Why Do I Need a Whole Home Generator?

By Lyle Weischwill | Nov. 07, 2023 9:00 pm PST

Image of a Cummins whole-home standby back-up generator.

Updated November 7, 2023.

No matter where you live, you’re always at risk for loss of electrical power.

Due to severe thunderstorms, hurricanes, tornadoes, wild fires, heat waves, extremely cold weather and other factors, homeowner’s faced an average of 8 hours of outages in 2020 according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Prepare Now to Avoid Losing Power in Your Home

You typically don’t even think about power outages until you experience one. Once you’re without power, you’ll encounter many problems that you’ll wish you could avoid—unless you have a whole house back-up generator.

Prepare now for potential power outages by scheduling a free in-home consultation with a home generator expert. We’ll examine your home’s power needs and provide back-up power supply solutions that will fit your budget.

Reasons Why You Need a Whole Home Back-Up Generator

Dealing with an extended power outage can be extremely difficult when you’re faced with the following issues.

You Live in a Severe Climate Area

Homeowners in Florida have become accustomed to dealing with hurricanes and tropical storms during recent years. Texans face rolling blackouts during the hot summer months.

When you live in an area that challenges the electrical power grid with severe storms, extremely hot summers or harsh winters, you’ll want to protect your home and family with a back-up generator. When your home loses utility power, the whole home back-up generator will automatically kick in and supply power to keep the air conditioner or furnace working so your family stays safe.

A Power Outage Can Cause Severe Health Risks

When you store medication in the fridge or a family member depends on electrically powered health care devices, you’ll want to protect your family’s health with a back-up generator. A whole home generator will provide an uninterrupted power supply when a grid power outage occurs.

In climates that encounter extreme heat or cold weather, keeping the air conditioner or furnace operating during a power outage is essential to survival. Keep your family safe and comfortable during power outages by powering your HVAC system with a back-up generator.

You Have a Ground Well Water System and/or Septic Tank

Being without electricity during a power outage is bad enough. When you have a well water supply, a power outage can also knock out your water supply. Keep your well pump running using a back-up generator.

You definitely don’t want to face septic tank problems during a power outage. Keep septic system pumps and components working during a power outage by installing a whole-house back-up generator.

Your Basement Needs the Sump Pump to Prevent Flooding

Lack of electrical power can cause your basement to flood when you depend on a sump pump to keep it dry. Avoid expensive water damage to your home by installing a whole home generator to automatically kick in and keep the sump pump running when a storm knocks out power.

Image of flooded basement in a home

You Work From Home or Run a Home-Based Business

Avoid work interruptions and loss of revenue by using a whole home generator to provide a seamless electrical supply to your home and business. Having electricity during an extended utility power outage to run your business or keep working at home will prevent financial hardships that can happen during blackouts.

Prevent Problems in a Vacation or Vacant Rental Home

Property damage can occur in a vacation or rental home when power outages occur and nobody is there to deal with potential problems. Keep remote properties safe and secure by adding a back-up generator.

You can remotely monitor a Cummins back-up generator so you’ll know that power is available and working properly at all your properties. It will also notify your Cummins dealer if any problems occur.

Increase the Value of Your Home

Installing a whole home back-up generator doesn’t just prevent problems, it also increases the value of your home. You can typically see your home’s value increase by about half the amount of your generator investment.

Adding a back-up generator to your home when you live in an area prone to severe weather or black-outs/brown-outs can also be a significant advantage when you get ready to sell your home.

Frequently Asked Questions About Stand-By Home Generators

Can I Install a Whole Home Generator Myself?

You’ll need to have a professional install a whole home back-up generator to comply with electrical and building codes. The generator needs to be installed on a solid and level foundation and electrical connections need to be faultless to avoid problems and dangers. Fuel supply connections must also be properly and safely connected to avoid fire and explosion dangers.

Avoid warranty issues and safety problems by having a whole home generator installed by a professional contractor.

How Does a Whole House Generator Work?

A whole house generator uses an automatic transfer switch to detect a utility power outage. When the transfer switch senses the utility power outage, it starts the back-up generator and shifts the power supply from utility company power lines to the back-up generator power lines. When utility company power returns, the transfer switch shuts off the generator and shifts the power supply source back to the utility power wires. See more about how a transfer switch and a whole house generator work in these Sears Home Services articles:

What Type of Fuel Does a Whole House Generator Use?

Homes that have a dependable supply of natural gas even when electrical power goes out will be connected to that fuel source. Homes that use a Propane tank to supply the house with gas will use the LP gas supply from the Propane tank to power the generator. All-electric homes will typically need to have a Propane tank installed to provide the backup generator with fuel.

How Much Does a Whole Home Back-up Generator Cost?

The average cost of having a whole-home back-up generator professionally installed in your home is typically between $12,000 and $30,000. The generator by itself often costs between $7,000 and $20,000 depending on the size and type that you choose. Professional installation typically costs between $5,000 and $10,000 in most areas.

Image of whole house backup generator of large size

What Size of Home Generator Do I Need?

The size of generator you choose depends on how much power you need. You’ll need to decide whether you want to back up all electrical devices in your home or just select appliances. Choosing the right size of generator typically comes down to your budget and how comfortable you want to be during an electrical outage.

See specific tips on how to decide what size of back-up generator to install in our article What Size of Back-Up Generator Do I Need?

Once you have an idea of what you need, schedule a free appointment with our Sears Home Services Generator Consultant to find the right Cummins Whole House Generator to fit your needs.

Get a free in-home consultation

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