How To Shop For A Home Backup Generator

It doesn’t matter if you know it’s going to happen or it takes you by surprise, a power outage is no fun. But they’re more than just an annoying inconvenience, living without power for any length of time can be potentially hazardous to you and your family and cost you money.

Homeowners that are prone to sustaining a loss of electricity on a regular basis should consider getting an alternative power source for the home to mitigate the effects of a power outage whenever the next one might occur.

Reasons to Buy a Backup Generator

Backup generators are a useful and affordable alternative to transfer switches as they can provide the power you need in a variety of options. Sitting in the dark for even an hour or two can be tough and it’s unnecessary now that you have so many choices available to you for purchasing the right generator.

Consider how much we rely on electricity to live comfortably. The obvious things like lights and televisions need power to operate. So do our electronic devices, when those batteries run out you need to charge them back up. All of our appliances require electrical current in order to work. That means when the power goes out, the refrigerator and freezer are no longer functioning.

Think about all of that perishable food spoiling as you wait for the electric company to restore service to your home. It could be hours, if not days, before the power is back on. By then it’s too late, all of your food has gone bad and it will need to be thrown away. It’s not only wasteful, but it’s money out of your pocket for no good reason.

What about those months where temperatures can soar or drop precipitously? When it’s 102 degrees or 12 below zero outside, you’re going to need electricity to run your HVAC system to keep the interior temperature comfortable. Without heating or air conditioning, you’re stuck at the mercy of Mother Nature.

If you’ve experienced any of these things in the past, you need to shop for a home backup generator. Here are the things to consider as you search for the best option:

Power Capacity

A generator won’t be expected to power everything in the home, only the basic essentials. It’s up to you to decide what those are. When you have that answer you will then need to determine the wattage requirements of these items and add them all up. You want your generator to be powerful enough to produce that much wattage. So find out what you need first and add it all up. Don’t forget to include startup wattage as well.

Fuel Options

You’ll have a lot of generators to choose from when you start shopping around. One of the ways for reducing all of the choices is to decide on how you plan to fuel the generator when you need to use it. You’ll find generators are powered by propane, natural gas, or gasoline.

Which of these will be the easiest for you to have on hand when you need it most? After all, you don’t want to be missing the fuel it takes to power the generator or you’re defeating the purpose.

Portable Generators

These are the units most frequently purchased by consumers because they are easily transported from one place to another, making them an ideal option for when you need power just about anywhere. You can rely on a portable backup generator when the power goes out in your home or when you need a little juice at the campsite or tailgate party.

These units typically run from 1kW to 3kW and they are powered with unleaded gas. Many of them can be loud but if you search long enough you can identify some units that are quieter than their counterparts.

Stationary Generators

For those homeowners who don’t need a generator to take with them on the go and would rather have something installed in the home, then one of the many stationary models on the market should suffice. These can run anywhere from 8kW to 16kW of wattage and they’re powered with diesel gas or propane.

But you can expect to pay significantly more to purchase one of these generators due to their size and functionality.

Inverter Generators

The smallest of the three types of generators you can find on the market. They operate much like portable generators but run cleaner and smoother because they provide better fuel efficiency. Inverters are good for powering a few items in a pinch, they can also be less expensive than the other options.

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