Power On

From coast to coast, U.S. residents have encountered many wild weather events in recent months. Mother Nature can wreak havoc on a home and on the power grid, leaving homeowners in the dark, possibly without heat or the ability to run devices to protect their homes and families. In addition to increasingly volatile weather patterns, overburdened electric grids, human error and other issues can cause power outages and threaten a home’s security.

In 1959, Generac Power Systems was established in Waukesha, Wis., as a portable generator manufacturer. Since then, the company has expanded to provide automatic standby power for residential, commercial and industrial applications, as well as pressure washer products and an inverter line for alternating-current power on the go.

The Guardian Series is among the company’s most popular automatic standby power systems for residential applications. The Guardian Series is available in 8-, 10-, 14-, 17- and 20-kilowatt systems. “A homeowner can select the solution that meets their needs and budget because of our diverse product offering,” explains Jake Thomas, product manager with Generac Power Systems.

The Guardian Series comes in a sculpted profile for aesthetic appeal and offers the Nexus Control, which is a two-line, trilingual LCD display that tells the homeowner what the system is doing, if it needs maintenance or if it has encountered a problem.

To meet the needs of today’s budget-conscious homeowners, Generac offers multiple scenarios to help them purchase an affordable standby power system. According to Thomas, it breaks down to essential circuits. For homeowners who want the least expensive system and are willing to live off of 10, 12, 14 or 16 circuits in a power outage, Generac offers the EZ Switch, which is a transfer switch and circuit breaker panel in one box with all the wiring and conduit prewired for the generator and electrical panel.

For homeowners who want a generator that can run everything in the household all the time, Generac offers a service-rated transfer switch, which will power the entire electrical panel.

A third option is called managed power, featuring Nexus Smart Switches that have built-in load-management capabilities. If the generator becomes overloaded, the Nexus Smart Switch will shed selected loads to keep up with demand. When there is more energy available from the generator, the switch will bring loads back on. Nexus Smart Switches allow homeowners to effectively back up their entire home with a smaller generator.

Thomas says the most popular unit in the Guardian Series is the 20 kW. “If people are going to make the investment for backup power, they’re typically trying to get the most bang for their buck,” he says. “As far as the switches go, for all the units other than the 20 kW, by far the most popular is the EZ Switch because it saves materials and installation costs; everything is plug-and-play. The 20 kW is sold with the 200-amp Nexus Smart Switch, which allows the homeowner to power everything and has built-in load management. This also makes the 20 kW very popular.”

Generators offer remodelers another opportunity to provide homeowners with a system that will improve their living conditions and offer peace of mind. Thomas points out there are additional benefits for homeowners who invest in backup standby power. “A backup standby system increases the home’s equity,” he says. “And depending on where people are geographically, their insurance company may give them a discount with a generator because their sump pump is never going to be without power and ruin the finished basement.”

Not to mention, during a power outage, a generator gives homeowners bragging rights in the neighborhood. Thomas explains, “I’ve been told multiple stories where customers lost power and their generator kicked on, and they went around their home turning on every single light just so their neighbors would see they have power.”