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How to Choose a Portable Generator

How to Choose a Portable Generator

Are you trying to convince yourself to get a generator this year, even if the storms aren't as bad as predicted?

Generators can be used for multiple applications, like during the family camping trip, keeping your house filled with electricity during a power outage, on the job site where electricity isn’t available, and even at the next big cookout or tailgate party. Determining what your generator will be used for and how much power you need are the first steps to choosing your generator.

How Much Power Do You Need?

Choosing the right portable generator is a lot easier once you know the wattage of the appliances you want to power. Appliances typically have two wattage numbers, a starting wattage and a running wattage:

Starting Wattage: The amount of power it takes to start the appliance. This can often be up to 2X times more than the running wattage.

Running Wattage: The amount of power it takes to keep an appliance continuously running.

The power wattage of the appliance should either be on the appliance or in the owner's manual. Write down and add both the starting and running wattage numbers of all the appliances you’ll want to power with your generator. Remember that the starting wattage can be 2 times higher than your running wattage. Figuring out your total power wattage will help you decide which generator will best fit your needs. You'll need to make sure you have enough power to start the appliances and to keep them running.

Where Do You Need Power?


Recreational Generators Recreational Generators

Are you planning on using your generator for recreational purposes such as camping, tailgating or small appliance use? If so, a recreational generator is the perfect choice for you. These generators have enough wattage capacity to easily power small appliances for multiple needs.

Recreational Generators are small and lightweight, making them more transportable to take them on a camping trip or to a family gathering. These generators tend to cost less and are more gas efficient. They can usually run for hours on one tank of gas. These generators have a smaller compact frames for easy storage in the car, at home or on the camping trip. Recreational generators can be used to power laptops, small TVs, crock pots, RVs, small appliances and many more items.

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Emergency/Home Generators Emergency/Home Generators

Are you tired of being left in the dark when the power goes out? Do you usually wait hours or even days for your power to turn back on after a big storm? If so, an emergency home generator is the perfect choice for you! These generators can keep your electricity going when the power is off, keeping you out of the dark.

Emergency home backup generators can be used to power all the major appliances (not simultaneously) in your home, such as a refrigerator/freezer, TV, Microwave, radio, sump pump, water well and of course your small appliances like lights, a hair dryer, a curling iron, and an alarm clock.

Portable home backup generators can be hooked up to your appliances using direct-hook up or a transfer switch. Direct hook-up allows you to hook the appliances directly into your generator using an extension cord or generator power cord. A transfer switch is hooked up to a power inlet box and your electrical panel, allowing you to control your appliances from your circuit board. Only a licensed electrician can install a transfer switch for you.

So, if you are tired of being left in the dark, a home/emergency generator is right for you!

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Commercial Generators Commercial Generators

Is electricity required at your job site? Do you need to power equipment for an extended period of time without the worry of power fluctuation? A commercial generator is the perfect choice for you.

Commercial Portable Generators are often used on construction job sites. These generators are used to power tools and lighting requiring electricity that may not be available on a job site. Choosing a generator for a construction site is an important decision. As always, you have to determine the wattage capacity of your power tools. To do this, simply look on the tools or owner's manual.

Commercial generators are built to handle the environment of a construction site. These generators usually include a heavy duty frame to handle tough working conditions, covered outlets to resist dust, wheel kits and lifting hooks for easier portability and much more. These generators are made for durability in the most rugged conditions.

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Inverter Generators

Inverter Generators Inverter Generators

Inverter technology regulates the voltage coming from your generator to keep your sensitive appliances safe. This generators use a special microprocessor to condition the generators power through a multi-step process to produce constant, stable power. This prevents harmful power fluctuations that can damage sensitive equipment. These generators are typically more fuel efficient and have a quieter operation.

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Noise Level

If you are getting a generator for recreational or home usage, noise is something you want to take into consideration. Some people feel generators are loud and disturbing in certain situations. Many campgrounds even have noise level restrictions that some generators could exceed. The generators decibel level will be labeled somewhere on the machine or in the owner's manual. Keeping noise levels in mind when you purchase your generator will keep both you and your neighbor (or camping neighbor) happy. Would you want to camp next to a noisy generator?

Choosing Your Generator

Feel secure at home, or out on the road with the comforts of home by using your generator. Choose your generator carefully and you’ll have all the benefits of running on portable power in no time.

If you have any comments or feedback, please let us know. E-mail us at [email protected].

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