Choosing a UPS backup battery can be tricky. That’s especially true if you place the unit in a particular room like the garage or an attic.
Consider applicable rules and regulations when choosing a UPS system for a garage or attic. Check that your local building and fire codes and building insurance allow for installing a battery system. Then, choose a UPS with a sufficient volt-amp (VA) rating, temperature tolerance, and value-added features to satisfy your requirements.
Here, you’ll be provided with a step-by-step method of selecting an ideal UPS battery backup that can function safely and efficiently in a garage or attic.
How Do I Select A Battery Backup System For My Garage Or Attic?
Setting up an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) battery backup in your garage or attic provides you with unique challenges.
Here are some important considerations you’ll want to take before choosing the ideal UPS model for your needs:
Step #1 Check Compliance With Rules And Regulations
What it is: Despite owning the home that you live in, you’re still bound by plenty of different rules and regulations.
For example, you have local building codes and fire rules you must adhere to. On top of that, if you’ve got insurance on the building, you’ll also have to comply with rules set by the insurer.
Remember: a UPS is a battery backup system. The rules and regulations mentioned above also dictate whether or not you can set up battery systems in your building, depending on which county and state you’re in.
Why it matters: A UPS is a costly investment, and you want to ensure that you don’t make any mistakes. Complying with building codes, fire codes, and insurance policies ensures that you aren’t issued any fines or additional costs that will cost you even more money.
More importantly, being compliant ensures you won’t have to remove your UPS system and waste your entire investment.
What to do: Check your local building and fire codes, and communicate with your building insurer to inquire about any rules and regulations for setting up a UPS in your garage or attic.
Once you understand the applicable codes and policies, you can rest assured that the UPS you choose is compliant with the rules and won’t get you in trouble.
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Step #2 EstimateYour Backup Power Needs
What it is: The second step in choosing a UPS battery backup for your garage or attic is calculating your backup power needs. When it comes to UPS devices, the figure you’re looking for is the total volt-amps (VA) you require from your UPS.
Once you know the VA that you require, choosing the ideal UPS will become very straightforward.
Why it matters: The purpose of a UPS is to provide your critical devices with backup power for a short period. Doing so prevents damage to your appliances or devices from a sudden power loss.
So, the ideal UPS backup battery must be able to provide two things. Firstly, it must provide enough power to keep your critical devices running temporarily when there’s a power outage.
Secondly, the UPS must also have enough capacity to run those devices long enough for them to shut down safely.
What to do: To calculate your backup power needs, start by listing the most critical appliances that will be connected to your UPS. Then, calculate the volt-amps (VA) of each device.
The volt-amps is calculated by multiplying the total watts of a device with its total amperage.
As a rule of thumb for choosing a UPS, multiply that total VA with 1.2. That will provide you with an extra 20% backup power for your devices to act as a buffer.
Step #3 Shortlist UPS Models With Suitable Volt-Amp Ratings
What it is: After completing Step #2, you’re ready to start browsing for battery system you could put in your garage or attic. The primary specification you’re looking for is a UPS with a volt-amp rating that meets or exceeds your total VA needs calculated in Step #2.
Why it matters: You must choose a UPS model that meets the VA figure you calculated above for two reasons. Firstly, the UPS must have enough power to supply your critical devices during a blackout.
More importantly, it should also have extra power so your devices can run for long enough. If not, backup power will drain too quickly, and your devices won’t have any more backup power.
What to do: You’re free to choose a UPS model with a VA rating as high as you want. The higher the VA rating, the longer the backup power will last during a blackout.
Unfortunately, that higher VA rating will also mean a higher price for you to pay.
Bottom line: look for UPS models that exceed your VA needs and fit within your budget.
Step #4 Check The UPS Temperature Tolerance
What it is: You’ll be putting the UPS in your garage or attic, both of which get really hot or really cold according to the seasons.
That’s why you must consider the UPS’ temperature tolerance to ensure that it can function well and safely wherever you plan to put it.
Why it matters: UPS devices have safe operating temperatures that they must maintain. Excess heat and extreme cold can cause the UPS batteries to fail prematurely and lead to more significant problems.
For example, extreme cold can weaken the UPS battery, while excess heat can lead to battery fires.
What to do: At this point, you’ve shortlisted a few UPS models in Step #3. Now, compare them based on their temperature tolerance. Those tolerances must be able to handle the temperatures in your garage or attic.
Step #5 Does It Come With Value-Added Features?
What it is: UPS models also differ according to their value-added features. For example, some come with LCD screens or remote monitoring software that you’ll find helpful.
Why it matters: A UPS requires a significant financial investment. So, if you’ve shortlisted several possible models, you should compare them based on their value-added features.
After all, you’ll probably want to get as much value as possible from your investment.
What to do: Compare the features of each UPS model you’ve shortlisted and choose the one that fits your needs the most!
Helpful Questions And Answers
The following are a few more questions and answers you’ll find helpful when shopping for a UPS battery system:
What Is The Main Purpose Of The UPS?
The primary purpose of a UPS is to provide critical devices with backup power during a blackout. When the power supply cuts out, the UPS immediately begins discharging power from its internal batteries.
What Size Of UPS Do I Need?
The UPS size you need will depend on your volt-amp (VA) requirements. First, you must calculate the VA rating of all your critical devices, then choose a UPS with a VA rating that’s 1.2 times bigger than that.
How Do I Choose The Right UPS?
Your primary concern when choosing a suitable UPS is to find one that can provide enough battery power to your most important devices. Besides that, you should also consider the UPS’ additional features, like LCD screens, monitoring software, and more.
Can UPS Work Without Battery?
Some UPS systems can work without a battery if it receives power from the wall socket. However, others will not work without a battery.
How Long Will A UPS Battery Last?
A UPS battery has a lifespan of 3-5 years. The older the battery gets, the more of its performance will be lost. The aging battery can’t charge or recharge as effectively as it once did.