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Generator Buying Guide – How to Find the Best Generator for Your Needs

Farhan Malik

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Generators remain a popular source of power backup. When you experience an electricity outage, they can be a perfect backup to keep your home cold or warm in summer or winter as they keep the fridge running, kitchen cooking, and your smartphone charging.

Many people end up buying generators which do not meet their needs completely because most decisions are made when consumers are frustrated by experiencing power outages or other reasons. Just like buying anything, you have to be logical and practical when you are buying a generator.

Choose the Type You Want

There are four different types of generators:

Home Standby Generators

  • These are expensive generators. After you have bought them, get them installed by a professional. An electrician who is experienced in installing generators can help you deal with noise restrictions, finding a proper location, and getting municipal permits.
  • These are automated and don’t need a trigger to start. Home standby generators start functioning as the power goes out.
  • The automation helps users identify when maintenance is needed. These generators run self-diagnosis and tell the consumer when maintenance is required. Some even send this notification through email or text.
  • These can be operated on propane, a fuel which is less risky to store than gasoline or other fuels
  • The power of these generators’ ranges from somewhere between 5,000 to 20,000 watts

What are their costs?

$3,000 to $6,000

Portable Generators

  • Portable generators are less expensive than the former
  • Running on gasoline, these need a stabilizer to store the fuel for long periods. Also, for portable generators, people usually keep fuel in large quantities.
  • While you must avoid using them in an enclosed space, you can operate them anywhere in your house or outside your house
  • One thing to keep in mind is that these generators can quickly produce a large amount of carbon monoxide. Try to locate them 6 meters away from your home. Also, keep the direction away from your house or your neighbor’s house
  • You can protect your generators by creating a shield around it with a canopy designed for your model when it starts raining

Many portable generators have the electric starting feature. However, you may have to purchase the battery

Energy output is around 3,000 to 8,500 watts.

Typical cost:

$400 to $1,000

Inverter Generators

Having complex engines, Inverter generators are a bit expensive than portable generators of comparable output. They produce less noise than the typical generators because their engines run a variable speed depending on how much power is required from the engine. However, unlike inverter generators, portable generators always function at a constant speed regardless of the demand

  • The exhaust systems in inverted generators are better and support tamp down noise
  • Running incessantly, they produce fewer emissions. However, this does not mean you take any fewer safety precautions than you would with a conventional generator

Typical cost:

$500 to $4,000

Portable Power Stations

  • Portable power stations run on electricity as they are powered by a battery which can be changed easily by plugging into an electrical outlet. You can also sometimes charge it through the solar panel. They don’t consume gas or propane
  • This type is relatively new to the generator market and is more expensive than portable gas generators
  • These generators are quiet. So, those concerned with comfort will be at ease
  • Power generators don’t produce carbon monoxide make them a safer choice. This also means you can use them indoor
  • While they come with so many pros, one thing to notice is that you cannot expect them to run for extended periods or provide power to a lot of appliances using them. You must be aware of the power limit
  • You have to recharge them timely with electricity or solar power
  • Consumers never face any issue with starting the device because there isn’t anything really to start

Typical cost:

$750 to $3,000

Conclusion

Home standby generators are permanent and run-on natural gas or propane and have automated power on. Portable and inverter generators are easy to move around. However, you can find them in a variety of sizes. Honda Power Generators have a wide variety of portable and inverter generators. You can check their website to know different sizes and outputs.