Being left without power in your home can be a pretty helpless feeling. If it’s in the Milwaukee winter, you might rightfully be worried about the cold and what it might do to your home. If it’s during the warmer months, you might quickly become uncomfortable in the heat and concerned about health-compromised loved ones. And at all times of the year, your cold and frozen food supply will be put in danger. Residential backup generators can alleviate all of these concerns by giving you access to power when your usual source is not available. 

People have many questions about backup generators and their capabilities. Below are some of the most common questions about residential backup generators, what they can do, and how to have them installed. 

What Are Backup Generators Used For? 

Backup generators are used to replace your electrical supply during power outages due to storms and blackouts caused by other events, such as downed transformers. Backup generators allow you to supply power to your home while your electricity is not working. 

Do Backup Generators Keep Heating & Cooling Systems Running?

Yes. In fact, this is one of the most valuable benefits of a backup generator, particularly in Milwaukee. Here, because our winter temperatures commonly dip into the single digits, it is essential to prevent pipes from freezing. The interior of your should never be allowed to drop below 32℉ and a backup generator can stop that from happening. 

Do They Keep Food From Going Bad? 

Absolutely. A backup generator will allow you to keep your refrigerator and freezer up and running so you will not lose your cold and frozen food supply the next time there is a storm. And, if you choose a generator with adequate power capacity, you can even power secondary units like chest freezers.  

Can Backup Generators Supply An Entire Electrical Panel? 

If you choose one with a high enough capacity, yes it can. Actually, many models and types of backup generators have the capacity to back up a home’s entire electrical panel, allowing you to go about your business even when your usual electrical supply is on the fritz.  

What Are The Different Types? 

There are two different types: Natural gas and propane. The type you choose will depend on what kind of fuel you will be using to power the generator. Natural gas generators have the advantage of lower cost of operation, and propane has the advantage of operating independently of gas lines, which can be damaged in storms.  

Is There A Preferred Brand of Backup Generator?  

At Integrated Building Systems, we are big fans of the brand Generac as they are reliable and easy to install. They also come in varying capacities to best suit your home’s needs. However, we are able to install any type and brand of generator you choose. 

Do Backup Generators Need Maintenance? 

Yes, but generally nothing too demanding. Once a year, you will want to have the oil, filter, and spark plug changed. An occasional battery life check and air cleaner replacement are also essential. Integrated Building Systems offers full-service generator repair and maintenance services to ensure it will function properly when you need it most. 

Can Backup Generators Handle EV Charging Requirements? 

If you have an EV charger installation in your garage or parking area, you will likely want to choose a larger capacity generator to ensure you will be able to power your vehicle during power outages. With this ability, you will never have to worry about having enough power for your car, allowing you to make an EV vehicle your primary means of transportation.  

Can Backup Generators Supply Power To Sump Pumps? 

Similarly to the need to keep the heat on to prevent frozen pipes, you also want to keep your sump pumps running to prevent flooding in your home. While some sump pumps do have battery backups, it is a good idea to have another source of power in case the sump pump battery fails

Who Should Install Residential Backup Generators? 

When you choose to have residential backup generators installed, be sure to choose professionals for the job. Integrated Building Systems’ licensed electricians ensure the installation is completed with proper wiring and in a fast and efficient manner. Learn all about our process for residential backup generator installation and the many advantages generators have to offer.