Home Generator Buying Guide

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A home generator is a requirement if you work from home. When the electricity goes out, generators can keep your house warm in the winter or cool in the summer; they can keep your food cold, your kitchen cooking, and your computer and phone charged. You can even continue to work at your desk until the job is done.

Based on government and utility company statistics, Climate Central estimates that weather-related power outages in the United States have risen 69% in the past decade.
An emergency home generator, however, might be harmful if you don’t follow the proper safety procedures. A lot of people buy a generator when a big storm is coming. Because they are working by flashlight and in a hurry to get the electricity up and running, they may overlook important safety precautions throughout the setup process. Every year, dozens of individuals die from carbon monoxide poisoning caused by generators, according to the CDC.

Keep safety in mind when buying a home generator

Keep generators outdoors and at least 20 feet from your home, with the exhaust, directed away from your home, at all times. And before you start up a generator, ensure your home is equipped with functional carbon monoxide alarms outside bedrooms and on every level of your property.
Write down everything you can’t live without if the power goes out, and then multiply that by the number of watts to get an idea of what you’ll need. As an example, consider the following:

  • 600 watts for the refrigerator
  • In-ground sump pump: 750-1500 watts
  • 1500 Watt portable heater
  • One thousand-watt window air conditioner
  • The bulbs range in power from 5 to 80 watts.

Types of Generators

There are four possible routes. Natural gas or propane-powered home backup generators are permanently installed and automatically activate during a power loss. It is possible to carry portable and inverter generators around, and they are available in a range of sizes. Other models are better suited for hauling to a tailgate, while others should be retained on your property as a backup power supply. For example, if you live in an apartment and have no means to properly operate a generator outside, portable power stations are big batteries that store electricity for when you need it.

Features to Consider for your home generator

The rain, snow, and wind won’t be able to keep you in the dark for long. If you’re looking for the greatest generator for your needs, consider the following factors.

Shutdown of CO by itself

As soon as a CO sensor senses levels of the dangerous gas increasing, the generator’s engine shuts down immediately, ensuring the safety of everyone.

Begin Automatically

You don’t even have to raise a finger when the electricity goes off. Those who travel a lot or work far away from home may find this useful if an emergency arises and they are unable to reach home immediately.

There are several portable variants that allow you to start the engine with a push of a button instead of having to pull it out. If the battery isn’t included, you’ll have to pay an additional $50. Stationary versions feature an automated starting system, but portable models do not.

Capacity of alternative fuels

There are a few portable versions that can operate on propane or natural gas, and others that can be converted using kits.

The Fuel Gauge

You may appreciate being able to check how much fuel left in your portable generator at a glance, especially during extended blackouts.

Shutdown Due to Low Oil

If the oil level goes below the minimum, the generator shuts down to prevent engine damage. It’s a typical feature on permanent generators, but it’s becoming more popular on portables.

Several Outlets

Four or more allow you to make the greatest use of the watts by distributing the load, however we recommend utilizing them only in an emergency at home

Console Detachable

This connects to the generator and allows you to plug in appliances without having to run extension cables outside.

Yes, a Transfer Switch is required.

What exactly is it? It uses a single wire to safely connect a home standby or portable generator to your circuit panel. If you skip it, you’ll have to rely on extension cords, which may be hazardous.

A transfer switch, on the other hand, is immensely more handy. You may use a transfer switch to power whole circuits in your home without using extension cables. This means that things without a plug, such as overhead lights, well pumps, and water heaters, may be used freely. If you rely on extension cords, you can only power goods with a plug, and must connect them to your generator using extension cables.

Quick Buying Guide:

Best Overall: Generac 70432 Home Standby Generator Guardian Series 22kW/19.5kW Air Cooled with Wi-Fi and Transfer Switch, Aluminum

 

Runner up: Westinghouse Dual Fuel Portable Generator-9500 Rated 12500 Peak Watts Gas or Propane Powered-Electric Start-Transfer Switch & RV Ready, CARB Compliant, Blue