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Portable Generator Buying Guide: How to pick the one that suits your needs
Picture this: because of a major storm or a power grid glitch, you were left in the dark for a few days. Not only that you can’t charge your phone and connect with the outside world, but all the food in your fridge was spoiled. You are frustrated, to say the least, and you wish you would have bought a portable generator.
If this story sounds a bit too familiar, it’s because it happens to most people. They realize they need a portable generator when it’s too late and end up making hasty decisions. Most of them have no idea what they need and choose a machine that only looks good enough for their needs. Needless to say, they regret their not-so-thought-out choice later.
Buying a portable generator without being informed can be a serious risk. Not only you might choose wrongly, but you might unknowingly ignore recommended installation procedures and end up ruining the machine before you even start it.
With that in mind, here our expert tips on how to choose a portable generator that will keep your house warm, your food fresh, and your phones and computer working.
How Much Wattage Do You Need?
Above anything, you need to consider first the amount of power you will need to ensure that all important electronics are working properly.
Do the following exercise before buying a portable generator. Imagine that a major storm is coming, and you need to prepare yourself. List all the appliances that matter to you and estimate their wattage. Think about all the needs you will have during a storm. Try to include everything that could be important to you so as to make sure your choice will not limit you in any way in the future.
Then simply add up all of the starting wattages that are necessary for each device. For example, a fridge can take up to 700 watts, a radio somewhere around 100 watts while the light system in your house would probably need somewhere between 60 to 600 watts.
As a rule of thumb, you need to remember that a portable generator with a power of 5,000 watts should be more than enough to cover your basic needs.
Warning: Never connect the portable generator to the home’s wiring! It can be extremely dangerous to both you and your neighbors. Buy a transfer switch to link the portable generator to your circuit panel. However, don’t try to connect the switch by yourself. Electricity and DIY projects don’t go well together, and you will only endanger your life and the safety of your home. Instead, you should have an electrician install it.
Things to Consider Before Acquiring a New Portable Generator
Portable generators can be of tremendous help. To make sure you are making the right decision, keep these things in mind before buying one:
Before buying a portable generator, you need to ensure that you can store it properly. These machines need to be placed in and open space where there is enough ventilation. So, you can just store it in your garage and forget about it. More than that, it has to be stored at least 15 feet away from your house.
Depending on the wattage needs you have, you can choose for a suitable portable generator that can usually cover up from 1,000 to 10,000 watts. Keep in mind that the amount of wattage they provide determines not only how many devices and lights you can use simultaneously but how well too. So, even though a more powerful portable generator might be more expensive, it might prove to be the right solution in the long run.
Many experts would advise you to go for a portable generator that has at least 10 hours of runtime. If the main reason you want to buy a portable generator is to be covered up in the case of unexpected natural events and emergency situations that are unpredictable in length of time, your priority would be to choose a generator that comes with a larger tank. The larger the tank, the more fuel you get.
Considering that portable generators need special storage conditions, size is a really important feature you have to consider. Before buying anything, make sure you give this a serious thought as you might, later on, feel it as a burden.
It might sound surprising at first, but moving in a portable generator is not the easiest thing on Earth. That being said, if budget allows, you should consider going for some great mobility features, such as wheeled generators. It might seem too pricey at first, but given that a portable generator can easily outweigh you, it will save you a lot of time – and a lot of back aches!
6. Quality Engine
Choosing a great quality engine is one of the strongest guarantees you can have to keep your portable generator up and running smoothly and for a long time – so look at it as an investment. For example, OHV engines (OverHead Valve) are great since they provide longer run times, more durability, and stronger fuel efficiency.
7. Electric Start
Old-fashion portable generators require you to pull a cord to get them going. More advanced models, on the other hand, can be started at the push of a button. Going for the comfort of a push-button instead of the classic pull-starting the engine can make you understand better the value of the little things in life.
8. Plugins Compatibility
Make sure you check what does your portable generator offers you regarding available outlets and ports on the control panel. That will let you know what you can plug into your generator without ruining anything.
9. Noise Levels
When you get the portable generator working for hours, you’ll get to value peace and quiet. To keep the noise levels to a minimum, consider buying a muffler, a silencer devices that can decrease the amount of noise emitted by the engine.
10. Secondary Fuel Source
Most portable generators run only on gasoline. However, there are some models that can run on propane or natural gas as well. Different fuel alternative means that you won’t remain in the dark if you run out of gasoline.
The portable generator is a must-have for homeowners. However, there’s more to this device than simply install it and using it whenever you need it.
The key to using a portable generator safely is being informed. That means you need to know you options and plan carefully before making such an important investment.
On Crownbest.com, you can find a broad selection of portable generators that can meet a variety of needs. Affordable, reliable, and easy to use, there are plenty of options to choose from.
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