What to Consider for a Standby Generator at a Condominium

A row of condominiums

The demand for condominiums continues to rise, and it’s not hard to see why. Condos can be a more affordable, lower-maintenance alternative to a house all while offering a sense of community and convenience. However, if a reliable source of backup power is also on your must-have list when searching for a home, you might have some questions about what options are available for a condo. If the condo you are interested in doesn’t already have a backup generator, you may be wondering who is responsible for purchasing one and who is responsible for maintaining the unit once it is installed. You might also be curious about the different kinds of generators available for condos and if there are any laws or regulations that apply to condo communities. Finally, it’s helpful to understand how a standby generator will affect the value of the residence.

Who is Responsible for Purchasing and Maintaining a Standby Generator at a Condominium Community?

One of the main questions people have regarding backup power in condo communities is who is actually responsible for its purchase and maintenance. Technically, this responsibility falls under the jurisdiction of the Condominium Owners Association (COA). COAs are tasked with managing common areas and amenities, and ensuring the residents’ welfare. However, in most cases, COAs pass along the installation and upkeep of standby generators to the individual condo owners. The COA’s guidelines outline these expectations and may also specify installation regulations and the transfer of ownership during condo sales, often requiring the generator to become included in the sale. In most cases, standby generators become the decision and responsibility of the individual condo owner.

What Kind of Generator Is Best for a Condo?

If you are in charge of selecting a standby generator for a condominium, there are a number of factors you will need to carefully consider before making your decision. Consider a true standby generator to power your condominium unit. These are about 10 decibels less than a portable generator, producing about the same amount of sounds as a central air conditioning unit. Consult with a licensed electrician or a professional generator installer should you have any questions. They will be able to guide you through the decision making process and ensure the generator will work safely and efficiently for your use.

Power Requirements

Understanding your condo’s power needs is crucial for choosing the right size generator. An undersized unit can strain your system and damage equipment, while an oversized one wastes fuel. Consulting a certified electrician or licensed generator company is essential. They can assess your needs, calculate electrical draws, ensure permit compliance, and recommend the ideal generator size to guarantee safe and efficient backup power. Additionally, consider adding a whole-home surge protector to safeguard sensitive electronics regardless of generator size.

Fuel Source

Whole house or standby generators need a fuel source to operate. The most common types of fuel are natural gas, propane, or diesel. When choosing a generator, consider the availability, cost, and environmental impact of the fuel it will consume.

Noise Levels

As mentioned previously, one of the benefits of living in a condo is the sense of community afforded to residents. As such, it’s important to be mindful of how your generator will affect the other residents. Opt for a unit with low noise emissions to minimize disturbance to your neighbors. Look for models specifically designed for quiet operation.

Automatic Transfer Switch

Unlike portable generators, a standby generator is designed to instantly turn on when a power loss is detected. This means you don’t have to fumble around with any plugs or take time to manually start the unit. Ensure the generator you choose is equipped with an automatic transfer switch to seamlessly transition power supply during outages, minimizing disruptions.

Warranty and Maintenance

A standby generator is an investment and with proper care can last for 15 years or more. Be sure to select a generator from a reputable manufacturer that offers warranty coverage and schedule regular maintenance services to ensure longevity and performance.

Rules and Requirements for Standby Generators

In a condominium setting, maintaining a peaceful environment is essential for residents’ comfort and well-being. Therefore, condo associations often establish rules and guidelines regarding the use of generators, particularly focusing on noise levels. These rules may include restrictions on noise limits and the installation of soundproofing measures to mitigate noise disturbances. If you are unsure of the requirements in your community, check with a member of the condo association for more information.

Installing a standby generator in a condominium community requires compliance with legal and regulatory requirements. Condo associations must obtain necessary permits and approvals from local authorities and adhere to building codes and zoning regulations. Additionally, it’s advisable to consult with legal experts to ensure compliance with condominium bylaws and regulations governing alterations to common areas.

Does a Standby Generator Affect the Value of a Condo?

Having a well-maintained backup generator can enhance the value of a condo units. Condominiums equipped with standby generators offer prospective buyers the assurance of uninterrupted power supply, making them more attractive in areas prone to frequent outages. They also provide residents with peace of mind, knowing that essential utilities will remain operational during emergencies, which can make the residence more desirable in comparison to those without a generator and potentially command a higher selling price.

Generating Interest for Condominiums

For many people, condo communities offer an ideal alternative to a house. Those equipped with a standby generator can be even more alluring, ensuring comfort, convenience, and safety for residents. By understanding the responsibilities involved in installation and maintenance, adhering to regulations, and selecting the right generator, condo associations can effectively enhance the value and appeal of their properties while safeguarding against power disruptions.

Trust Tower Generator for Condo Community Generator Installation & Service

With nearly 30 years of experience, Tower Generator understands the unique needs of condominium communities. They work extensively with COAs to ensure a smooth installation process that meets all association requirements, individual condo owner needs, and local building codes. In addition to condo complexes, our ever-growing list of satisfied customers includes grocery stores, health organizations, manufacturing facilities, municipalities, schools, and more. From brand new installations to routine service, Tower Generator handles 100% of the project 100% of the time. We’re an authorized dealer of the top generator brands, including Cummins, Kohler, and Generac. For service you can trust, day or night, you can count on Tower Generator. Contact us today to discuss installing a new backup power system for your condominium community or to schedule a service appointment for an existing generator.