Owning a backup generator is very important to your families safety and security when (and if) the power goes out in your area. Eventhough many of us live in modern neighborhood with power lines hidden under the ground, it's still very possible to experience power outages if transformer boxes are knocked out or damaged due to storms or accidents. Most of us can last a few hours, maybe even a day without power, but after that it's nice to have some power and be able to run a few appliances. Permanent generators are available for homes, but most homeowners only need a portable generator to get them through the few hours or even a day when the power is out. The portable units are great for taking on camping trips or even tailgating on Saturdays and Sundays. The larger generators also come in handy at construction sites where power can be in short supply if the location is not wired or is too remote.
Generators run on a variety of fuel types - diesel, natural gas, propane, and regular gasoline. A standby generator that is permanently hooked up at your house could run on natural gas (make sure there is enough supply to power it). Most portable generators run off of gasoline and are easy to refuel when necessary. Gas doesn't last forever, so if the generator only gets run once a year, you may consider going with one powered by propane. Like your cars engine, a generator can and will run hot, so you need a way to cool it. There are liquid cooled and air-cooled generators. Air cooled systems are cheaper but tend to be noisier and less efficient than the liquid cooled models. Generator wattage is a term you might hear in the process of buying one. This refers to how much "volume" of electricty the generator will create and each appliance in your house requires varying amount. To determine which size generator is best suited for your needs we recommend going online HERE - Lowes offers up some sample wattage requirements for appliances and tools that you may want to run in your house during a power outage. It should give you a good idea of how many watts the generator will need to produce. The Honda EU6500is Generator is a good backup as a reliable power source during extended power outages. Some of the leading brand names for generators are Honda, Yamaha, Coleman, Mitsubishi, Onan, Porter Cable, DeWalt, and Briggs Stratton. Honda seems to be the top selling generator and their motors are in several of the brands. You can find generators in stores like Home Depot or Lowes, and in your local hardware store. Expect to spend at least $300 to $500 for a basic portable generator and upwards of $2000 for the high powered ones that run many appliances in your home when the power goes out. Home standby units start at about $3000 (low end) and go well over $10,000. Features to consider when purchasing a generator are - operating noise (some are very noisy), how easy is it to start, can it be transported around without a hassle, how many run hours do you get from it. These are all good questions to ask the salesperson who is helping you with the purchase. Ask about safety measures as well, carbon dioxide poisoning is deadly and you don't want to run a generator in closed spaces like a basement or garage that doesn't have the propery ventilation. Down below we have tried to list some of the top models available. RECOMMENDED - Check out all the most popular generators on Amazon here.
Best Home Generator:
RECOMMENDED - If you need a generator run multiple appliances in your home when the power goes out, then consider the top rated Honda EU6500is ($4000) which has a noise rating of 60dB (decibels) and can run up to 14 hours on one tank of gas. You can run full size refrigerator/freezer, large power tools, kitchen appliances, air conditioners, and much more. It weighs just over 250 lbs and is easy to transport with 2 wheels. Comes with a 2 year warranty for residential use. Now we understand that not everyone needs such a powerful generator, but it's better to be "safe than sorry" when it comes to blackouts and power outages. If you assume your needs are less, then consider the cheaper Eastern Tools & Equipment TG8250 8,250 Watt 13 HP 420cc 4-Cycle OHV Gas Powered Portable Generator with Electric Start (Non-CARB Compliant). The Eastern Tools generator is a top seller on Amazon and gets excellent reviews from homeowners. Features a 6.4 gallon fuel tank with 10.5 hours of run time at half load. At close to $700 - many consumers consider this a real "bargain". The Coleman Powermate 5,000 Watt 10 HP Portable Generator ($700) is another excellent find say consumers with a 5 gallon tank and 11 hours of run time at 50% load.
RECOMMENDED - We found what seems to be a great bargain on Amazon.com for the PowerMax XP3500 Quiet Portable Gas Powered Generator priced at just $330. This camping generator works great when you have an RV and at 3500 watts will power up most anything. The air cooled engine turns out 6.5 HP and has the low oil shutoff feature to protect the engine. The motor is fairly quiet with a rating of 69dB. The Powermax 3500 has two front wheels so it's quite portable and easy to transport. You get about 8 hours of run time. The one negative review we found said that the generator wouldn't power up a 2400 watt AC unit in an RV yet the manufacturer says it's capable of up to 3000 watts. All other owner reviews were very positive, so we are going with the vast majority on this one and giving it a "best value" rating considering the price.
Permanent generators are only recommended for homeowners who live in areas where power outages occur often and for extended periods of time. If you happen to live on a farm then having a stationary, or permanent, generator could be an essential piece of equipment. When power storms hit or tornadoes wipe out power lines, being lost without electricity or power is life threatening in some cases. Stationary generators are more expensive than portable models and they also require that a licensed electrician install a separate "transfer switch" for safety. The transfer switch permits you to run pre-selected lights, A/C, refrigerator, and water. If you are willing to make the investment, we found several websites that point towards the Guardian QuietSource Aluminum 16,000 Watt Standby Generator #5244 ($3889) as a quality permanent generator for your house. This affordable standy generator runs on natural gas or LP gas. You can order it on Amazon.com or find more details at Guardiangenerators.com.