5 Things to Know Before Buying a Generator
Having a generator in your home can be beneficial but with so many models on the market acquiring the right one for your needs isn’t always easy. Aside from price differences, generators comes in different types, carry different wattage, and run on various fuels, among other differences. All these factors should be considered to ensure that you find the right generator.
Here is a simple guide that will help you with choosing a generator:
– Decide what wattage you need
– Decide what type of generator you need
– Check fuel tank capacity and the type of fuel the generator uses
– Find out about maintenance requirements
– Find out about special features, e.g. the number of outlets and noise level
It doesn’t matter if you planning to tailgate or secure backup power for your home. Before you even start shopping around for a generator you should first determine how much power you need. The safest way to do so is to hire an electrician, especially if you’re purchasing the generator to power several household appiances. However you can also examine the various owner’s manuals for the power requirement for each appliance.
Keep in mind that most electrical equipment will generate more power during start up, so the generator should have a wattage higher than what you get when you total the power requirement of all appliances.
2. Type Of Generator
When purchasing a generator your choices will normally boil down to a standby or portable generators, though there are less popular options such as inverters. Inverters are great power source for RV outings, camping, and tailgating parties, where a moderate yet clean and efficient source of power is needed.
Standby and portable generators carry a higher wattage ranging from 7,000-20,000 watts and 1,000-10,000 watts respectively, and are therefore more suitable when a greater source of power is need. Of the two, standbys are more costly and are priced based on the power capacity. They can run on natural gas or propane and are perfect for permanent home installation. Portable generators can be used for emergency storm power or in situations when mobility is important.
Generators can be powered by different fuels: natural gas, propane, gasoline, diesel and even solar energy. Most people prefer generators that run on fuel that is easily available and burns cleaner. Propane, for instance, emits 40% less carbon monoxide and carries a longer shelf life, so you can always keep several tanks closely available for emergencies. Therefore, with propane you’ll never have to worry about your fuel going bad.
If you own a portable generator you might want to consider the fact that gasoline produces more wattage than propane. Diesel generators are more rugged while solar power generators are common among people who practice eco-friendly living.
While all generators require maintenance some may need more frequent repairs than others. For example, AC generators with brushes require timely repair. All generators with high maintenance needs, which are not properly attended to, can be detrimental – leading to fires and other hazardous issues. This can be costly and problematic for first time users. Find out how often you will need to change the oil in the generator you intend to purchase before you make a final decision.
5. Special Features
The features on the generator that you purchase should initially be influenced by how you intend to use it. For instance, a generator for camping or tailgating should come with noise reduction features. Some generators carry noisy motors that can be very disturbing in specific situations, for both you and your neighbors.
Another feature you should check is the number of outlets on the generator that you purchase. Ensure that there are enough outlets so that you can plug your appliances directly into the generator outlets. Generators for RVs should normally carry 120-Volt RV outlets while inverters meant to plug in small devices like cell phones should have a USB port.
By following the guide above you’ll be able to find a generator that is perfect for you. Be sure to adhere to the manufacturer’s safety measures in order to avoid hazards such as fires or carbon monoxide poisoning.