On any given day there are thousands of homeowners who suddenly find themselves without power. A backup generator can save you a lot of stress and frustration if you find yourself or your family without power for even a short amount of time especially during severe weather. However, not all generators are created equal and it’s a good idea to take some time to figure out which generator is right for your needs. Here are 5 things you need to know before you purchase a backup generator.
When it comes to a true backup generator most people think of the portable one that has wheels and is not directly connected to your home’s electrical system. If you need the generator simply for the important appliances such as your refrigerator and furnace, as well as a few extras such as lights and television, then a generator that supplies about 5,500 watts should be just the right size.
It won’t be able to run your entire home’s AC unit and water heater simultaneously but it will definitely get you through a temporary power outage without too much of a hassle. A good quality 5,500 watt generator can be purchased for about $700 which is an excellent investment in case of a power outage in your area.
When it comes to ease of use, propane beats gas in a landslide. With gasoline you’ll need to be sure to have several five-gallon containers on hand at all times and in a safe location. You’ll have to be sure that the gasoline remains stable (by adding a stabilizer) and you’ll have to replace the gas every few months. This type of maintenance can end up costing you more than the generator is worth in case of an emergency.
With propane, however, virtually all of these problems are eliminated. You can store liquid propane indefinitely without worrying about it going bad. It’s simple and safe to refuel, all you have to do is replace the empty tank with a full one and you don’t have to worry about your generator becoming damaged due to old gasoline.
Purchasing anything online these days can often save you thousands of dollars. However, when it comes to generators the savings won’t be worth anything if your generator can’t be serviced locally. Do some research on local dealers in the area and if you can find a comparable product online great! If not, however, it makes much more sense to spend a little extra to purchase it locally in order to save you the hassle of having nowhere to service your generator.
One of the main issues with portable generators is the volume and noise that is often present and can be a nuisance to you and your neighbors. Standby generators tend to be much quieter and if you’re willing to shell out quite a bit of extra cash you can find an extra-quiet portable generator. However, if you’re looking for something to help you get by on the occasional power outage, spending the money for a quieter generator can be cost-prohibitive. It all depends on your own preference and the type of neighborhood you live in, particularly if you have neighbors in close proximity to your property.
Generators are an excellent investment for any home owner. Even if you only have one power outage over the course of owning your home the generator will pay for itself in saving the food in your refrigerator and allowing you to charge your important electronics. However, with so many options out there, purchasing a generator can end up costing you more than it’s worth. Be sure to follow these 4 tips to ensure that you’re purchasing the best possible generator for your needs.