There’s a lot of facts to know before you shop for a portable generator. Before you head out to the door to buy one, make sure you know these facts first. We all had our share of power outages this year. Enough to start thinking about adding a portable generator to our homes.
Generators generate electricity for our homes in times of need like power outages, blackouts, and inclement weather. With the popularity of portable generators growing, finding the right one that suits your needs is essential.
Assess Your Needs Before Shopping For a Portable Generator
Since portable generators have multiple features, it’s a good idea to know what you need before purchasing one. While some feature temporary wall and ground mounting features, others have wheels for the ultimate in portability. Unlike fixed power generators, portable ones move around freely from place to place.
More so, whether you need one for your home or business, a portable generator is a wise decision. Many folks also purchase them for outdoor events, which makes their portability even more beneficial.
However, portable generators can be pricy depending on the make and model you choose. This past winter, we decided to start shopping for one for our home. Every year, prices come down due to vast popularity, which can make them more affordable. Since we live in a small town, power outages happen with frequency, even during the summer months.
Furthermore, websites like GeneratorGrid detail different capacities and specifications for you to consider when shopping. Below, you’ll discover some essential things to think about before you head out shopping.
1 – Access The Size Of The Portable Generator You Need
First, it makes smart sense to decide what size portable generator you need. Just because some generators are mobile doesn’t mean small in size. More importantly, the larger generators are more efficient when it comes to power. If you want a smaller size, the threshold of efficiency might not work for your needs.
Additionally, below you find some of the sizes you can choose.
- Micro Generators 900-2000 watts
- Small Generators: 3000 – 4000 watts
- Medium Generators: 6000 – 7500 watts
- Large Generators: 7500 – 15000 watts
Now, when you are ready to shop, you can determine which size generator works best!
2 – Output Capacity
As with any large piece of equipment, you’ll want to make sure the level of power you need suits your needs. For your home to receive the proper amount of power, knowing the output capacity is essential.
More so, each portable generator comes with a defined power output capacity (Measured in Horsepower or Kilowatts, or Kilovolt-Ampere). That’s why it is essential to check this out before making your purchase.
With a high output capacity, you can power things like your electric dryer, TV, sump pumps, your lights, space heaters, and more. And all at the same time, which makes sense and a great feature.
Typically, if you want to power large appliances like your central AC unit, you’ll need a high output capacity to do so. Lower capacity models can cause an overload that you want to avoid.
Plus, always remember to have excellent ventilation for your generator. Preferably, keep it outdoors and at least 10 feet or more away from your home. When it comes to ventilation, you need to take it very seriously. Also, check the wind conditions too. After all, you don’t want fumes to blow back into your home.
3 – Fuel Efficiency
The majority of all portable generators run on either petrol or diesel. Thus their functionality is highly dependent on the supply of fuel they receive. However, various types of portable generators consume fuel at different rates. And this can make some more efficient than others.
Thus, it would be best to consider the portable generator’s fuel efficiency that you want to buy. And make your choice based on the level of fuel efficiency you need. Of course, doing so would help prevent problems in the long run. You can choose from gasoline, natural gas, liquid propane, and diesel fuel types.
Determining fuel efficiency should be a key consideration when making your choice. Remember, this will help to determine the overall cost over time as well. Now, you can think about diesel vs. gas and emission standards as well. Deciding if you want a diesel or gas generator should remain a top consideration before purchasing.
4 – Cost And Features
Finally, it would be best to consider how much the portable generator you are planning to buy would cost. Many people who purchase portable generators do it for the sake of their businesses. At the same time, others use them for residential or other non-business purposes.
Obviously, you’ll want to determine a budget for your portable generator. Remember to include installation and setup costs as well. If you decide to hire someone to set things up, you should have that in your overall cost.
Remember, the more features and power included in the unit, the more you’ll end up paying. It’s a good idea to make a needs assessment first and then set your budget. Typically, the national average cost for installation is about $750 per unit.
To compare, if you purchase a 2,000 gas-powered portable generator, the cost can range from $200 for installation. Conversely, a 10,000-watt diesel-powered generator on wheels can cost up to $5000.
Essential Features To COnsider When SHopping For Your Portable Generator
Now, it’s an excellent time to decide which features you want to include in your generator. You can choose one with outlet circuit-break protection. Doing so will guard against any generator overloads. Also, note that larger fuel tanks will feature extra runtime.
Moreover, a generator with integrated fule gauges will also help to prevent any power interruptions. Plus, you’ll want to make sure the power can support and provide safety for your computers and other electronics.
Also, think about the noise level. You’ll want to include low-tone mufflers to ensure a quiet operation. And lastly, fold-down handles and wheels for easy portability. Often, you can purchase a kit including these features.
In closing, make a punch list of all the features and costs before purchasing your portable generator. We all know how important it is to have an alternate power source for our homes and businesses. Like any other major appliance purchase, it pays to work out the details beforehand.
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