What Is A Standby Generator? How Does A Standby Generator work

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Power outages can cause many technical problems. Storms and other such circumstances can leave your home dark. It’s better to have a standby generator instead of sitting helplessly in a home. before going deep let me tell you clearly that you are going to have your answer regarding what is a standby generator. how does a standby generator work?

Standby generators or home backup generators,  you can call them whatever you like. They work perfectly to power your whole house.

If you are tired of starting generators manually, you need to consider a standby generator.  It will automatically provide power when energy goes out. Isn’t it cool?

What is a Standby Generator
How does a Standby Generator work

These generators are heavy-wattage and can run plenty of appliances. For example, a standby generator can power your Air conditioners, refrigerators, TV, machines, and other such devices.

These generators will support you for a long time as they are highly reliable and provide excellent running time. They are perfect for days-long power outages.

Mostly standby generators are used for industrial and commercial purposes. But they are perfect for home too.

If you are interested in buying a standby generator, we will suggest you read our inclusive guide before buying standby generators.  We are going to explain these generators and their working system in depth.

After reading the article you will know why you should buy a standby generator for home backup.

Interested to know more about standby generators? Stay with us till the end and you’ll have all the answers to your questions.

What Is A Standby Generator; How Does a Standby Generator Work? [ Detailed Guide 2023]


What Is A Standby Generator?

A standby generator is a backup electrical system; it’ll operate automatically when you face a power outage. The standby generator uses a transfer switch.  It transfers the electrical load on the generator if there is a power cut and all appliances will start running again.

These generators are ideal for long-term use. You can keep the standby generators running for many days and even for a week. This is a terrific solution for business.

These generators are different from regular portable generators. They are,  generally, used for inclement weather, natural disasters, regular power cuts, and longtime blackouts.

You can get a standby diesel generator. This type of generator comes with a fuel tank. You need to add fuel to the tank which allows the generator to generate electricity.

But there is one drawback of using diesel fuel generators.  Sometimes, you may be out of fuel or the cost of fuel increases rapidly which can be difficult for you to manage. If you are running a business and keep a standby generator for your corporation,  we suggest you be prepared for emergencies.

Pro Tip:

you need to make sure that you always have extra fuel that can be utilized in time of need. This additional effort won’t stop your business and keep it running in an uncertain condition.

If you do not want to use a diesel generator, natural gas standby generators are also available in the market. You don’t have to worry about fuel as natural gas generators are directly connected to your gas pipeline.  This type of generator will work in every circumstance because there is no risk of running out of fuel.

However,  during storms and hurricanes, natural gas is shut off preventing your generator from running. Besides this,  it has no other drawbacks.


How Does A Standby Generator Work?

Generally, an Automatic Transfer switch is used with standby generators. It allows the generator to start quickly when it senses power loss.  Standby generators are connected to your facility’s external panel and use diesel or natural gas to generate power. The work of ATS is to disconnect the electricity from the main power grid. It happens when you have a standby generator installed in your home. So, where there is no power,  the main electricity will be disconnected successfully and ATS allows a generator to supply the power. This is how standby generators work and your whole house will be lit in no time.

Major Components of a Standby Generator

When electricity is restored, ATS will shut off the generator power and you will start getting power from the main power grid.

ATS is an automatic switch; you don’t have to do anything.  ATS will take care of switching power from the main power grid to the generator and the generator to the main power grid.

But if you need an alternative to an Automatic transfer switch,  there is MTS called a manual transfer switch. It works like ATS, but the switch has to be transferred manually.

For example, if you use a manual transfer switch,  you need to transfer the switch manually when energy goes out.  After doing that, you will start getting power from the generator. You need to repeat the process when power is restored.

This MTS switch puts an extra burden on you because a person has to transfer the switch manually. We recommend you get an automatic switch and stay away from this hassle.

Different sizes of standby generators are available.  The size of the generator depends on the power capacity and running time.

