A Guide to Buying a Standby Generator | Ravinia Plumbing
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Buying a Standby Generator

Buying a Standby Generator

The weather is warming. The days are getting longer. Welcome to spring! But in addition to those positives, the advent of spring also means thunderstorms. And while that is good for the grass and garden, it could lead to power outages. That means spoiled food, no lights, loss of power to electronics and appliances, inability to charge your electric vehicle, etc. How do you prevent that? Consider buying a standby generator.

A standby generator is installed permanently (preferably by a professional) in your home. While they can be pricey ($3,000 to $6,000), they kick on automatically during a power outage. In comparison, portable generators cost less than standby generators but are really designed for smaller spaces and not the entire home, and they don’t turn on automatically. 

The Benefits of Standby Generators

  • They turn on due to any power loss caused by thunderstorms, extreme heat or cold, or power surges.
  • They start right away, thus avoiding spoiled food, no lights, loss of power to electronics, etc. 
  • They work constantly – 24/7 in all types of weather.
  • They provide cost savings because there will be no spoilage. And you won’t have to be forced to check into a hotel waiting for the power to come back on. Plus, having a standby generator could lower your insurance premiums.
  • Increased productivity – you can keep doing what you have been doing.
  • Comfort – you rely on electricity to run your furnace and air conditioning system.
  • Convenience – you can just keep living your life as if nothing happened. 
  • Easy to maintain – they require very little maintenance.

Buying a Standby Generator

Here are things to consider when purchasing a standby generator.

Determine size requirements

Sizes range from 5,000 to 20,000 watts. Bigger is not necessarily better; it is just more expensive. You want a unit that can power your home, but not more. Therefore, you need to know the number of watts required to run your home. Here are some rules of thumb:

  • Refrigerator: 700 watts
  • Sump pump: 750-1,500 watts
  • Central air conditioning system: 3,000-5,000 watts
  • Portable heater: 1,500 watts
  • Window AC unit: 1,000 watts
  • Lights: 60-600 watts
  • Computers: 60-300 watts
  • Home security system: 100 watts
  • Smartphone charger: 20 watts

Pick a fuel type

Standby generators can run on propane or natural gas. Propane will require a tank (and you could conceivable run out). If it runs on natural gas, it can be connected to your gas line if your gas meter and gas line are the correct sizes, thus eliminating the concern about “running out.”

Remote monitoring

Some manufacturers now have Wi-Fi options on their home standby generators, so you can monitor your generator when you are not in the house. 


Make sure you get a maintenance agreement when you purchase your standby generator. These not only will ensure your generator is maintained properly but can provide remote access capabilities so your unit is monitored 24/7.

Ravinia Plumbing, Sewer, Heating & Electric Can Help You with a Standby Generator

Ravinia Plumbing can be your source for a standby generator. We carry and install most major brands and offer free one-year maintenance, including optional remote monitoring, with a purchase. We’ve been in business since 1928, and we’ve made a name for ourselves as one of the most trusted and reliable plumbing, sewer, heating and cooling, and electrical companies in Chicagoland. Click here for more information about standby generators, or contact Ravinia Plumbing to request an appointment.

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Lincolnshire, IL 60069
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