How to Choose a Generator
Life in the Bayou is beautiful, but sometimes our low, marshy land and hot, humid climate can gang up to create inhospitable living conditions. Our proximity to the Gulf of Mexico puts us right in the path of extreme weather and its associated high winds and heavy rainfall. This means power outages are just a part of life around here, and local homeowners need to have a way to keep the lights on when the power is out.
That’s where a generator comes in. Choosing the right generator for your home can be a confusing process, but Doug’s is here to help. Use this guide to help you decide what standby generator will work best for your needs.
There are 3 basic decisions to make when choosing the best generator for your home:
- Portable or Permanent
- Propane or Natural Gas
- Air-Cooled or Liquid-Cooled
Portable or Permanent
The first thing you need to decide on is whether you want a small, portable generator or a permanently installed whole house generator. You can pick up a portable generator at any hardware store for a low price, however it will use a lot of fuel and won’t be able to effectively power your whole home
A whole house generator, on the other hand, is tied in to your home’s power grid and automatically senses when you have an interruption in electrical service; it turns on and off as power is needed and is a lot more effective at powering your home. Because it’s a permanent fixture, you need a professional like Doug’s to install it.
Propane or Natural Gas
Your fuel source depends largely upon where you are in the Houma and Thibodaux area. If your home is further out in the country, you’ll probably want a propane-fueled generator with a fuel tank you can refill as needed. If you live closer to to town and your home is tied in to the local natural gas supply, you’ll be happier with a generator that’s fueled by natural gas.
There are also standby generators that can run on diesel or gasoline, however we don’t recommend them for this area, as their operation is noisy and inefficient, and the cost of fuel during a flooding or hurricane situation can be prohibitive.
Air-Cooled or Liquid-Cooled
Like any other motorized equipment, your generator’s motor is susceptible to overheating. Whole house generators come pre-equipped with a cooling system to prevent them from overheating. Whether you choose a liquid-cooled or air-cooled generator will depend largely on budget and where the generator itself will be installed.
An air-cooled generator relies on fans and exhaust, and so require a fair amount of space around them to ensure they have proper ventilation. They are less expensive than their liquid-cooled counterparts, but also tend to be less powerful and may not be able to supply as much power as you need, especially if you own a larger home.
A liquid-cooled generator relies in a radiator similar to what cools your car engine and needs less space for ventilation purposes. It is more expensive to install and maintain than an air-cooled generator, however it’s also more powerful, capable of powering not just large homes but also commercial properties.
Still Have Questions?
Using these guidelines can help you get an idea of the right standby generator to meet your home’s emergency power needs, but if you still have questions, just call Doug’s! We’re happy to help. (985) 746-1116