​​How Does a Home Generator Work? Everything You Need to Know

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A home backup generator is a powerful investment that offers peace of mind and helps you keep life moving smoothly even when the unexpected happens. You’ll never have to worry about having access to reliable power again. 

But how does a home generator work? How are home generators powered, and how can you be sure your generator will work when called upon?

We’ll answer all these questions and many others today as we take a detailed look at how home generators work. You’ll learn about the different ways you can power your whole home backup generator and we’ll talk about what exactly happens when your home experiences a power outage. 

By the end of this article, you’ll see why so many homeowners are pulling the trigger on Kohler whole house generator installation – you don’t have to lift a finger to gain access to electricity when an outage strikes! First, let’s talk about how home generators are powered.

How Does a Whole Home Generator Work? Explaining the Difference Between Liquid Propane vs Natural Gas

how home generators work

So – how are home generators powered? Most people who want to learn about how home generators work are curious as to where the electricity is coming from when an outage occurs. And the answer to this question is not one size fits all – as there are different types of fuel sources. The two most common are natural gas and liquid propane – although you will sometimes see diesel-powered backup generators as well. With that said, we’ll talk about the two most typical fuel sources below:

How Does a Natural Gas Home Generator Work?

The natural gas home generator is a more common style these days, as you can connect directly to your city’s natural gas lines. This means you’ll have endless access to power – great for those who experience lengthy outages lasting more than a couple of days.

When powered by natural gas, the fuel is sent to a carburetor where it’s ignited and used to power the generator. The generator then creates AC electricity which powers your home – restoring power when the utility company grid goes down.

How Does a Liquid Propane Home Generator Work?

Liquid propane (LP) is the alternative fuel source for those who don’t have access to natural gas from their local utilities. LP backup generators are powered by tanks that store liquid propane and can be filled up at any local LP supplier. Although it requires an extra step in terms of ensuring there’s always enough fuel when an outage occurs, LP home generators are often the more cost-effective choice.

Liquid propane-powered generators operate in basically the same way as their natural gas counterparts, but with one major difference: because liquid propane is much more volatile than natural gas, the fuel must first be vaporized before it’s able to power your whole house generator.

Which is Right for You?

So which one is right for you? The answer depends on what kind of fuel source you have access to – natural gas or liquid propane. If your home doesn’t have a natural gas line, then liquid propane may be your best option.

There are benefits and drawbacks to each type of generator – so it’s important to understand the difference before making your decision. This is something you can discuss with your generator installation provider as they’ll be able to offer insights based on your unique circumstances. Otherwise, you can read our full guide on how to choose a home backup generator. But for now, let’s get to the rest of our discussion on how home generators work.

How Does a Home Generator Work When the Power Goes Out? Here’s What to Expect When an Outage Strikes…

Now that we know how home generators work in terms of powering them up, let’s take a look at exactly what happens when a power outage occurs. Chances are you, want to know what’s going on with your home generator system – as understanding the details will help you enjoy greater peace of mind. We won’t get too technical, but here’s the important stuff you need to know:

When a Power Outage Strikes, Your Generator is the First to Know

The best part of investing in a Kohler home generator is that you can rest assured your system is working around the clock – ready to be powered up instantaneously when an outage strikes. Whether you’re home or not, the generator kicks on as soon as power from the grid is lost.

That’s because your generator has a brain just like you do – this brain is referred to as the ATS, or automatic transfer switch. And, this switch is constantly monitoring the connection to grid power. You can see this in real time by taking a look at your generator once it’s installed. There is a little indicator light to inform you whether your home is being powered by the utility source or your generator.

But what’s even better is you technically don’t have to be at home to check the status of your generator – through  OnCue Generator Management System, you can manage your Kohler home or business generator, receive updates via text or e-mail, view real-time power operation and more – all from your computer, phone, or tablet!

SO – when a power outage strikes, you can trust that your generator knows it before you do…

The ATS (Automatic Transfer Switch) Sends Generator Power to Your Home Instantly

Back to the topic at hand – how does a home generator system work? You now know that the magic comes from the ATS.

As soon as the power goes out, the ATS signals the generator to turn on. Instantly.

In fact, by the time you finish reading this sentence, your generator will have started and restored power to your home or business. It’s that fast! This switch transfers your home’s power source away from the utility power and over to your generator.

When Utility Power is Restored, the ATS Turns the Generator Off & Switches Back

No matter how long your outage is, you can rest assured your generator will be there running reliably. Eventually, though, the utility power will be restored. At this point, your home generator’s ATS will revert the power source back to utility and away from the generator’s fuel source.

The generator automatically shuts itself down and patiently awaits the next time it’s called upon. We can’t stress this enough – the fact that all of this happens automatically without you having to lift a finger is what makes this investment in peace of mind so worth it!

But…with that said, you may still have your doubts.

Is it Worth Getting a Whole House Generator?

how are home generators powered

Now that you know how home generators work, you should be convinced that this is a great investment. Ultimately, though, only you can determine if it’s worth it for your home or business or not.

Ask yourself this – how much are you willing to pay for peace of mind knowing you have reliable power no matter what life throws your way? For many, this type of assurance is priceless.

This is especially true in regions like the east coast where storms can knock utility power down for days on end. Wouldn’t it be nice to know you don’t have to slow down or skip a beat in these occurrences when others are scrambling to save the food in their fridge or freezer? Or, stress about how you’re going to heat your home?

In the era of work-from-home, having access to power during the day is more important than ever – your livelihood depends on it! That’s why installing a whole-house generator is one of the best decisions you can make. And if you’re in Southeastern Massachussettes, we’re here to help…

Enjoy Peace of Mind Knowing You Have Reliable Access to Power 24/7 – Invest in a Home Generator Today!

Premier Generator is your trusted source for whole home generator installation companies. We are proud to serve Barnstable, Bristol Middlesex, Norfolk, and Plymouth counties – helping homeowners like you enjoy peace of mind and keep the lights on for over 25 years now!

We specialize in Kohler generators because these are the most reliable, efficient, and long-lasting generators the industry has to offer. That means when you work with us on this project, you can rest assured you’re getting the best bang for your buck.

And it’s not just the equipment we install – it’s how we install it. We never cut corners as this could lead to a shorter lifespan, costly repairs, and diminished reliability. None of that is acceptable – and goes against everything we pride ourselves on being.

In fact, we stand behind our work with an industry-leading 10-year warranty! Just let us handle the installation and follow our Kohler generator service plan – we’ll take care of the rest to ensure you always have access to power. Letting us install and maintain your equipment ensures the longest generator lifespan possible – along with the greatest reliability.

And if you have a business that needs protecting, you can count on us for that as well too through our commercial generator installation service.

Final Thoughts on How Home Generators Work (and Why You Need One)

We hope this guide gave you the answers you were seeking for questions like:

How are home generators powered? 

How does a home generator work when utility power goes down?

Is investing in a backup generator for my home or business a smart decision?

Knowing now how home generators work, you can easily see why they’re becoming more and more commonplace in homes and businesses around the globe. 

And at this point, the only thing left to do is schedule an appointment with us to come to survey your property and help you come up with the right system for your unique needs! Once you’ve gotten to know us and your equipment is up and running, you’ll see why we’re regarded as the #1 generator company in the area. With Premier Generator on your side, stressing over power outages will be a thing of the past.