Electricity is one of the modern conveniences we take most for granted.
All it takes is a short power outage to remind us how completely reliant we are on electricity and makes us wonder how our ancestors spent most of human history without it.
With today’s aging infrastructure and severe weather, the frequency and duration of outages could increase, but we don’t have to remain powerless. There are many types of backup generators for your house that can keep daily life flowing during a blackout.
There are different types of generators for home use, depending on where you live and what you need to power. The following sections outline different scenarios you may fall under and which generator would be the best investment.
If you live in an area with reliable power (underground power cable) and without major hurricanes, wildfires or other disasters that regularly interrupt your power supply, then a portable generator is your best bet. They are great for houses that suffer only a few, short outages per year.
All portable home use generators will require manual operation whether you connect them to appliances with an extension cord or connect them directly to the circuit using a manual transfer switch. If you choose the transfer switch, it needs to be installed by a professional.
You will also need to decide on a fuel source. Diesel, gasoline, and propane are commonly available fuel types, but you can also get solar, dual-fuel or even tri-fuel options. These alternative fuel options could prove useful in disaster situations where there might be a gas shortage.
Portable generators can further be narrowed down by their wattage output. The following are general wattage guidelines. To find actual starting and running wattage requirements, you will need to check your appliances or their manuals. Older, less efficient appliances might require extra watts to power larger motors.