Home Standby Generators Are Getting Smarter

January 27, 2023

Technology focused on smartphones, apps, tablets, and computers continues to carve a niche in many areas of our home lives, and standby electrical power generators are no different. In this blog post, we’d like to present an overview of “smart features” that can now be found on many brands and models of permanently installed, natural gas and propane-fired home standby generators.

While much of our research presented here is based on a closer look at Generac and Kohler brand equipment, we have also looked at others, such as Honeywell and some others whose names are not as widely known.

Top ‘Smart Features’ of Home Standby Generators

According to a 2022 Associated Press study, the number of power outages in the U.S. has doubled in the past 20 years. With more and more of these incidences occurring as a result of increased extreme weather, the number of homeowners considering home standby generators as backup electrical systems is increasing, as well.

Licensed Master Electrician - Save Home Heat
Residential house natural gas backup generator. Choosing a location for house standby generator.

That being said, many manufacturers are integrating smart technology in these products, making it much easier and more convenient to keep tabs on them. Android and IOS compatibility is typically available on all Wi-Fi enabled models, and many brands feature optional, customized mobile apps to make monitoring and managing your home standby generator nearly effortless. Generac is known for their Mobile Link app, and Kohler’s system is based on their OnCue Plus app.

Here’s a quick look at some of the top smart features you can expect to find in new, Wi-Fi connected, home standby generators:

Monitor Generator Performance & More From An App!

One of the most widely available features on many models is the option to remotely view the operating status of your home’s backup generator, and receive real-time operating alerts and updates via text message or e-mail. Depending on the model, you may also have options to check the unit’s oil level and oil temperature (and propane tank level, if that’s your fuel), along with the battery voltage – all from your smart phone or connected device. Keep in mind that, just like automobiles, standby generators also have a battery to get them started.

illustrated hand holding phone

Many manufacturer apps also allow you to check the local weather forecast, review maintenance history, add maintenance reminders to your calendar, and more.

Manage and Control Your Generator Remotely

Wi-Fi enabled home standby generators typically provide the ability to manage and control the system remotely, as well. Features that are frequently available include managing the full load, as well as individual circuits that are connected to the generator; changing the language that the app appears in; along with routinely “exercising” the generator.

Illustration of wifi enabled home appliances

Exercising the generator refers to periodically, automatically running the unit during periods of non-operation (weekly is often recommended) to make sure it’s ready to go when needed.

You may also be able to adjust the start-delay of the generator, i.e. the time delay before the generator kicks in after the power goes down. Many units are set to automatically startup within 10 seconds of detecting a power outage, while others offer the option of setting that delay up to 30 seconds in length. In some cases, it may be preferable to wait a bit longer before the generators starts operating; in others, maybe not so much!

Residential standby generator on a concrete pad

Other Standby Generator Smart Features

Depending on the manufacturer, there may be other smart features available, as well. Here’s a quick look at some of them:

  • Voice command options (including Google and Alexa)
  • Enhanced frequency modulation circuitry, achieving very low harmonic distortion in order to supply high levels of clean power to help protect sensitive home electronics
  • Built-in self-diagnostic ability
  • Multi-speed operation for improved efficiency and quieter operation
  • Built-in battery charging capability for use with renewable energy systems
  • Certain models feature variable-speed, direct current (DC) voltage design specifically for renewable energy applications. (Alternating current, AC voltage, is what our homes normally operate off of, while systems such as wind and solar are DC-based systems.)
  • ”Smart grid” ready, with the capability of serving as a Distributed Energy Source, providing Virtual Power Plants. Heady stuff, please feel free to Google further!
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Our electrical team at Save Home Heat is experienced installing a broad range of home standby generator brands for our customers in the Boulder-Denver metro area, and all our work is performed in strict adherence to National Electrical Code (NEC), local code, and manufacturer installation instructions.

Wi-Fi Enabled Whole-Home Electrical Service Panels, Too!

In the home electrical power field, smart standby generators are not alone. There are also whole-home electrical service panels available that provide similar Wi-Fi connectivity and control options. Smart electrical service panels allow unparalleled remote monitoring and management of all of your home’s electrical circuits, and more. Our electrical team is on top of these products, and supply our customers with complete installation services. The smart electrical panels that our team installs are built by one of the most trusted names in the electrical industry.

Leviton Smart panel

Denver-Boulder Expert Home Standby Generator Installation

44 Years!Our team at Save Home Heat has been a trusted provider of quality home services to Boulder-Denver area homeowners for over 40 years. Please call us today for reliable backup generator installation, or for any of your home electrical needs. You can count on receiving the same friendly, expert, informative, low-pressure assistance that our customers are accustomed to for all the services that we provide.

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