Any household in the present day has a handful of appliances that are part of the everyday routine. Some of these are essentials that are either constantly on or frequently used. The reliance on these appliances is so much that if there is a power outage, you are at a loss! With climatic changes and bad weather predictions becoming a part of our lives, power outages have become something that we need to deal with.
Hence, more and more homes today prefer to buy generators that can help them during power outages. This ensures that routine life doesn’t get impacted much. However, unless you are familiar with home generators it becomes tough to know what will be best for your home. To help you in this matter, in this space you will find four key questions that you need to ask before going ahead with the purchase.
Also Read: Why you should have generators at home
Question#1: What Type of Generator to Use?
There are two popular types of generators that are recommended for home use. The choice depends on what you are looking to get out of your generator. Depending on that you can either choose a portable generator or a standby generator.
Portable Generator: Just as the name indicates, portable generators are handy types that can be moved from one place to the other. Mostly homes that love to camp or love caravan travel, use portable generators due to its ease of transport. These are less expensive, store less energy and will provide backup power for a limited time period, a few hours at most. However, these need to be started manually and do not turn on as soon as there is a power outage.
Standby Generator: The standby generators are larger in size and are mostly the preferred choice. These are capable of handling power outages for a longer time as it stores more energy compared to the portable models. It can help supply continuous power even for a few days. Though standby models are more expensive than portable ones, they can start automatically during a power outage.
Question#2: What Fuel Choices are available?
It is common knowledge that generators run on fuel. However, the type of fuel you want to use plays a vital part in the choice of generator you want to purchase. While purchase costs are one time, fuel costs can be continuous. Hence knowing what type of fuel to be used can help make the final call. There are three popular fuel choices today.
Propane: If you are an environmentally friendly person, it is recommended to choose propane fuel models over the others. However, the cost of propane models is higher and so is the cost of fuel. Hence, unless you do not care about the cost factor, you can choose propane fuel types.
Diesel: Diesel is a very popular fuel choice mainly due to its cost-effectiveness. It is versatile and reaches peak effectiveness more quickly than other generators. Brett Patterson from Ablesales.com.au says that diesel is the preferred fuel choice for home generators because of its efficiency and long-lasting life span. Apart from the running costs being lesser, the cost of diesel models is way lesser than its other fuel alternatives. Also, diesel is easy to store and can be found easily. It can be used both in urban as well as the countryside.
Natural Gas: Natural gas is provided by utility services and hence are convenient choices. However, the cost is determined by the utility and there are no alternatives to choose from. It is expensive and also can become an issue at times of natural disasters and weather calamities when the supply is cut-off.
Question#3: What’s the size of a Generator?
The size of the generator depends on how much energy you are planning to use. If your home requires a lot of energy, then a bigger wattage generator is recommended. On the other hand, if you are happy with just the basic necessities, then a smaller one can be preferred. A standby generator can provide between 5k-20k watts of power while a portable version may give you between 3k-8k watts, depending on the model. If you have a history of long power outages, it is recommended to go for a large-sized generator. However, if you are looking at just an emergency backup, then, a smaller one can be deemed fit.
Question#4: Where Should the Generator be Placed?
Though not many give preference to this question, this is important to help in choosing the right generator. For those who can afford larger spaces, a larger and bigger generator can fit in. However, for those who have space constraints, a portable model or a smaller generator can be the best choice.
Once all these questions are answered, you will get clarity on what you need. Based on this, you can plan your purchase. There are lots of choices available in the market today. Of all the points discussed, efficiency and maintenance costs are those that will help make the right call.