Having a generator on hand is essential for emergency preparedness, but it can be a little confusing to know which one is best. Purchasing a portable generator is a good investment, but there are tons of features and options to choose from so it’s important to know what you are looking for before you go out shopping. Here are a few tips for buying a good generator to help you make the best selection.
How Much Wattage Do You Need?
When you buy a generator, you have to know how much wattage you need to power the essential items in your household. It’s always better to get more wattage than you think you will need just to be sure you are covered. Keep in mind that most appliances require more power at startup and then they use a lot less after that. You can find the wattage usage in manufacturer information for your appliances.’
Get the Right Extension Cords
A lot of homeowners make the mistake of using indoor extension cords with a generator, but that is a huge fire hazard. Instead, choose heavy duty extension cords and power transfer switches with a high grade made for use with a generator. It’s not worth risking your family’s safety so be sure to get the cords at the same time you buy the generator.
Don’t Forget the Fuel
Imagine the frustration of knowing you had a generator sitting in the garage, but no fuel to actually use it. When you buy the generator, go ahead and stock up on a few canisters of gas at the same time. You can rotate the gas out to keep it fresh if you aren’t using the generator, but always try to keep several full gas cans on hand for emergency generator power.
Go for Small and Portable
When you are choosing your generator, go for a unit that is small and easy to move from place to place. You will likely have to transport it in and out of storage when you use it so make sure you can actually move it without a group of friends to help you. Most smaller generators will be sufficient to power an average household so you should be able to find an option that is manageable.
Read Reviews Before You Buy
There are so many generators out there that it is going to be difficult to know which one is best. You want something reliable so the best way to gauge quality is to read reviews. Look for a brand with consistently positive reviews and a nice balance of affordability and features. You don’t have to buy the most expensive model if you are a smart shopper!
Ultimately, having a generator could be a game changer in an emergency. You could end up using it during a winter snow storm that knocks out the electricity. Maybe a tornado will do damage to your local power lines and leave you reliant on your generator for a few days. Whatever happens, a generator will give you peace of mind that you are prepared to handle whatever comes your way.