Home generators provide homeowners with peace of mind whenever a power outage strikes. When your home loses electricity, a whole-home generator automatically switches on and powers your HVAC system, security system, and appliances. In an emergency, whole-home generators are the best standby devices to supply electricity for an extended period of time. These are five things homeowners should consider before installing a whole-home generator.

Wattage Needs

The size and cost of the whole-home generator you choose to install will depend on your home’s power usage. You will want to assess what home systems and appliances are crucial to keep running constantly, even during an outage. Using a wattage calculator, add the amount of power in watts to determine your electrical needs for a generator. Whole-home generators are available in several sizes measured in kilowatts.

Fuel Types

Whole-home generators can run on a few different types of fuel sources. The fuel source best for your standby generator is one that is readily available and easily stored for an extended time. Diesel and propane are great fuel options for a generator because they remain stable in fuel tanks for several months. Natural gas is a more cost-effective fuel delivered through pipelines to your home. Gasoline is commonly used for portable generators but is not a good fit for most whole-home generators.

Permits and Regulations

Homeowners should follow the local rules and regulations related to installing a generator. Depending on where you live, permits are likely to connect a whole-home generator to your electrical system. Your city may require an additional permit if you are connecting your generator to your gas line. If you are a member of a homeowner’s association (HOA), you may also need their approval before starting the installation process.


The next thing to consider is the installation site for your generator. Whole-home generators are permanent installations and investments, so their location matters. You should place your generator on solid ground near your main electrical panel but far enough for its exhaust to not pose a hazard. You may need to landscape and move items in your yard to prepare for the installation.

Professional Installation

For the expert installation, you should hire a qualified professional with specialized knowledge and experience. They can help you choose a standby generator that is best suited for your home’s electrical needs. A contractor can also guide homeowners through obtaining permits and the general maintenance required for the type of generator you select.

Choosing a great contractor will better ensure that your whole-home generator is installed safely and securely. After all, generators should provide you and your household with reliable power and security in case of an emergency. So keep these precautions in mind for reassurance down the line.