Whether someone is planning on tackling a household project, wants to perform a large-scale job, or just needs a generator to use in an emergency (see the best generators for a hurricane), they need to know how to choose a generator. With so many different generators currently available, figuring out which one to buy can be difficult. Here is how to choose the right generator.
How much power a generator is capable of producing is one of the first things to consider when choosing a generator. Generally speaking, if a person plans on powering important household equipment, such as a fridge, oven, etc. . ., then they should opt for a generator rated between 5,000 watts to 7,500 watts (learn the difference between running and starting watts). Here’s a piece of advice: a generator that has 7,500 running watts is usually capable of powering several appliances at the same time.
However, if a person is needing a generator to power certain tools (such as welding tools), then they need one that is more powerful. For welding tools, running watts power should be around 9,000. For most other tools, a generator rated up to 7,500 watts should be sufficient. The bottom line is to decide what the generator will be used for, and then choose one that is powerful enough.
Portable generators are relatively small and can be easily transported, hence their name. Portable generators come in all shapes and sizes. Models are available that are intended to power small items and can sometimes fit in the trunk of a car. Other models may be much larger and use wheels for transportation. These are the most common models. Portable generators are perfect for powering appliances during a power outage, running shop tools, or using at a worksite. The most important aspect of purchasing a portable generator is ensuring you understand how big of a generator you need.
Inverter generators can be used as portable generators, but they can also be used for an entire home. This is the type of generator a person wants if they want to protect their electronic equipment from power surges. This includes electronics such as laptops and phones. Inverter generators are typically smaller than an average portable generator and much quieter (see our review of the WEN 56380i for an example of a smaller model).
Standby generators are expensive, but they are great for powerful properties such as small cabins. Many of these types will turn on automatically if there is a power outage. In turn, a homeowner will not experience interrupted power. Unfortunately, these models are typically much more expensive than the other types.
Gas generators are powered via fuel, and they are budget-friendly. They have easy controls, and they can be used frequently. The best gas generators can be used to power an entire home.
Solar generators are typically expensive, but the good news is the fuel is completely free and renewable. Most people rely on solar generators for camping trips or for when they run into a car emergency. Those who are eco-conscious should consider purchasing a solar-powered generator.
An automatic shutoff mechanism is a must-have feature for generators. If gas levels reach a certain amount, then they should be able to shut themselves off. Even generators that aren’t powered by gas should have an automatic shutoff feature.
Automatic start is another useful feature. As soon as the power goes off, a generator should turn itself on, without you having to do anything. This feature is particularly useful for those who are constantly away from their home or business, and that need a backup generator in case power does go off.
Fuel gauges are an important feature. They can let people know how much fuel their generator has. The last thing someone wants is for their generator to have no fuel because this means it won’t work when they need it the most.
Finally, the size and weight of the generator is an important feature. There are large power generators that can either weigh a ton or they can actually be built with lightweight materials. Before choosing a generator, it’s important to consider what the generator will be used for and whether or not it will need to be transported regularly. If a person plans on using it in various places, then they need a generator that doesn’t weigh a lot and one that can easily be moved from one place to another.
The key to finding the best generator for you is to take the time to compare as many generators as possible, as well as decide which features are the most important, what type is ideal, and what kind of budget a person is working with. Furthermore, make sure to buy a generator from a reputable seller.