Sudden disasters are not unusual. Anything can happen from a bushfire to a tornado. So it is essential that we are prepared if disasters such as these hit us.
When natural disasters strike, generally, the first access we lose is to electricity. Which just so happens to be one of the most important instruments of modern civilization. Now can you imagine a day without it?
If this awful situation happened, you would not have access to television, computer, cooling and heating devices. Food will rot in the refrigerator during hot days, and will not be able to used things like the washing machine or hairdryers. Yikes!
Since so much is at stake during emergency power outages, it is better to have a backup home power generator installed in your house. This article will help you decide which generator is the best option for you.
Types of Generators for Home
Generally, there are two types of generators that can be used to power appliances and other accessories in times of need. The details are discussed below.
A portable generator will cost between $500 to $15,000 depending on the power output. You can use either liquid propane gas or gasoline to power up this type of generator.
Some of them may support both liquid propane gas and gasoline to run. Maintenance and operation are easy with this generator.
Despite its small size, a portable generator can be moved from one place to another effortlessly. When you purchase a good quality portable generator, it will last for a very long time. Some companies may give you a warranty of 3 years or more.
Portable generators that operate on fuel can be categorized in three ways, depending on their power. A generator that has a power less than 2000 watts weigh the least compared to others. It can be carried around with the attached handle, and it usually weighs less than 70 pounds.
The second type of portable generator has a power output between 2000 to 7000 watts. It can also be carried around using the built-in handle, but it comes with wheels as well.
Finally, the third type of portable generator is the heaviest and with the highest power output ability. It has a weight of between 200 to 300 pounds. Because of its high power and heavy weight, it is sometimes called a heavy-duty model.
Compared to a portable generator, a standby generator is large in size, and it can’t be moved from one place to another easily. It stays fixed in one place and is able to provide a high amount of power to your household.
The best feature of a standby generator that differentiates from a portable generator is its ability to turn on and off when the power goes out and returns. With the portable generator, you have to turn it on and off manually, which is not the case with a standby generator.
A standby generator designed for residential buildings can support the water heaters, stove, refrigerator, security system, and the HVAC system. The generator can run on natural gas, liquid propane gas, and diesel.
Generally, the cost of a generator like this is $5000 for a 7000-watt unit. For a standby generator to be able to run perfectly in times of need, conduct maintenance tests on it every week or month.
To get a better picture of what type of generator you would like to buy according to features, take a look at the different diesel generators for sale online. This will help give you a better idea of what to look for.
How to Find Your Power Needs
If your household power requirement is less, you don’t need to invest in a big, high-power generator, whether you want a standby or a portable generator. Hence, we are here to help you calculate your household power needs and choose a generator accordingly.
To calculate the average household power requirement, you have to add up the watts of all the appliances you would desperately need when the power goes out. But for this, you need to prepare a list of electrical appliances that you want to use during blackouts.
You can find the power needs of each piece of equipment in the house on the labels on the item. Record them all, add them up, and multiply by 1.5.
It is okay to go a few days without the computer or the air conditioner. So try to be practical when you are making the decision. You can use a generator wattage calculator to calculate your typical power needs.
It is important to mention that there are two types of watts – starting and running. All the appliances in your household use starting watts and running watts to operate.
Many times, the starting watts are more than running watts. So be careful to record the running watts, because that is the power household equipment uses to continue to operate.
Once you are done with the calculations, choose a generator that generates more power than you actually need. This way, you are prepared for extra power requirements should that become a concern.
The general power requirement of a homeowner is between 3000 to 6500 watts. People with larger furnaces or well pumps need more power than people who own small furnaces.
As you can see, choosing the right generator is actually not that difficult. However, don’t settle for a brand that is unknown. Do your research and make sure you buy from companies that are reliable and trusted by several customers.
You also should research and practice how to use and maintain a generator before (or after) your big purchase. You don’t want your money to go to waste because you failed to maintain the machine the right way.
The best way to keep a generator last for as long as possible is to use it according to the owner’s manual and to run monthly maintenance tests. If operated properly, whichever generator you bring to your home, it will become a wise long-term investment.