When the power goes out, the electronics and appliances in your home could stop running. For many, this means they end up in the dark, sweating during the summer, and worrying about the $300 worth of food spoiling in the freezer. Some homeowners would also worry about possible flooding without the sump pump. Occasionally, homes experience power outages. However, when they become routine, it may be time to consider investing in a backup power source, such as a generator. In this article, we’ll guide you through everything you need to know about buying generators, including factors to help you choose which machine best fits your needs.
How to buy generators based on type?1.Portable Generators Portable generators typically run on gasoline. This means you need to store large quantities in case of emergencies. You can use portable generators anywhere, even off your property. However, never run it in an enclosed space. Experts recommend running portable generators 20 feet away from your property to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. You should also avoid running it too close to an AC condenser or window AC. 2.Standby Generators Standby generator units should be installed in homes by experts. Typically, homeowners would need to meet the noise restrictions and location requirements from local authorities. Home standby generators start immediately after the power goes out. On average, this type of generator supplies more power than other options. Some home generators also have a self-diagnostic system that lets users know when maintenance is needed. 3.Inverter Generators Inverter generators can produce comparable power output as traditional portable generators. However, their engines are more complex, making them a bit more expensive than the portable alternative. Inverter generators are much quieter than their counterparts. This is because its system allows it to match the power demand instead of running on full power. They also produce fewer emissions, but experts still suggest following the same safety protocol as you would with portable generators.
How to buy a generator based on power needs?Generators are sold by power output, often measured in watts. The amount of power a machine can deliver determines how many lights and appliances it can run simultaneously. When buying a generator, it is crucial to know how much power you need. To do this, start making a list of what you need to supply power to once the electricity goes out. This can include your sump pump, refrigerator, AC unit, and other appliances. Add up the watts needed by each equipment to find out how much power you’d need in case of an outage. We listed a rough estimate of the required wattage for everyday essentials.
- Refrigerator: 600 watts
- Sump pump: 750 to 1,500 watts
- Portable heater: 1,500 watts
- Window air conditioner: 1,000 watts
- Lights: 60 to 600 watts
- Computers: 60 to 300 watts
How to buy a generator based on features?When buying generators, list the features that you want to see in your machine. Doing so will ensure that the machine you purchased can meet your needs. Automatic CO Shutoff Some generators come with an automatic CO shutoff system. This feature immediately turns off the machine’s engine once it detects a deadly build-up of carbon monoxide. Many generators with built-in CO sensors have these references on the packaging:
- ANSI/UL2201 Certified for Carbon Monoxide Safety
- ANSI/PGMA G300 Certified Safety & Performance