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When the lights go out, and the power grid fails, a whole home backup generator can be more than just a convenience—it can be a lifeline. Whether it’s due to natural disasters, severe weather, or unexpected outages, residents in the greater Houston area understand the importance of being prepared. Quality Home Products of Texas, specializing in Generac and Kohler Whole Home Backup Generators, offers expert guidance on selecting the perfect generator size to meet your home’s energy needs. Here’s how you can determine the right size for your home.

A whole home backup generator is designed to provide electricity to a house during power outages, ensuring that essential and selected appliances continue to operate uninterrupted. These systems are becoming increasingly popular for their convenience and reliability. Here’s a simplified overview of how a whole home backup generator works:

Power Outage Detection

The system is constantly monitoring the connection to the local utility power. When it detects an interruption in service, such as during a storm or due to grid failures, the generator prepares to supply power to the home.

Automatic Transfer Switch Activation

The core component that enables the seamless operation of a whole home generator is the automatic transfer switch (ATS). The ATS is responsible for safely disconnecting your house from the utility power, effectively isolating your home’s electrical system from the grid. This step is crucial to prevent backfeeding, which can be dangerous to utility workers attempting to restore power.

Generator Activation

Once the ATS has disconnected the house from the grid, it signals the generator to start. This process is automatic and can happen within seconds of losing utility power. The generator then begins producing electricity using its internal combustion engine, which runs on a fuel source such as natural gas, propane, or diesel.

Power Delivery

After the generator starts, the ATS routes the electricity it produces to your home’s electrical panel, powering your home’s circuits and appliances. Modern whole home generators are capable of powering everything in your home, but the specific appliances and systems that receive power depend on the generator’s capacity and how your system is set up. Some homes may have a setup designed to power only essential systems and appliances to conserve fuel and extend the generator’s operational time.

Continuous Monitoring

Throughout the outage, the generator continues to run, providing power to the home and continuously monitoring the status of the utility power. The system is designed to operate 24/7 if necessary, with the only limitation being fuel supply for models that don’t use a direct connection to a natural gas line.

Utility Power Restoration

When the generator detects that utility power has been restored and is stable, the ATS automatically switches the home back to the grid. The generator then goes into a cooldown mode, running for a short period to ensure it’s ready for the next use, and finally shuts off.

Ready for the Next Outage

After the generator shuts down, it remains in standby mode, ready to activate again when the next power outage occurs. Maintenance checks and periodic testing are essential to ensure the system is always ready when needed.

Advantages of Whole Home Backup Generators

  • Automatic operation: There’s no need to manually start the generator or switch over the power source during an outage.
  • Seamless power supply: The transition from utility power to generator power and back is smooth, protecting sensitive electronics.
  • Fuel efficiency: Modern generators are designed to optimize fuel consumption, adjusting the power output to the demand.
  • Safety: Built-in safety features prevent overloading, overheating, and backfeeding to the grid.

Whole home backup generators offer a high level of convenience and security, ensuring that your home remains comfortable and functional, even during extended power outages.

Understanding Your Power Needs

The first step in choosing a whole home backup generator is to assess your power requirements. This involves listing the essential appliances and systems you want to keep running during an outage. Common essentials include the refrigerator, HVAC system, water heater, lights, and possibly medical equipment. Remember, the goal is to maintain comfort and safety, not necessarily to power every single appliance you own.

Calculating Your Home’s Energy Consumption

Once you’ve identified your essential appliances, the next step is to calculate the total wattage they require. Every appliance has a starting wattage (the initial surge required to start the motor) and a running wattage (the continuous power needed to keep the appliance running). The total of these wattages will guide you to the appropriate generator size. It’s crucial to account for the starting wattage of the largest motor-driven appliance in your calculation to ensure your generator can handle the initial surge.

