A generator is an important piece of equipment for your home or office. It provides backup power during a blackout or emergency, and it can also be used to run appliances and tools when you’re away from home. But with so many different types and brands of generators available, how do you choose the right one for your needs? Here are six tips to help you select the best generator for your needs.
How to choose the right generator
1. Determine the type of generator you need
There are three main types of generators: portable, standby, and inverter. Portable generators are the most affordable option, the heaviest, and most challenging to move. Standby generators are permanently installed, so they’re more expensive, more powerful, and easier to use.
Inverter generators are the newest type on the market, offering the best of both worlds – they’re lightweight and portable like a portable generator. Still, they’re also more powerful and efficient than a portable generator. The best way to determine your generator type is to read reviews and compare features. This guide at https://generatormag.com reviews the best portable generators to help you get started. Think about how and where you’ll be using your generator, and choose the type that best fits your needs.
2. Consider the size of the generator
The size of the generator is another critical consideration. Portable generators are available in various sizes, from small units weighing less than 50 pounds to large units weighing more than 500 pounds. Standby generators are also available in multiple sizes, but they’re typically much larger than portable generators – some standby units can weigh up to 2,000 pounds.
Inverter generators are:
- Usually the smallest and lightest generator.
- Making them the most convenient option for RVs.
- Camping trips.
- Other outdoor activities.
When choosing the size of the generator, think about how easy it will be to transport and how much power you need.
3. Choose the right fuel type
Generators are available with various fuel types, including gasoline, diesel, propane, and natural gas. Gasoline is the most common fuel used in generators but is also the least efficient. Diesel generators are more efficient than gasoline generators, but they’re also more expensive.
Propane generators are a good middle ground—they’re more efficient than gasoline and less expensive than diesel generators. Natural gas generators are the most efficient but require a natural gas line connection, which may not be available in all areas. When choosing a fuel type, consider your budget and your power needs.
4. Determine the running wattage and starting wattage
All generators have two wattage ratings: running wattage and starting wattage. Running wattage is the continuous power the generator can produce while starting wattage is the peak power the generator can produce for a short time.
To choose the right generator, you need to know the watts required by the appliances and tools you want to run. You can find this information on the appliance or tool itself, or you can use an online calculator like this one from Generator Guru. Once you know the watts required, add the watts for all the appliances and tools you want to run simultaneously and choose a generator with a wattage rating that meets or exceeds that number.
5. Consider the run time
All generators have a limited run time, which is the amount of time the generator can run before it needs to be refuelled. The run time of a generator depends on the fuel type, the fuel tank’s size, and the generator’s power output.
For example, a small portable generator with a gas tank can usually run for about 8 hours at 50% load, while a large standby generator can run for 24 hours or more at 50% load. When choosing a generator, consider how long you need it to run and select a model with an appropriate runtime.
6. Compare warranties and service plans
All generators come with a warranty, but the length of the warranty varies by manufacturer. Some manufacturers offer extended warranties or service plans for an additional fee. When comparing warranties, pay attention to the coverage and the length of the warranty.
Also, be sure to read the fine print—some warranties require you to perform regular maintenance on the generator. In contrast, others void the warranty if you use the generator for commercial purposes. Extended warranties and service plans can be a good investment, but be sure you understand what’s covered before you purchase one.
Choosing the right generator can be a daunting task, but it’s essential to take the time to find the right model for your needs. Use these tips to help narrow your choices and find the perfect generator for your home or business. With a little research, you can find the right generator to keep your lights on and your family safe during a power outage.
Featured image: Jackery Power Station/Unsplash