It’s official — power outages are on the rise in the United States.
In fact, recent studies have found that the American power grid is attacked about once every four days.
What does this mean for you?
Essentially, that your likelihood of being without power for an unspecified period of time is higher than ever.
Whether you’re a dedicated disaster prepper or can’t imagine life without your favorite appliances or electronics for a few days, the time to start planning for a power outage is now.
This post is here to help.
In it, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about how to find the best home generator for your needs, and the most important factors to take into consideration to ensure you’re not left in the dark.
1. Understand Your Wattage Requirements
The first step in making sure that you buy the best home generator?
Think about how much power you’ll actually need, and the number and size of the appliances that you can’t live without in the event of a power loss.
Now is the time to set your priorities. Do you really need your microwave, your toaster, your stereo, and your blender to run during an outage? Or, are keeping your fridge, your television, and an outlet for your cell phone going more important?
In general, most homes are able to get by with units that are able to give between 5,000 and 6,000 watts. To ensure that you’re not left out in the cold, we strongly suggest getting a generator that’s able to give about 15% more power than you actually need.
2. Pick A Type
When it comes to the best home generator for you and your needs, you’ll also need to consider the actual type of generator that will work for you.
For example, if you’re on a bit of a budget and always seem to need power while on the go, a portable generator may be your best option.
Usually, portable generators are powered by gasoline or by a battery, and usually give anywhere from 3,000 to 8,500 watts.
Remember that you’ll need to ensure that these units are about 15 feet away from your home, and that you never use them in an enclosed area.
Safety is incredibly important when it comes to powering your home with a generator.
If you’d prefer a unit that kicks in the minute you lose power, you might be better off with a home standby generator. These are certainly expensive, and must be professionally installed, but they can give you between 5,000-20,000 watts of power.
You’ll also be able to use natural gas or propane with a home standby unit.
If noise is your main concern, then you might like an inverter generator. They’re also a little more environmentally-friendly than most options, but you’ll still need to pay a bit more than you would with a portable generator.
3. Select The Number Of Phases
You’ll then need to think about whether the best home generator for you would be a single phase or a three-phase option.
This choice will usually be influenced by the amount of wattage you need. Keep in mind that most people will only need a single phase generator since they’ll be powering residential, not commercial, units.
4. Think About Potential Features
When buying your generator, you’ll also need to think about any extra features you feel would be especially beneficial to you.
These can include features like a fuel gauge, so you’ll always know how much fuel your portable generator has left. You can also look for generators with an automatic start, so you’ll never be without power.
You could also look for units that will automatically shut off when the oil in your generator is low. You may need a unit that has a removable console, which will allow you to plug in appliances directly to the unit — no extension cords required.
5. Set Your Budget
Of course, cost is certainly one of the biggest factors when it comes to influencing the kind of generator you end up buying.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that sometimes, you’ll need to invest a little bit more to get a unit that’s actually effective.
You also don’t want to buy a cheap unit that requires you to perform constant maintenance or order replacement parts after every other use.
If possible, make it clear about the kinds of features you need before you start shopping, to avoid going over your budget.
6. Think About Other Requirements
Far too often, we see people that never stop to take into consideration the noise that their unit puts out.
While this might seem like a detail that doesn’t really matter, trust us when we tell you that generator etiquette — yes, that’s a real thing — is incredibly important.
The last thing you want is to have a neighbor call the police on you because of an overly-noisy generator.
So, when you’re shopping, be sure to ask about the level of noise that the unit you’re considering puts out.
Ready To Find The Best Home Generator For Your Family?
We hope that this post has helped you to better understand the most important factors to take into consideration when shopping for your generator.
Remember, in order to get the best home generator for your needs, you should consider wattage, phases, the type of generator, your budget, required features, and overall noise level.
We know that it’s certainly easy to get overwhelmed when shopping — but we’re here to help.
Need access to reviews of the most popular portable generator models on the market? Want to learn more about the available features of specific units and brands?
Spend some time on our website and blog to learn more about the models that are right for you.
With our help, you’ll be ready to weather any storm.