Understanding Generator Sizes

Generators are rated in kilowatts (kW), which is a unit of power equivalent to 1,000 watts. Quality Home Products of Texas offers a range of Generac and Kohler generators suitable for various home sizes and power needs. Here’s a rough guide to help you start thinking about what size generator might be right for you:

  • Small homes (up to 2,000 sq ft): A 7-10 kW generator can power critical circuits and a few key appliances.
  • Medium homes (2,000-3,000 sq ft): Consider a 12-20 kW generator to cover more appliances, including central air conditioning.
  • Large homes (3,000+ sq ft): A 22-30 kW generator or larger may be necessary to comfortably power the entire home.

Considerations for Selecting a Generator

  • Fuel Type: Generac and Kohler generators run on natural gas or propane. Availability and the practicality of fuel storage are important considerations.
  • Local Regulations: Be aware of local codes and regulations regarding generator installation in the greater Houston area. Quality Home Products of Texas can provide guidance on permits and legal requirements.
  • Professional Assessment: For an accurate determination of the best generator size for your home, consider a professional assessment. Quality Home Products of Texas offers expert consultations to evaluate your specific needs, considering factors like your home’s square footage, the efficiency of your appliances, and your lifestyle requirements.

Why Choose Quality Home Products of Texas?

Choosing the right backup generator is a significant investment in your home’s safety and comfort. Quality Home Products of Texas brings decades of experience in sales, installation, and service of Generac and Kohler Whole Home Backup Generators. Serving the greater Houston area, our team is dedicated to helping you find the perfect generator to meet your needs, ensuring professional installation and unparalleled service.

Why is investing in a generator now worth it?

The Houston area is no stranger to extreme weather and other events that can lead to power outages, making the case for owning a backup generator particularly compelling. Here are several reasons why investing in a backup generator is a wise decision for residents in this region:

Hurricane and Tropical Storm Outages

Houston lies in a region that’s frequently hit by hurricanes and tropical storms. These powerful storms can cause extensive damage to the power grid, leading to prolonged outages. A backup generator ensures that your home remains powered, keeping lights on, refrigerators running, and air conditioning or heating systems operational, which is crucial for safety and comfort during the cleanup and recovery phases.

Flood-Related Power Failures

The area is also prone to significant flooding, which can knock out power even if your home is not directly affected by floodwaters. Generators can provide the necessary electricity to run sump pumps, dehumidifiers, and other essential equipment to manage and mitigate flood damage.

Severe Thunderstorms and Tornadoes

Aside from tropical cyclones, the Houston area experiences severe thunderstorms and occasional tornadoes, leading to sudden and unexpected power outages. These outages can last from a few hours to several days, depending on the extent of the damage. A backup generator can provide immediate relief in such situations, ensuring your household’s safety and comfort.

 Extreme Heat Events

Houston’s climate includes periods of extreme heat, especially during the summer months. Power outages during these times can be more than just uncomfortable; they can pose serious health risks, especially for the elderly, children, and those with certain medical conditions. Having a backup generator means your air conditioning can keep running, significantly reducing the risk of heat-related illnesses.

Grid Reliability Concerns

Even without extreme weather, the electricity grid can experience outages due to equipment failure, maintenance, or unexpected demand surges. As infrastructure ages and populations grow, these incidents may become more frequent. A backup generator acts as a safeguard, ensuring that your home remains unaffected by these broader grid reliability issues.

Work and Home Schooling Continuity

In today’s world, many people work from home, and students often participate in online learning. Power outages can disrupt these activities, leading to lost productivity and educational setbacks. A backup generator ensures that you can keep your internet router, computers, and other essential electronics running smoothly, without interruption.

Medical Equipment Reliability

For households with medical needs requiring electrically powered equipment (like oxygen concentrators, home dialysis machines, or refrigeration for medication), power outages can be life-threatening. A backup generator provides a critical backup power source to ensure these devices continue to operate uninterrupted.

Preparing for power outages with a whole home backup generator can give you peace of mind and keep your home running smoothly, regardless of the weather outside. By understanding your power needs, calculating your home’s energy consumption, and consulting with the professionals at Quality Home Products of Texas, you can select the ideal Generac or Kohler generator for your home. Stay powered, stay safe, and trust Quality Home Products of Texas to light the way.


To learn more about Quality Texas and our home backup generators, click here or call (713) 766-4651 today!