At some point, many homeowners consider purchasing a generator. Whether you want a backup power source in the event of an emergency or if you’re looking for a way to power an outdoor appliance, there are many reasons why someone would want a generator. After all, electricity plays a huge role in our lives, and nobody wants to go without power!
But as you start looking around at potential generators, you might find yourself overwhelmed with trying to narrow down your options.
Reasons generators are needed
The first thing you’ll want to consider is the reason you’re purchasing a generator. For many families, they want a generator to have available for emergencies. Whether the power goes out due to a faulty powerline or a natural disaster, a generator can provide you with the needed power to run essential appliances, such as your fridge. For some people, a generator is a convenient tool to have available. For others, it is an essential tool. If you live in an area that experiences frequent storms and power outages, having a generator available can help you project the food in the fridge or can allow you to run your AC. Just keep in mind, generators are usually limited to how many appliances they can power at a time. Another reason is that people want something they can take with them camping or can use during backyard events to power appliances. For example, families might need a way to power a mini-fridge while camping or for picnics. If they don’t have any way to plug the fridge into an electrical outlet, a generator might be needed.
Generating power outdoors
If you’re looking to power an appliance outdoors, you’ll specifically need a portable generator. Portable generators are more lightweight, so you’re able to transport them more easily. Many generators are bulky and hard to move, but purchasing a portable generator can help make the process of moving a generator around easier. This way, no matter if you’re looking for a generator to take camping or if you want a generator that you can use to power the stereo at your next bonfire, you’ll have the tool that you’ll need. However, even as you’re looking at portable generators, you’ll notice that some are labeled as inventor generators.
Inverter generators vs traditional generators
There are some differences between an inverter generator and a traditional generator. A traditional generator uses fuel to produce electricity. Most traditional generators require diesel fuel to run properly. However, traditional generators are more prone to surges, which can damage appliances and electronics. Inverter generators are a newer technology that first produces AC electricity (the type of electricity also produced by traditional generators). However, inventor generations then convert AC electricity into DC electricity. This DC electricity is then transformed back into a cleaner AC electricity, which is less prone to surges. This means inventor generators are more stable and less likely to cause damage.
Advantages and disadvantages of inverter generators
Inverter generators come with advantages and disadvantages. One clear advantage of an inventor generator is that they’re more stable. If you’re running a delicate electronic, such as a laptop, off of a traditional generator and there is a surge, you risk damaging that electronic. There is less of a chance of that damage occurring with an inverter generator. Other advantages are that they aren’t as noisy as a traditional generator and that they are more fuel-efficient. Disadvantages, however, are that they do tend to be more expensive and can be more complex to set up. Better technology comes at a higher price, but some families will find this more expensive price worth it. Another disadvantage is that they tend to have a lower power output than a traditional generator, so you may not be able to run as many appliances off of an inverter generator.
Factors to consider when purchasing
There are a few factors people should take into consideration when purchasing inventor power generators. One factor, of course, is the price. Keep in mind that a cheaper model might not have as many features as a more expensive model. For example, a more expensive model might run more quietly than a cheaper model. Trying to talk over the roar of a generator can be very hard, plus it can also disturb your neighbors. Less expensive models might also have a more limited power supply. Another factor to consider is how portable the generator is. If you’re primarily purchasing the generator to go camping, you’re going to want to find one that can easily be transported. Nobody wants to drag a bulky generator through the woods.
You’ll also want to consider how long the generator can run. If you only need the generator for one evening to run a stereo for a wedding, you only need a generator that can run for a few hours. But if you’re hoping to take it camping as well, you’ll instead need a generator that is capable of running for a few days. Finally, take into consideration what customer support is offered with the generator. Check to see if the company offers phone support. This can be very useful when you’re stranded in the woods with a malfunctioning generator. You’ll also want to see if there are shops nearby that can make repairs.
Having enough power
To ensure that your new generator will have enough power to support your appliances, talk to a professional at a home improvement store. Before you go to purchase the generator, write down a list of all items that you’re planning on powering with the generator. You should also write down how much wattage each item needs to run. Having this list available will help the professional provide you with recommendations as to which generator to purchase. There are also online guides that will give you suggestions on what each size generator will be able to run. For example, most recreational inverted generators will be able to support up to 2,000 watts. This means this type of generator would be able to successfully support a mini-fridge during an outdoor event. But if you’re hoping to have a generator that will power your AC, fridge, sump pump, and some smaller appliances all at the same time, you’ll need to go with a larger generator.
Safety first with generators
No matter if you’re using a portable generator or a standby generator, make sure that you’re only running it outdoors. Even if the room has great ventilation, running a generator indoors can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning. You’ll also want to make sure that you’re using a sturdy extension cord to power appliances. There are specific heavy-duty extension cords that are designed for outdoor use. Always keep your generator away from water. If there is a possibility of rain or other moist conditions during an outdoor event, you won’t be able to use the generator during that event. Doing so could put you at risk for electrical shock. Even touching a generator with wet hands can put you at risk, so always make sure to dry off your hands before touching the generator.
Whenever you need to refuel a generator, make sure to shut down and unplug all the attached appliances first. Then, turn the generator off and allow it to cool down properly before refueling it. Before you store your generator, make sure to drain it of any unused fuel. And, always make sure to read the owner’s manual before using the generator for the first time. There might be other safety precautions you need to be aware of. The user manual should go over any necessary tips, including how to safely set-up your generator and how to store your generator.
Rent or purchase generator
Something else to keep in mind is that there are companies that allow you to rent a generator instead of purchasing your own. If you’re only going to be using the generator once, for an event such as an outdoor business conference or a wedding, you might want to rent a generator instead of purchasing one. Not only can renting a generator save you money, but some companies will also send someone out to set-up the generator for the event, which will help to ensure that it is assembled correctly and in a safe location. However, if you’re planning on repeatedly using a generator or if you want something available for an emergency power outage, it makes more sense to purchase your own generator. This way, the generator will always be available when you need it.
Generators can be useful tools for many households, no matter what their reasoning for wanting one. However, if you’re primarily looking for a generator that allows you to use power outdoors, look at portable inverter generators as a way to safely run appliances and electronics. Before using a generator, always read over the owner’s manual and consider any recommended safety tips. This will allow you to operate the generator as safely and efficiently as possible.