With a good generator, you can run important appliances in your home like refrigerators, heaters, and air conditioners during power outages. Generator dealers record the most sales when there are massive storms in surrounding regions, which means most people don’t buy generators until they urgently need them.
Waiting until the last minute forces you to settle for any random generator that appears to be up to the task. First you should check the specs carefully, install it following all the guidelines, and avoid shortcuts at all costs. The following guide will explain everything you need to know to choose a reliable generator.
Typical Generator Uses
• Backup Power During Harsh Weather Conditions – Do you live in an area where heavy rains and storms are rampant? You should invest in a portable generator to power your crucial appliances whenever such weather conditions cause a blackout. If you also live in an area experiencing freezing temperatures, you cannot rely on electricity from the national grid to power air conditioners and heaters. The solution is to invest in a portable generator.
• Outdoor Recreational Activities – Make camping more fun for everyone by bringing along a source of power. With a portable generator, you can enjoy the conveniences of modern-day living such as a coffee maker, a small refrigerator, and the ability to charge your phones. The generator also supports lighting, thereby significantly improving the security of your remote camping site.
• Construction Site and Backyard Activities – Are you a contractor working at a remote place, or a homeowner working on a patio situated far from a power line? A portable generator allows you to use tools such as roofing guns, spray guns, and electric drills. It also enables you to use security lights and continue working late in the night. Persons running businesses also stand to reap heavily by investing in a portable generator; run your business 24/7 regardless of the presence of a blackout.
Features That Count in a Generator
To get the best value for your investment, you should consider the following features while shopping for a portable generator.
1. Electric Start – Many portable generators offer a push-button option to the conventional pull-starting mechanism. Find out if the battery required for this function is included in the price, and if not, factor it in (it costs about 50 dollars)
2. Alternative Fuel – While most portable generators use gasoline only, there are models designed to run on natural gas or a propane gas tank. Some, however, can be converted using special kits.
3. Wheels – Note that some portable generators will require you to buy wheels separately. Wheels cost as high as 150 dollars. Moving a wheeled generator alone is possible, but without wheels, it is not practicable.
4. Fuel Gauge – A fuel gauge allows you to check fuel level easily which is particularly useful during extended power blackouts.
5. Low-Oil Shutoff – A generator is designed to shut down automatically whenever oil falls below a specified level for safety reasons. A good number of portable generators feature this handy feature.
6. Inverter Technology – High-end portable generators provide cleaner output power that can be used by even the most sensitive appliances. Such generators are appropriate for camping since they typically operate much more silently.
7. Multiple Outlets – Four or even more allow you to best utilize the wattage because they spread the load. However, you should use all the outlets during outdoor camping expeditions or emergencies only.
8. Removable Console – They allow you to directly plug appliances into your portable generator without using the potential risk extension cords.
Tips for Generator Care and Maintenance
• Allow your generator to cool down sufficiently before refueling it.
• If you are planning to use your generator around the clock, stock up between 12 and 20 gallons of fuel per day, depending on its size.
• Water must not come into contact with your portable generator. Such a contact may result in generator break down or even electrocution.
• Check and change your generator oil and filters on a regular basis, preferably before starting it.
• Never back-feed your generator output into the national grid. It makes the utility line live, possibly injuring a technician working on the line.
• Do not run your portable generator in an enclosed space. Generators emit deadly carbon monoxide which should be channeled out to avoid inhalation.
When shopping for a portable generator, do not rush. Ideally, you should buy when you are not urgently in need of generator power. Once you know the generator power output that will suit you, establish the presence of the above useful features. Furthermore, you should also read portable generator reviews to dig deeper on features as well as pros & cons of each model. Then you will be able to quickly find out the best generator meet your need.
This article was contributed by Victor Hill of Trustworthy Power.