Generators are a valuable tool to have in your home during a power outage, but not all generators are created equal.
If you’re in the market for a backup generator, it’s essential to choose one that is efficient and will meet your needs.
Here are six tips for choosing and using an energy-efficient backup generator.
1. Size Matters – Make sure to get a generator that’s the right size for your needs
If you get one that’s too small, it won’t be able to power all of your essential appliances and devices. On the other hand, if you get one that’s too big, it will be a waste of money and expensive to operate.
To find the best portable generator for your needs, start by determining how much power you’ll need.
To do this, first make a list of all the devices you’ll want to run during an outage, and look up the wattage requirements for each device or appliance. Once you have a total wattage by adding the wattage of all the items, add about 25% to allow for surge loads.
That will give you a good starting point for finding the right-sized portable generator by matching this number to the power rating of a generator.
2. Choose the Right Fuel – Another important factor to consider is what type of fuel your generator will use
When choosing a backup generator, one of the most important factors to consider is what fuel it will use. There are four main types of fuel used in backup generators: gasoline, diesel, propane, and natural gas. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages.
Gasoline is the most common type of fuel used in backup generators. It is relatively inexpensive and easy to find. However, it can be difficult to store and transport, and it has a relatively short shelf life, meaning you’ll have to refresh your fuel tank every 3 to 6 months.
Diesel is another common type of fuel used in backup generators. It is more expensive than gasoline, but it is also more efficient and has a longer shelf life.
Propane and natural gas are both clean-burning fuels that are less expensive than gasoline or diesel. However, propane and natural gas backup generators are more expensive to purchase and install than gasoline and diesel backup generators, albeit cheaper to operate.
3. Consider Your Budget – When it comes to backup generators, you get what you pay for
Backup generators can vary greatly in price, and it can be difficult to know which one is right for your home. There are a few factors that can influence the price of a backup generator.
The size of the unit is one factor – larger backup generators will typically be more expensive than smaller ones.
The type of fuel used is another factor – backup generators that use liquid propane or natural gas will usually be more expensive than those that use gasoline.
Finally, the features offered by the backup generator can also impact the price – units with features like automatic shut-off or a digital display will typically be more expensive than those without these features.
By considering all of these factors when comparing prices of backup generators, you can find the best backup generator for your home at the right price.
4. Noise Levels – Some generators are much louder than others, so be sure to pick one that won’t disturb you or your neighbors
Some backup generators are significantly quieter than others, making them ideal for use in residential settings. There are several factors that contribute to the noise level of a backup generator.
The size of the engine is one of the most important factors. Smaller engines typically make less noise than larger ones.
In addition, the type of fuel used can also affect noise levels. Models that run on natural gas or propane tend to be much quieter than those that run on gasoline or diesel.
Finally, the enclosure around the engine can also play a role in minimizing noise. Some models come with sound-dampening features that help to keep the noise level down.
When choosing a backup generator, it is important to consider what noise levels are appropriate in your area and how often you plan to use your generator in order to choose the best model for your needs.
5. Safety Features – Look for a generator with safety features like automatic shut-off and overload protection
Backup generators are powerful machines, and they need to be treated with care. That’s why backup generators for homes need safety features.
Safety features on backup generators help to prevent fires and explosions. They also help to protect people and animals from being injured by the generator. For example, a generator should have an automatic shut-off switch that kicks in if the generator starts to overheat.
And it should overload protection in order to prevent the generator from overloading circuits or direct-connected devices with too much current. Many portable generators now come built-in with GFCI outlets. These outlets shut off the flow of electricity if a ground fault is detected.
By choosing a generator with safety features, you can help to protect your home and your family in case of an emergency.
6. Portability – If you need to move the generator around often, make sure it’s lightweight and easy to transport
If you need to move your backup generator around often, it’s important to choose a model that is lightweight and easy to transport.
There are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a portable generator for your home.
First, consider the weight of the unit and whether you’ll be able to move it by yourself.
The weight of a portable generator can be determined by things like power capacity and fuel type. Gasoline generators are typically lighter than diesel generators.
Finally, consider the size of the generator and whether it will be able to fit in the space you have available to operate and transport the generator.
BONUS: Maintenance Requirements – Find out what kind of maintenance the generator requires and whether you’re comfortable doing it yourself
Backup generators require some maintenance in order to keep them in good working condition. Here are a few things you’ll need to consider when maintaining your backup generator:
First, it is important to regularly clean the generator. This will help to prevent the buildup of debris and dirt, which can eventually lead to engine damage.
Second, the generator’s fuel should be kept fresh. Gasoline can start to break down after just a few months, so it is important to only use fresh gasoline in your generator.
Third, the generator’s air filter should be checked and replaced on a regular basis. A dirty air filter can restrict airflow to the engine increasing the risk of overheating, leading to reduced performance and increased fuel consumption.
Fourth, check the oil level and top up or replace the backup generator engine oil where necessary.
To ensure your backup generator is available during an outage when you need it, make sure to test your backup generator by starting it at least once a month and perform the four steps above at least once per year, preferably by a qualified technician.
Selecting a backup generator is an important decision that should take numerous factors into consideration.
Be sure to keep size, fuel type, budget, noise levels, safety features, and portability in mind while you shop around. And don’t forget to find out about the maintenance requirements before making your purchase.
For more information on the best backup generators on the market today, check out our reviews.