Everything You Need to Know About Buying a Generator

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What You Need To Know About Buying A Generator

Lightning strikes a few more times and wouldn’t you know it, everything is dark for miles. Every place except for one little house that seems to glow without fail. That little house has a generator for just this type of emergency and boy do those things come in handy!  Whether you’re looking to get a generator for keeping your home running, a portable one to bring with you in case you need to evacuate, or just one to have handy for recreation, everyone who is serious about disaster preparedness needs to know just what to look for when getting a generator!

There can be a wide range of things to consider when getting a generator and it can be difficult to find one that suits your needs if you aren’t sure what to look for, but don’t worry that’s why we’re here!

First question: what is your major need for a generator? Is this simply for recreation or are you looking to power your home with it in the case of emergencies?  Are you looking for high capacity that keeps all the lights on or just to provide for the bare minimum of necessities while you wait for power to be restored?

In order to answer those questions, let’s look at what is most important to consider when selecting a power generator.

First Important Factor In Selecting A Generator Is Wattage

Now wattage is extremely crucial when looking at a generator because the wattage provided will determine just how much you are able to support with your generator. Smaller amounts of wattage provided means you will most likely only be able to take care of the bare minimum, which might not serve your needs if you are trying to prepare for longer term power loss.

Below is a chart provided by the Amazon Generator Guide on the average wattage requirements of electronics as well as a formula for determining just how much wattage you would need in a generator.

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The Next Important Consideration For Selecting A Generator Is Runtime

After you’ve considered what types of wattage you need, consider the runtime next.

Runtime is best defined as the amount of time a generator will run with a full tank of fuel. For those who are looking to keep the lights on after a major power outage, runtime is extremely important, but for those who aren’t looking for high grade sources of power, it’s not necessarily as important as other features such as capacity, weight or noise.

With those features in mind, let’s do a quick run through of each of the different types of generator so that you can find the one that works for you!

Another Important Consideration For Selecting A Generator Is The Fuel Type

Generators come in various types of fuel types.  Some generators can run on propane or natural gas. Others can run on regular gasoline or diesel some can even be powered by sunlight!  The fuel type is important because you will want to select a fuel type that will be available to you in bulk during the emergency.  Many people will naturally gravitate toward gasoline but remember it may be important to make sure you have some bulk gasoline stored at your home because it may be hard to come by during an emergency.  Then you should also consider the fuel’s shelf life.  Now lets look a little closer at some of the different types of generators.

Four Types Of Generators

Standby Generator:

The standby generator is the most basic and common type of generator. They are designed to automatically turn on and take over when power failure occurs and will run until the power is restored. They can be extremely heavy duty and can run on either gas or diesel, propane or natural gas, depending on the type. Standby generators are often very expensive and not not portable but are quite capable of getting the job done when it comes to powering your home or a bug out location.

Portable Generator:

The portable power generator won’t likely have as much wattage as some heavier duty standby generators but they are more portable which is an extreme benefit if you find yourself needing to move in the event of a major disaster or weather event.

A smaller portable generator can also be extremely handy for those who have recreational needs such as boaters or RV campers. While a portable generator can be very useful in a pinch, it won’t have the staying power or wattage that a Standby generator will have, but the ability to carry it with you can be a life-saver in case of a severe emergency. Below is a link to a short video on how useful a portable power generator can be as well as useful tips to use it in an emergency situation:

Solar Power Generator:

Unless you are looking to spend some serious money on solar paneling, a solar power generator isn’t very practical for heavy duty power needs. Still, without the need for fuel outside of sunlight, a solar powered generator can be very handy for your electronics needs, such as phones, laptops and other USB power devices.

There are some heavier duty solar powered generators that will enable the powering of one or two higher grade power needs but the technology just isn’t ready to accommodate the major power needs of a home just yet. That being said, it wouldn’t hurt to have one or two as the source of fuel is absolutely free and these can come in very handy for keeping abreast of a situation as it develops in a grid down or long term ecumenic collapse. An additional benefit to a solar power generator is that they are totally silent so they will not alert people that you have a means to produce electricity, which will be quite sought after in a gird down scenario.

Inverter Generator:

Inverter generators are very similar to portable generators with a few exceptions, one of the biggest one is that they are lightweight and much quieter than a portable generator. Their lighter weight as well as reduced noise makes them perfect for recreation such as travel, boating, fishing and camping and for use in a grid down situation.

There are two major players in the inverted generator market, the Yamaha EF2000IS and the Honda EU2000I.  This 2000 Watt inverter generator comparison gives a solid comparison between the two as well as showing the difference between a portable and an inverter generator. These can be an excellent solution and probably the one that is best suited for a wide variety of roles.

With all the different kinds of generators to choose from, it can be a little overwhelming, but just keep in mind that these kinds of decisions are better made now, rather than waiting for a disaster to raise its head!

So there you have it folks, a quick and simple guide to the types generators out there that can help keep your lights on in an emergency. And don’t forget, while the equipment might be useful, these are all just tools to assist you! Nothing beats a disaster situation like a well put together plan and preparedness for trouble. Don’t just let fancy equipment be a replacement for your common sense!

What Type Of Generator DO You Have Or What Do You Think Is The Best To Choose?

This has been a collaborative article between JJ Johnson of Reality Survival and Nick who is the Editor of The Generator Power, a site dedicated to providing the best information about power generators.

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