Home generators are more commonly becoming a reality of life these days. The reliability of our electricity supply isn’t what it used to be, and with more and more freak weather situations and a rise in people moving to suburban areas in the middle of nowhere, it’s not unusual to see yourself without power.
In this day and age, it’s hard to find anyone who hasn’t experienced a power outage. This has led to the popularity of owning a home generator, with them offering a safe and convenient way to provide power to a home – especially when an outage occurs.
If you’re looking at investing in a generator for household use but have no idea where to start, you’ve come to the right place. Whilst it isn’t ‘new news’ about the benefits of having an at-home generator at your house, what you might not realise is how far small-scale home generator technology has advanced. It’s now more practical than ever for proactive homeowners to meet their own emergency power needs, and to meet it at lower cost than ever.
Before you go out and purchase an at-home generator, it helps first by understanding your needs and options. You’ll find below a number of tips to help you explore finding the best generator for home use.
This sounds like a simple question, but it’s worth asking yourself. Home generators convert the energy that is found in gas, diesel fuel, propane or natural gas into electrical energy – the kind we use in everyday life. Home generators can put out 120 volts or both 120 and 240 volts, just like the power that comes into your home from the local utility.
When it comes to sizing, generators can be large or small, portable or stationary. Think about the space you have in your home and often you will realistically get use of one, before you decide on which is right for you.
2. Weigh up the following and write your answers down
Have a think about the questions below and jot down your answers. Then, scan through them all and use your answers to determine how you search online for your generator.
• What is the right size of generator for my home?
• What weight and voltage outlet would I need?
• Would I benefit from a portable or static generator?
• How would I connect the home generators to my house?
• Can I easily maintain and look after a home generator properly?
Static generators are usually bigger. And the bigger the generator, the more it weighs. This is the beauty of owning a portable generator because portable generators are always on the move, therefore, the more lightweight, the better.
You’ll pull your generator out of the garage as and when you need it, you might take it to the bottom of the garden for outdoor use, or you may even want to share your generator with a neighbour or friend. Have a think about your own mobility and strength with moving a generator around before you consider portable or static, and the actual weight of the generator you opt for.
Make sure you take a look at the bigger generators though, as you’ll notice many come equipped with wheels and a handle to make moving them around super easy.
Whichever kind of fuel type you choose, you must remember this: the best generator in the world is completely useless without the fuel. And if your area is hit by a storm bad enough to knock out the electrical grid, that pretty much guarantees that gas will be hard to get hold of.
One alternative is to buy a generator that uses propane. Some portable generators can run on those little propane bottles that are used on outdoor grills.
Standby generators – or static generators as we called them before – can use natural gas, propane or diesel fuel, avoiding the problems of gas spoilage and availability problems. Diesel generators are quite a popular option due to this matter.
If you end up going with gas generators, remember that the time to buy gas for it is before the storm hits or the outage actually happens. Also, bear in mind that gas has a short shelf life; even under ideal storage conditions, it can “go bad” in a couple of months—in other words, undergo chemical changes that make it worthless as fuel.
This means that if you do store gas for your backup generator, you’ll definitely want to rotate your stock; once that stored gas has been sat in storage for a couple of months, remember to use it up and replace it.
We hope this article has clarified a few thoughts about at home generator types and has helped you with your decisions.