Portable Generator Buying Guide
Before getting one, make sure you check their specifications and ensure that they meet your requirements.
- Gas, Diesel, Propane, or Solar?
The most well-known portable generators run on diesel or gas. Eco-friendly models run on solar, but they can be expensive. Additionally, there are generators that combine propane and gas (known as “hybrid,” “dual system,” or “dual fuel”).
Portable generators run from somewhere between $400-4,000, so budget is another important consideration. With fuel-powered generators, extra energy means more money. Do you want continuous power for days or hours? You will spend a pretty penny for that also. You will also pay for a quieter motor.
Solar panels which accumulate as much as a hundred watts of electricity are costlier than all those whose capability is 50 watts. Also, lightweight versions with higher wattages have a heftier price tag.
- Size/Power Output
It is about the number of outlets and strength output capacity. First, determine the power needs for the gadgets and electronics in your house. These are average figures for some typical appliances:
- Portable heater: 1,500 watts
- Refrigerator: 600 watts
- Lights: 60 to 600 watts
- Window air conditioner: 1,000 watts
- Sump pump: 750 to 1,500 watts
- Computers: 60 to 300 watts
Most home appliances have labels of their power requirements, though it is wise to talk to an electrician. Furthermore, consider what basic power needs you would have within a survival situation.
How is the generator’s functionality? Most models provide the number of hours they will operate on a full tank or a full battery capacity; remember that there is a distinction between continuous rating, and that is just how much power your generator can supply constantly, and optimum rating, what the generator can supply for brief time periods. Look at warranties as the goal is to have something which will likely be around for the long run. Moreover, examine what the generator is made from. Steel is a good option.
This seems obvious, but it is usually overlooked. For camping, the Yamaha EF2000iSv2 is among the lightest and quietest portable generators and offers between 1600 & 2000 watts of energy. But at 44 pounds, the device weighs much more than a four-gallon container of filtered water. The DuroStar 4,400 watt weighs about 138 lbs. Does that seem lightweight to you?
Anybody who is made a big buy has gone through that enormous list of features. For most of us, understanding exactly what the features are for can be intimidating. Additional functions and add ons include automatic starts, electric start for gasoline generators, wheels to help you move the heavier beasts, multiple outlets, a gas can, gas gauges, fuel stabilizer, low oil shutoff, ground fault circuit interruption, economy mode switch, weather-resistant storage covers, along with a removable console. With solar, you can buy more panels and turn them off during a survival situation.