Power generators are a great tool to keep on hand – whether it’s powering your home during a power outage, providing power to an outdoor appliance, or a tool to bring camping, there are many useful purposes for generators. Here are some tips on how to choose a power generator that will best suit your needs.
First, what do you need the generator for?
A home standby generator is what you need if you are looking to power your home during a power outage. These are ideal for providing continuous power to high-wattage appliances but are permanently installed at your home.
A portable generator is what you need if you are looking to move the generator frequently, to provide power for outdoor appliances or power tools at a job site. These have more limited power than home standby generators but are convenient for their portability.
An inverter generator is ideal for you if you need a quieter power option, for relatively low-power activities. Camping, tailgating, or outdoor parties are all great applications for an inverter generator. These lightweight power options get the job done without disturbing the peace.
Another step to finding a power generator is figuring out much wattage what you’re powering will require. If the generator is for your home, you will need to figure out the combined wattage requirements of your lights and appliances. Remembering: starting wattage for many appliances may be much higher than the continuous wattage needed to keep the appliance running. Many generators can supply higher surge wattage, to help accommodate these requirements. Also, keep in mind that appliances with motors require a starting wattage that is double that of devices without motors. Find the maximum wattage of what your generator will need to power, and find a generator that can output that – you do not want to overload your generator.
Just like cars nowadays, there are many different ways to power a generator. Do you have a preference in fuel type? Decide this before purchasing a generator.
Gasoline generators are the most common and are very convenient to provide fuel for. Gasoline can be expensive, however, and of course, is dangerous for its flammability.
Diesel generators are another fairly common option. Diesel is less flammable than gasoline and can be inexpensive to purchase. Although, it is not a particularly environmentally-friendly option and certain diesel options can be loud.
Propane generators burn fairly cleanly, and propane can be easy to find. Propane is also a highly-flammable fuel source, which may deter some.
Natural gas generators burn cleanly and run quietly. While natural gas is abundant in supply, it has a pretty limited shelf-life, so it does not store for long periods of time well. Natural gas generators also may be a bigger investment initially, but their benefits can help offset those costs.
There are some alternative fuel options that are worth looking into, like solar-powered generators. As technologies progress, these alternative options will become more readily available.
If you’re considering investing in a power generator, make sure it’s the right one for your needs. These were just a few tips to help get you on your way to choosing one. There are, of course, other factors to explore, but deciding on the generator’s purpose, necessary wattage, and your desired fuel type is great starts! If you have additional questions or concerns, feel free to visit our Hampton or Portsmouth stores!