How Long Can You Run A Whole House Generator?

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How Long Can You Run A Whole House Generator?

If you are a regular reader (and I hope you are) of these articles, then you know that Merts Heating & Air Conditioning is proud to feature whole house generators by Briggs and Stratton. They are a wonderful way to prepare your Illinois or Northwest Indiana for power outages. Lights, refrigerators, medical equipment, and HVAC systems all require electricity to keep you safe and comfortable during extended power outages. 

This is an important factor because extended power outages are the most damaging and dangerous. Just look back a few months at what happened when much of the south was hit by an unprecedented winter storm. The answer depends largely on what type of fuel a whole house generator uses.


This is the preferred choice for whole home generators because unless the natural gas supply is interrupted, which is an extremely rare event, you have a limitless supply of fuel for the generator. It should be able to run continuously for days or weeks at a time.


This is generally the next best choice if natural gas isn’t available. You will have to install a tank that is generally between 250 and 1000 gallons. A typical whole house generator burns about 36 gallons of propane a day. That means even the small tank will run the generator for a full week. To be safe, Merts would recommend a larger tank for peace of mind.


There’s nothing inherently wrong with a generator that burns gas or diesel, but there are some disadvantages. These fuels can deteriorate or get contaminated by sitting in a tank for a long time. Since hopefully you won’t be using your whole house generator very often, that can be a problem. 


A whole home generator needs maintenance and testing at least once a year. Just like your car, it needs things like periodic oil changes and tune-ups. It’s also a good idea to start it up and let it run for 15 or 20 minutes once a month. That expensive generator won’t do you any good if it won’t start when the power goes out. That’s what can happen if it’s not maintained properly.


If you have ever lived through an extended power outage, then you know how stressful and uncomfortable it can be. A whole house generator eliminates those concerns. When professionally installed with a transfer switch, the generator will start automatically when the power goes out. When your utility company restores power the generator senses that and shuts itself off. Take the next step in emergency preparedness for your Steger, IL or Crown Point, IN home by calling Merts Heating & Air Conditioning to learn more about whole home generators. Be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for more great information like this.