Whether you are looking for commercial generators or residential generators, there are two main types of electric generators- portable and standby. As with much of life, there are pros and cons to both kinds of generators. This article is intended to lay those out for you to help you decide which kind of electric generators would better suit your needs. Power outages are at an all time high these days and depending on the time of year this could leave you either sweating or freezing with no air or heating. It also affects your food in your fridge which could spoil or go bad. Fish tanks suffer, pets suffer, basements flood- it’s just not a good scene. Having an alternative source of electricity is always a good idea just in case.
The Benefits of Portable Electric Generators
Let’s look first at the portable kind. These kinds of generators are typically gas powered.
- They cost somewhere in the range of 500 dollars to 1500 dollars depending on how much power you need or the size of the generator.
- Generator installation and operating costs are also less expensive. They are based on the cost of the fuel that runs in.
- They are easy to use- pull out the generator, pour in the gas, plug in your appliances and you’re good to go.
- There’s only just enough power to run some household essentials; water pump, water, minimal lights and a refrigerator is about all a portable generator can handle.
- A portable generator gives off a gas fumes smell like a car. It needs to be properly ventilated or there is risk of carbon monoxide poisoning and fire.
- It is also very loud and gives off a sometimes dangerous amount of heat.
- If the gas runs out and you have no refills on hand, you’re stuck with no power again.
- There’s a chance the generator won’t be start up if it has been left standing too long.
- It requires manual start up by an actual person and can’t be put on a timer.
The Benefits of a Standby Electric Generator
These generators use your home’s natural gas or a propane tank to run.
- They are very expensive, somewhere around 3000 dollars on the cheap side.
- There are certain specifications needed to setting it up otherwise you risk damaging the unit.
- They need a lot of upkeep and maintenance in order to keep it running properly.
Whether you decide on purchasing standby or a portable electric generators really depends on the size of your house and how much power you would need to run it. Another idea is to buy several portable generators that can connect to different areas of your house. The downside to that is you may end up paying the same as you would for one large standby generator. You’d have to price of the costs and the power to see which one would work better for you.
Keep in mind also that generator installation should always be done by a professional which of course will cost money. Especially when it comes to a standby generator. It can be very dangerous to try and install that yourself. Portable generators can typically be set up by the purchaser, standby generators are a more permanent fixture that should be installed, set up and maintained by a professional.
If you go with a portable system, the most important thing is to make sure you always have enough of the right kind of gas on hand. Different kinds of generators run on various types of fuel so knowing the right fuel you need is important. Fuel is pretty easy to procure but during an actual power shortage there are sometimes also gas shortages so you want to make sure you do your purchasing during times where there are no shortages.
Purchasing a generator can either be as a precaution for a home or you can use them when you are running an event or a party out in the park. So, if you have one, it’s nice to be able to use it for multiple things and get your money’s worth.