A generator can be a lifesaver in a power outage, but it’s important to pick the right one for your needs. A portable generator is a good option for homeowners who want the flexibility to take their power with them, whether they’re camping, tailgating or evacuating during a hurricane. Here are three things to keep in mind when shopping for a portable generator:
The first thing you need to consider when purchasing a portable generator is its size. Portable generators come in a variety of sizes. If you’re only using the generator for a few appliances, you can opt for a smaller model. However, if you plan to run larger appliances or multiple appliances at once, you’ll need a larger model with more power. Also, keep in mind that the bigger or heavier the generator, the higher the possibility that you’ll need a wheel kit. As the folks at https://generatorswift.com/generator-wheel-kit/ explain, this makes your generator a lot easier to handle so If you plan to use your generator for tailgating or camping trips, consider a wheel kit. Now, the different sizes include:
- Smaller than 1,000 watts: Usually designed for small lights and occasional appliance use, these generators often have a gasoline engine. These models are usually used by homeowners who want to power small items such as lamps or fans during power outages. They are also commonly used by outdoorsmen on camping trips. Examples of portable generators in this range include the Duromax XP4400E and the WEN 56352.
- 1,000-2,500 watts: These midsize generators are best for occasional use by homeowners who want to power items such as appliances during a power outage. They’re also useful for tailgating or camping trips when you need to power a few appliances or devices at the same time. Examples of generators in this range include the Briggs & Stratton 30545 and the Westinghouse WGen3600.
- 3,000-6,000 watts: These generators are designed for more frequent use by homeowners who want to power multiple appliances during a power outage. They can also be used for camping trips or other activities that require multiple devices to be powered. Some models in this range, such as the Generac GP5500, offer surge power to start high-demand appliances such as air conditioners.
- 7,500 watts and above: If you need a generator for heavier-duty use, such as running an air conditioner during a power outage, you’ll want to consider a model that produces 7,500 watts or more. These generators are designed for regular use and can handle large appliances and multiple devices simultaneously.
Choose the Right Fuel Type
Not all portable generators run on the same fuel type. Some models run on gasoline, while others run on propane or diesel. It’s important to choose a model that runs on the fuel type you have available. For example, if you only have access to propane tanks, you’ll need to buy a portable generator that runs on propane.
Gasoline-powered generators are less expensive than their counterparts, which makes them a good choice for homeowners on a budget. However, gasoline generally costs more and is harder to transport and store than other fuels. Propane tanks, on the other hand, are readily available in most areas. Most portable propane generators cost more than gasoline models, but they’re still fairly affordable.
To add fuel to a portable generator, simply unscrew the cap on the fuel tank and pour the fuel in. Be sure to fill the tank to the top to avoid running out of fuel while your generator is in use. For safety reasons, don’t fill the tank in a closed area.
Decide Which Features Are Important to You
Not all portable generators are created equal. Some models come with features that may be important to you, while others do not. Here are some common features:
- AC Outlets: Allows you to plug in devices that require a standard AC outlet, such as a TV, refrigerator, or computer.
- DC Outlets: Allows you to plug in devices that require a DC outlet, such as a laptop or cell phone charger.
- USB Ports: Allows you to charge your USB devices using the generator.
- Low-Oil Shutoff: Prevents the engine from running if it’s low on oil, which can damage the generator.
- Automatic Voltage Regulation (AVR): Keeps the voltage output of the generator consistent, even when it’s under load. This prevents your devices from becoming damaged due to a fluctuating voltage output.
- Parallel Capability: Allows you to connect two generators together, doubling the power output of the generator. This is useful for powering larger appliances or more devices at once.
- Digital Displays: Shows the voltage, frequency, and running load of a generator.
- Inverter Technology: Powers sensitive electronics without any fluctuations in voltage.
- Standby Power: Provides backup power at all times when plugged into a working outlet, allowing you to press the starter button even with no exhaust fumes or other power source.
- Remote Start: Allows you to start the generator from a safe distance, using a remote control or via an app on your smartphone.
A portable generator can be a lifesaver during a power outage. It’s important to choose the right model for your needs and to understand the different features each model offers. Also, be sure to consider the fuel type, and how often you’ll use the generator. With these things in mind, you’re sure to find the perfect portable generator for your needs.