utility –usually between 10-30 seconds after an outage. When utility power is restored, the generator will shut itself down. All of this happens whether or not you’re at home.

Benefits of a back-up generator

The biggest benefit to a whole house generator, of course, is that you’ll never be without power again. Being able to switch between the grid and generator power is a huge advantage.
Imagine never having to suffer through the inconveniences of a power outage again – no more unexpected nights at a hotel or friend’s house, no more spoiled food, no more loss of TV, phone or computer service, no sweaty nights without your air conditioner or cold nights without heat, The list goes on.

While an outage is an inconvenience for some people, it can be a matter of life or death for others: if someone in your home relies on medical equipment – a dialysis machine or nebulizer, for example – you simply can’t risk being without power. A whole house generator solves that potential crisis, keeping you and your loved ones safe in the event of a power emergency.

Whole-house propane generators vs. portable gasoline generators

While a whole house generator is more expensive than a portable generator, it offers distinct advantages, such as:

  • The fuel source for a whole house generator is either natural gas or propane gas, which means no more storing gasoline for a portable generator.
  • Since a whole house generator is permanently wired to your home, there’s no need for set up time or running countless extension cords.
  • A whole house generator is fully automatic, so it starts and powers your house within seconds after an outage – even when you aren’t home.
  • A whole house generator is fully enclosed, with a noise level of 62-67 dBA (a little louder than conversation in a restaurant) while a portable generator’s noise level can be as high as 80 dBA (about the volume of a garbage disposal).

By now it must be clear that a whole house propane generator can be a great asset that ensures home comfort and peace of mind during a power emergency. But how do you pick one that’s right for you, and what other factors do you have to consider before you decide?

We’ll dig into that with our next post.

In the meantime, feel free to contact your propane company. If they don’t install generators, they can probably refer you to someone who does.