Read the Latest Insights on Standby Generator Maintenance, Emergency Power Planning, and Protecting Your Home & Business

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If you’re in the market for a generator, it can become easy to feel overwhelmed by the various options. We’ll break down the important differences between standby and backup generators so you’ll have the information you need to make the most informed decision.

So stop losing sleep worrying about an impending outage or dreading the next one. Instead, learn more about how standby and backup generators can provide you with the assurance and peace of mind you’re looking for so that you can rest easy again. 

Standby Generators

Standby generators, as their name suggests, are quite literally standing by, ready to serve you in the case of an outage. Their systems are perpetually in this standby mode, and they carefully monitor power around the clock. When a power failure is detected, they’ll signal their engine to start up immediately, without disrupting operations.

These powerful machines are designed to provide electricity automatically, and to provide a reliable, steady source of power with little to no disruptions. Most will “exercise” themselves at regular intervals for approximately ten minutes at a time to lubricate their engines, charge their batteries, and run a diagnostic check.

Standby generators typically work for up to a few hours at a time, and will naturally cool down when they’re not in operation, so you can carry out maintenance activities without disrupting the power supply. It’s very important that you conduct regular maintenance checks to ensure that your generator is running safely and effectively.

So what does all this mean on a practical level?

When you purchase a standup generator, you’re making an investment in convenience and peace of mind. You can rest assured knowing that wherever you are when the power goes out, your generator will turn on by itself, keeping your home or business up and running.

That said, the cost of convenience and comfort is reflected in the price tag, and a standup generator will cost you more than a backup option. However, these powerful machines are a well-worth-it investment, providing up to fifteen years of reliable power and peace of mind with relatively low up-keep.

Backup Generators

Backup generators, aka portable generators, are not permanent installations, rather, they are intended to provide temporary backup power on an as-needed basis.

They do not offer automatic outage detection, as do their standby counterparts. Instead, when an outage occurs, the generator’s engine must be started manually, so you need to be on-site to get it up and running. Power is then created by setting up extension cords directly from the generator to any desired appliances.

In addition, since most portable generators are powered by gas, you’ll need to periodically refill them so that they can continue to provide you with power when you need it.

So what does all this mean on a practical level?

Although backup generators are more inexpensive than standbys, they will require manual operation and more close monitoring to work properly.

Selecting the right generator will largely depend on your unique needs, so before making a selection, think through what your budget will allow, but also be sure not to compromise on what’s most important: your comfort, safety, and peace of mind.

Interested in learning more about the right generator for your home or business? Then get in touch for a free generator assessment and an expert technician can help make recommendations of the best generator for your unique needs.



Kristopher Schwind is the proud owner of National Standby Repair.