The number and frequency of power outages recorded across the United States have shockingly doubled in recent years. As the weather gets more severe, the risk of a blackout increases, and when it does hit, it can hit hard.
So hard, in fact, that some Americans report experiencing a power source blackout for more than eight hours! So how can you be prepared in case this event happens to you? Might we suggest a portable generator?
If you want to learn more, this article explores how to choose the best portable generator for your needs.
Using A Portable Generator as a Power Source
Generators are great during a blackout because they can provide some degree of home power. This can be used to power parts of your home like a few lights, hot water, and refrigeration.
Not everyone has the space or the money to invest in a standby generator. While this is a more permanent solution, a basic portable generator can make all the difference on a cold night with no power.
How to Choose a Portable Generator
There are several things you should look for when choosing a portable generator. Of course, the right generator for you will depend on your requirements and you’ll want the best power source for your needs.
To know what size generator you need, you will first have to figure out the draw of energy your appliances and lights are using. First, calculate the running power of all the essentials you intend to run on the generator. Then you also need to calculate the amount of starting watts.
Most generators will list running and starting watt ratings so pay attention to finding one that matches your needs. Portable generators can come in anywhere between under 2,000-watts to a powerful 10,000-watts.
Gas and diesel are your most popular options; however, the latter is more costly. While gas is easy to get hold of, diesel will provide better fuel efficiency overall. Gas-fueled generators are good sources of power for a few essential appliances and lamps, but if you’re looking to power most of your home, you’ll need to commit to a diesel-fueled generator.
Review the plugs that your appliances use, which will be plugged into the generator. For example, small portable generators will typically have a few 120v AC outlets.
If you need a higher voltage outlet, you’ll want to look at the 4000-watts or higher. These typically come with 240v outlets. These days, most generators also include USB ports that can help charge mobile devices without taking up an outlet.
Generators for outdoor use will usually have GFCI-protected outlets. If you are keeping yours outside, this is essential to have.
The smaller your generator, the less noise it’s likely to make. However, if you’re going to use your generator for other things like camping, you’ll have to consider the overall noise output. Too loud, and neighbors or campground owners could get upset.
Find the Right Generator for You
Buying a portable generator to be your power source during a blackout is a wise move. In an emergency, it’s helpful to have a way of keeping the house warm or some of the lights on until the outage can be dealt with.
It’s worth taking the time to accurately work out what generator you need so you don’t waste money by purchasing the wrong one.
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