If you need a long-running standby generator along with high wattage, you will have a bulky size generator that will be installed in your residence or industrial area where you want to use it.

Why should you Get A Standby Generator?

Standby generators are the best backup generators. They do not only power lights but can run your heavy-duty equipment too. We will compare standby generators to portable generators and will examine which is worth purchasing. Let’s start.


Portable Vs Standby Generator

There is a major difference between a portable and a standby generator. A standby generator is fixed and can’t be moved. On the other hand, portable generators are small in size and can be taken anywhere. Portable generators are not fixed.  They can be operated either on fuel or battery. It depends on what type of portable generator you choose.

Stand-by generators can only be operated on fuel and they are heavy. You can’t take the standby generators with you as they are permanently fixed.

Standby generators can be run for more than a week as well. A portable generator does not have this feature. They are not that powerful.

But portable generators are worth purchasing if you do not own a building and are not allowed to install a generator.

For rare power cuts, you can consider small portable generators. But for frequent blackouts and commercial needs, there is no other generator suitable as a standby generator.


Standby Generators are Safer to Use:

Portable generators come with an outlet. It means you will have to keep the generators near the appliances so that you can plug the devices easily. Portable generators release fumes that can be harmful to you. They can’t be kept outside the house.  If you did that, you won’t be able to connect the appliances.

But this is not so with the standby generators. Standby generators don’t produce many fumes. Above all, they are kept outside the home, and ATS is used with the standby generator to instantly provide you power in time of need.

From this perspective, A standby generator is safer to use.


Standby Generators are Easy to Use

Portable generators require a lot of effort to start. Some portable generators are manually started.  You will need to pull the cord to start the generator.

Besides this, appliances are connected to the generators.  It also requires effort. Fuel is added manually.  In short, portable generators are not convenient to use.

If we talk about a standby generator, it gives us relief from all this manual work. Fuel is, generally, connected to the standby generator. You do not have to add it to the fuel tank. The automatic transfer switch turns on and turns off the generator automatically.

All of the appliances will be started running automatically. There is no need to connect the cord of appliances one by one.

Hence it is proved that standby generators save time and work on automation.


Standby Generator Is The Best For Heavy Duty Home Appliances

No doubt, portable generators have plenty of benefits. You can use portable generators for outdoor activities. Keep it for camping, tailgating, boating, sports, and other such events. But can you use a portable generator of power that goes out for many days?

You can’t say when the power will be restored. Sometimes, the power shut remains for more than a week. In such cases, you can’t heat the food as many portable generators don’t support heating devices. You won’t be able to keep your food cold in the fridge. Running an HVAC system on the portable generator is not possible.

You can keep the high-wattage appliances running for a little time by using a portable generator. But a standby generator will be loyal to you for weeks.

No doubt, A standby generator is ideal for long power outages. In such situations, the standby generator has no other competitor.


Standby Generators work longer

Need a generator that provides long running time?  Yes? You should buy a standby generator. It is far better than a regular generator when it comes to running time. Regular generators provide a maximum of 11-12 hours of running time. But do you know a standby generator can keep you powdered for more than seven days? A standby generator allows you to power the whole house. You can run a maximum number of appliances for a long time including heavy-wattage devices.


Standby Generators Can Run CPAP machines

Some people rely on CPAP machines. These medical equipment are run on electricity. If the electricity goes out, you won’t be able to use those machines. Like, as electric wheelchairs, ventilators, chair lifts, and CPAP machines. A portable generator can’t run such medical equipment. In case of emergency, a person who uses such a machine won’t survive. So,  if you and your beloved one depend on any type of power medical equipment, we suggest you invest in a standby generator and stay away from uncertain energy crises.


Run Your Home Security System on Standby Generators

Some houses have a proper security system to protect them against crimes. These security systems run on electricity. During a power blackout, there is no power to run your system properly. A portable generator can only power essential equipment. But a standby generator will save you! It can run a security system efficiently along with the whole house. Get a standby generator and keep yourself safe even in a power cut.


