Here we will discuss the use of natural gas generators for home use and during power outages. Most people automatically think of gasoline powered generators when considering an emergency backup generator for their home. If you have natural gas in your home, then you might as well make use of the gas supply and use a natural gas generator instead. They are readily available at thousands of retailers and are comparable to other fuel type generators in cost and function.
Natural gas is a cleaner burning fuel. We will take a look at some of the popular brands, tell you what to expect to pay and evaluate different size options for your home. We will be mainly talking about generators being used for emergency power outages.
Emergency Standby Generators
Emergency standby generators are typically used as a backup power supply for the home. They are generally permanent fixtures installed outside of the home and connected to the power system. They can be hooked up to your home’s existing natural gas supply and are triggered to power on when the home’s normal power supply cuts out.
Often they have automatic cycles for maintenance of the generator, where they will be activated about once a week to keep them in good running condition. These types of generators are built for emergencies and are not necessarily meant to power a home full time. If that is your need, then you will want a more powerful and expensive generator meant for constant running.
1. Can easily be attached to existing home gas lines.
2. Have no need for bulky fuel containers to store fuel.
3. Natural gas is said to be the cleanest burning fuel source for generators. There is very little pollution caused by natural gas generators.
4. Not dependent on foreign oil.
1. Not as efficient as diesel generators. While diesel and natural gas run neck and neck for the most efficient generators, diesel technology today provides a slight advantage over natural gas when it comes to efficiency.
Costs and Name Brands
Depending on the size, quality and brand name you choose, natural gas generators range from about $1,800 to $13,000. You may want one to just run emergency items when the power goes out such as the refrigerator and a few lights or you can get more expensive units that will run your entire home like normal when the regular power fails. Some people have computer systems, medical equipment or other things that have to stay running if the electricity fails.
Some good brands worth mentioning on the lower end of the natural gas generator market are Briggs and Stratton, Winco and Guardian. If you want something a bit larger and more expensive, Guardian and Kohler are both reliable brands that make good large natural gas generators.
If you want to run minimal, emergency use only appliances and lighting in the event of a blackout, an inexpensive generator that puts out about 7,000 watts of power will do the trick in most cases. You can purchase one like that for under $2,000.
If you want the generator to run the house as usual during a blackout, then you are going to have to do a little math to determine the size generator you will need, or just go big to be sure.
You would want to look at all of your electrical appliance’s energy guides to see what they need and add it all up to see what size generator you need, or an easier method is to look at your monthly electric bill.
On the bill it will say how many kilowatts of energy you use each month. Then just make sure you get a generator that can handle the load. Guardian makes a wide range of larger home generators that cost about $4,000 for a 20 KW generator and about $12,000 or $13,000 for a 48 kilowatt generator.
Now that you know a bit more about natural gas generators, you should be able to make an informed decision. They are probably the most environmentally friendly type of generator. The only type of generator that really compares to it when it comes to efficiency is a diesel generator and diesel fuel can be a pain to acquire and store, whereas natural gas is probably already running to your home and needs no container for storage. You never have to refuel a natural gas generator and you will have to refuel any other type. It seems like a smart choice for most people who have natural gas in their homes already.