How to Prepare Your Home for a Generator

When it comes to making improvements on your home, you’ll probably think of updating your kitchen cabinets, re-staining your hardwood floors, or simply doing a paint job from top to bottom. But have you ever considered installing a backup generator from While the event of a power outage won’t happen to you every day, it does happen. Your home could lose power for any number of reasons, be it an ice storm, a heavy downpour, extreme winds, or even the accidental cutting of the power lines by the utility company.

Whatever the case may be, you would be able to carry on as usual and benefit from the ongoing operation and power of your home and its appliances with the use of a home generator. It’s always there when you need it, and it can come in handy to provide light, heat or cold, and keep all of your home’s appliances operational.

Before you bring in a generator into your home, make sure you take some steps to properly prepare your home for this very helpful and useful piece of equipment.

Determine How Much Load You Need

You don’t necessarily need the biggest generator out there that delivers the most amount of power at any one time. Before you decide which generator you need, determine what things you want your generator to power up, such as your furnace, air conditioner, fridge, stove/oven, electrical outlets, and lights. Once you know what needs to be powered up and how much power is needed to do so, you can figure out which generator you need.

Install a Transfer Switch

Generators aren’t just plugged into a wall outlet. If you do that, it can be dangerous. Instead, your home must be disconnected from the power grid before you can start a generator. If not, the electricity that is produced can travel beyond your home and enter the power grid, which could potentially injure or even kill utility personnel on the job.

As such, you should install a transfer switch which includes an electrical sub-panel equipped with a switch for every circuit that you need to be powered by your generator. This transfer switch will be directly wired to your home’s electrical service, and your generator will be plugged into this sub-panel. This will cut your home off from the grid.

Practice Installing Your Generator

Before the power goes out, practice sets up your generator and getting it running. You should do this a couple of times per year to get the hang of it so its second nature should disaster ever strike. Make sure you put the generator outside in a well-ventilated area at least a few feet away from your house, as carbon monoxide that is emitted from fuel can be dangerous.

Getting a generator for your home is a great idea, and can come in extremely handy should you ever experience a power outage, especially for a long period of time.