UPS vs. Backup Generator Pros and Cons for Your Business

At MaintenX, we recommend that every business, no matter how small, invest in a backup power supply. They are required for some industries such as healthcare and food service but can be a lifesaver for your employees regardless of the type of work you do. However, choosing the right backup power for your business can be trickier than you may expect. 


Generally, businesses can choose between a backup generator or an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) for their facility. A commercial backup generator is similar to generators for your home but is permanently installed and able to power entire buildings. A UPS system does the same but is installed inside the building and creates a seamless stream of power once the grid power is cut off. 


If you are in the market for a backup power supply, here is what you need to know about each of these options: 


Generators can be portable or installed.

A backup generator can be permanently installed outside of the building, but they are also available in smaller, portable options. 


UPS systems must be installed in the building.

Because a UPS system is powered by a battery and provides an uninterrupted power source, it must be installed into the building and connected to the electrical system. 


Generators are noisy and let off fumes.

Generators run on diesel, gas, or propane, and are therefore louder and more noticeable than a UPS system. They often let off fumes as well during the combustion process. 


UPS systems are quiet. 

UPS systems run on a battery and therefore make very little noise. They are ideal for facilities where loud noise could become disruptive, such as nursing facilities and apartments. 


Generators are more expensive in the short term.

Because of the size, generators are typically more expensive at purchase. However, they can often be cheaper to install than a UPS system because of the simplicity of the connection to your power grid. 


UPS systems cannot typically power as much.

UPS systems are designed to power the essentials, such as lighting and essential equipment. The UPS systems that are designed to power entire buildings are much more complex and expensive than a traditional UPS system. 


Generators require regular mechanical maintenance. 

Because generators are built with many more mechanical parts, they require regular maintenance to ensure they are in working order when a disaster strikes. We typically recommend yearly maintenance for any type of commercial generator. 


UPS systems have no lag time and are therefore safer for servers and essential services. 

If you run a complex or essential service such as a medical facility, UPS systems are the way to go. They protect your tech and ensure that no matter what happens, your essential services remain operational. 


MaintenX can help you find the right backup power and provide installation service for the industry’s top brands. To learn more about options in your local area, contact the MaintenX team today!

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