Whether you need to prepare for emergency power, run job sites, or use it for recreational purposes, there are a lot of things to look into before getting a generator. While these are very useful equipment, choosing the wrong one can mean wasted time and money. That’s why it’s important to do your research beforehand to get the one suitable and useful for your needs.
But how can you purchase a generator properly and what should you factor in? Read on as I show you crucial things to know before getting a generator to help you out!
What You Should Know Before Buying a Generator
No one wants to invest hundreds or thousands of dollars on a generator only for it to be useless to them. Before you even make a purchasing decision, you have to learn about what you’re getting first! Here are five things to look into when getting a generator:
1. What Are Your Power Priorities?
For starters, you have to know what appliances you need to prioritize and power up in case of an outage. Generators are usually sold by its power output, which is measured in watts. The amount of power it can deliver will determine the lights and appliances you can power up simultaneously.
On average, it takes 5,000 watts to cover just the basics of a household. Make a list of what you absolutely need powered up when there’s no electricity, then add it all up to get a gist on what generator power you need. To give you an idea, here are a few numbers for some of the essentials:
- Computers: 60-300 watts
- Lints: 60-600 watts
- Fridge: 600 watts
- Window air conditioner: 1,000 watts
- Portable heater: 1,500 watts
2. What Type of Generator Do You Need?
There are different generator types to choose from, depending on your needs and preferences.
Home Standby Generators
These generators are the most expensive and require installation from a professional, costing up to $6,000. They start automatically once there’s a power outage and offer the most power, between 5,000-20,000 watts. You can power it up through propane, gasoline, or natural gas.
Portable generators are cheaper than home standby generators, running on gasoline. This means you’ll need to store large quantities of gasoline and a stabilizer to keep it long-lasting. They are beneficial as you can use it in places outside your property, providing between 3,000-8,500 watts of power and costing about $400-$1,000.
These generators have more complex engines, costing more than portable ones with similar power output. Inverter generators are quieter and run more efficiently, producing fewer emissions with their technology. Because of this, they cost between $500-$4,000.
Portable Power Stations
Portable Power Stations don’t use propane or gas, as they’re powered by a battery you charge with by plugging to electrical outlets or solar panels. They’re relatively new so they cost a bit more compared to portable gas generators.
It doesn’t produce any emissions or harmful gases, so they can be used indoors, though they don’t have as much power compared to others. Furthermore, these generators cost between $750-$3,000.
3. Safety Technologies to Prioritize
It’s important to reduce the risk of poisoning from harmful gases, so focus on safety features as well. There are new generators that offer built-in sensors to trigger automatic shut off if ever carbon monoxide can build up to dangerous levels in enclosed areas.
Some engines also emit less carbon monoxide and emissions, which can save lives and keep your home a healthier one. Make sure that your chosen generator will pass a CO Safety Technology test and that it follows longstanding safety guidelines. Besides this, you also have to learn safe ways to operate a generator.
4. Other Additional Features A Generator Offers
Beyond the type of generator and safety features, there are other features you should consider when getting a generator:
- Automatic CO Shutoff and Low Oil Shutoff, which I mentioned above
- Low-CO Engine to emit less emissions and harmful gases
- Automatic Start for the generator to turn on automatically
- Electric Start for portable models to avoid the effort of pull-starting its engine
- Alternative Fuel Capacity to convert the type of gas you want to power the generator with
5. Do You Need a Transfer Switch?
A transfer switch is a small tool that connects to your generator to the circuit panel using a cable. If you skip using these transfer switches, it can endanger those around it and cause appliances tor the generator to break.
While it may be a bit expensive, it’s important to have a transfer switch to prevent such damage and health risks. They cost about $500-$900, including labor. IF you’re on a tight budget, an interlock device can work well, costing about $100-$200 less.
Wrapping It Up
When purchasing a generator, make sure that it isn’t a quick process made of desperate actions! It’s best that you invest in one before any calamities or power interruptions that can cause price surges and the like. With the right generator, you can use it for years to come, no matter the purpose.
I hope that this article on how to purchase a generator helped you out. So don’t wait any longer and look into investing in reputable generators by Honda now.
Do you have any questions or want to share your tips and experiences on purchasing a generator? Then share your comments down below, your thoughts are much appreciated!