Frequent Power Outages

Some areas in the world do not have proper power systems. In such locations, people face longer power cuts. They have to remain out of power for more than weeks.

If you live in such an area, you should have a standby generator that helps to tackle power outages for longer.


High-Risk Locations

Do you live in a place where you face more natural disasters?  Yes? It is hard to survive in such locations without proper energy backup. It happens in the United States as well. Such locations in the United States are more prone to natural disasters. California faces frequent earthquakes and hurricanes. Save yourself from stress and regular power outages if your location is high risk. Get a standby generator and sit comfortably during a power outage.

So, it is clear that it is worth investing in a standby generator. Do not risk your comfort for money, have peace of mind after installing a standby generator.

Factors to Consider Before Installing a Standby Generator

Ready to install a generator? Wait – don’t do it in a hurry. You should be well aware of important factors that should be considered before getting a standby generator. We know the needs of our readers.

Here are important aspects of a standby generator that you must know.


Cost Of Standby Generator

If you have made up your mind to purchase a generator, you must be well aware of the initial cost of standby generators. As standby generators come in different sizes and power capacities, the cost depends on the size and power of the generator.  However, you can have a standby generator for $2000 to $20000. Installation cost is separate. It varies from person to person. So, have a clear idea of the upfront cost of a standby generator.


Fuel Cost

The fuel cost of the generator matters a lot. Make sure to check the fuel-consuming capacity of the generator before buying. Check how much fuel a standby generator consumes for running.


Noise Level

The noise level of a generator is also another crucial factor. Generally, a standby generator produces more noise when they are operated on diesel.  Natural gas runs the generator calmly. Choose a generator as per your needs. If you plan to buy a standby generator for commercial needs, a noisy generator won’t create much problem. But for home backup and residential purposes, a low noisy generator is suitable. Check the durability and reliability of the generator too.


Repair and Maintenance Cost

Diesel and natural gas generators need maintenance. So, you need to check the maintenance level of a generator before purchasing. However,  diesel generators require less maintenance.  So, they are perfect for commercial use.



Diesel fuel is the least flammable.  If diesel leaks, you can quickly notice it as it is liquid fuel. Moreover, diesel is easy to clean.

On the other hand, natural gas is highly risky. It can explode if it is near the ignition. Besides this,  natural gas is harmful to inhale.

So, you can decide what type of generator you want. But for safety purposes, it is better to use a diesel standby generator.


Fuel Storage

You don’t need a tank to store natural gas as you will directly connect the standby generator with the natural gas pipeline. This is how a natural gas standby generator will work.

However, if you use a diesel generator, it comes with a tank that you have to fill to operate the generator. You will have to refill the fuel tank more frequently if you buy a small fuel tank generator.



We live in a world where everything depends on power. Look around!  You will see there is nearly everything that is power-hungry. Sometimes, the demand for electricity goes so high that we have to face power outages. Uncertain weather conditions also bring outages.

These power cuts are distressing as we rely so much on electricity. Without power, we can’t perform our regular tasks efficiently. It can bring a lot of problems. Your business will be stopped. If it is summer, there will be no Air conditioner.  It is hard to sit in hot weather. Winter power cuts add another level of misery to your life. Most of us won’t be able to bear the freezing cold without a proper heating system.

But why should you make yourself uncomfortable?  There is a solution to every problem. We just need to find those solutions. A standby generator will solve all of your energy problems as it provides sufficient power that can be run for more than a week. Long power with no distraction is something that a standby generator offers.

To educate our readers about such unusual circumstances, we wrote this guide on What is a standby generator and how a standby generator work. It covered everything that you need to know before investing in a standby generator.  Hope you understood it. Now,  it’s your turn; get the best standby generator and live comfortably.

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