Severe seasonal storms always come uninvited and can leave your entire household and even the neighborhood without a power supply. Purchasing a backup generator is the only way to escape such a disaster with minimal inconveniences! This tool will also provide you with an opportunity to bring electricity to any remote site! Below is a detailed guide on how to get an optimal generator model to power up your household.
1. Calculate the Right Size
The most important and the most complicated step in choosing the right generator is calculating the needed size of the tool. Your future device must be capable of handling all the necessary appliances. Here’s a quick instruction on how to determine the right generator size:
- Total the wattages of small appliances – this includes all the lightbulbs, electric heaters, computers, etc. Add only those items that must run during a power outage. In most cases, you can figure out wattages on the items or in user manuals.
- Determine electric motor requirements – unlike small appliances, electric motors need a lot of starting power to run. Most electric motors need 2-3 times the running wattage to start. It’s also recommended to add at least 25% to the max VA to have enough power if extra tools might potentially be needed.
- Create a chart – use the collected data and calculations to create a chart of wattages. It will not only help you determine the needed max size but also allow you to figure out acceptable combinations for a smaller generator.
2. Dig Into Generator Reviews
Once you calculate the right generator size, you can compare the options available on the market. The best way to do it is to compare reviews of authoritative experts and average users who leave reviews on Amazon, Lowes, and other online marketplaces.
For example, if Duromax XP5500EH seems to be a good option, you should thoroughly read Duromax XP5500EH reviews to see all the real-life benefits and potential pitfalls of this tool. Do this with all generator models that match your max wattage and budget.
3. Learn About Generator Types
Here are the types of generators to choose from:
- Portable generators – these small gasoline or propane tools are good for keeping the lights on, charging up small gadgets, starting vehicles, or powering up 1-2 small tools and appliances. Portable gasoline generators are usually the most budget-friendly and easy to maintain. Most households choose this type.
- Inverter generators – they create stable AC output that is most secure for sensitive electronics and appliances.
- Standby generators – it’s the largest generator type for home use as it provides a full-fledged backup emergency power source. It’s also the most expensive and difficult to maintain type.
- Diesel generators – they can be both standby and portable and usually provide higher fuel efficiency than gas models but produce more emissions and are prone to fuel freezing in winter. Germans lost most winter tank battles because of this diesel disadvantage.
- Hydrogen generators – probably the most expensive and complicated type, but it’s the best for homes and business facilities that require uninterrupted power supply no matter what.
4. Prepare a Budget
If you want to power up a fridge, lights in most rooms, and a thermostat, you should be ready to invest $6,500 or more. Medium-sized options start at $8,500, and the large models start from $12,000.
5. Install & Run a Generator Safely
Proper installation and usage are extremely important as it’s a matter of safety. A generator must run only outdoors and at least 20 feet away from living structures. It’s also recommended to buy generators with built-in carbon monoxide sensors for automatic shutoffs when the air gets too contaminated. The installation of any generator also requires a correct connection to the circuits of the house. You have to decide between direct appliance connection or installation of a special circuit breaker. The second requires professional installation but is much more convenient to use.
Having a properly selected and connected power generator in your house is a good way to feel and actually be more secure in all sorts of emergency situations. Don’t forget to maintain the tool to ensure that it works well when something goes wrong. It’s a great investment for any household!