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E6: Generators For The Home

Join hosts Aaron and Jonathan as they interview Burt Koenig. Burt is a forty-year veteran of the generator sales and consulting business. The show focuses on installed dedicated standby generator systems for your home.

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This episode we ask:

  • Why do you need a generator?
  • What are the different kinds of generators?
    • What are the different fuel types?
    • Advantages vs Disadvantages of the different fuel types.
    • What do the different fuels cost for the average homeowner?
  • Is a standby generator a realistic DIY project?
  • What is the installation process?
  • Are all generators safe to use to supply power to my computer, TV, and other sensitive electronics?
  • How long will I be without power while a generator switches on?
  • I have a portable generator; is it worth buying a transfer switch for it, or should I consider a fixed whole-house system?
  • To save money, can I pick and choose what in my house is “backed-up” and what is not?
  • What kind of maintenance do different generators require?
  • How long can a generator be operated and how long do they last?
  • When the generator is running, will it be loud?  Will my neighbors complain?
  • When looking at a home or office, what factors should I take into account when determining what generator size and system is right for them?
  • I have an older home; is there anything special I need to consider when installing a generator?
  • Are generators vulnerable to theft like AC units are?
  • I have seen solar generators on TV?  Are they worth looking at?

Plus listener-submitted questions.

Note: Halfway through the show there is a sixty-second gap due to a technical issue. The beginning of the conversation that was cut off was about the power grid as a whole. In summary, Burt explains that as time goes on we will see more brown-outs, blackouts, and cascading power failures. As our  populations grow, we put more and more strain on our rapidly aging power grid. If you have a backup generator you will help take strain off the grid when cascading failures happen, in addition to protecting yourself from the dangers and inconveniences of such events.


If you are in the Houston area and would like to contact Burt, you can do so through the form we set up here.


In his free time, he enjoys hogging the remote, surfing, scotch, mental masturbation and debate over philosophical topics, and shooting stuff--usually not all at the same time.

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