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How do I choose a generator for my home?

Power outages are inconvenient and disruptive to everyday life, especially to those who are living in the outskirts. This is why a generator is a must have item in your home.

Good preparation of the right size generator will be a wonderful emergency backup power system to run all necessary appliances. That’s why I’m here to help you.

Size

To determine exactly the generator size suited your home power demand, make a list of which appliances/devices you’re going to run during emergency situations and their starting wattages.

Count them up and that the wattage number a generator needs to have. On the market there are three common sizes of home-use generators:

Medium (1000W – 5000W): Can run simultaneously many survival devices, such as sump pump, fridge, and furnace fan.

Large (6000W – 9000W): It’s more powerful to let you thrive. It works best with a transfer switch to power multiple rooms in your house.

X-Large (10,000W – 17,000W): With such huge power, it gives no shackles of being tied down to retain an AC or a heater at the same time to cool/warm the home.

Consider a more permanent model if power shortages happen frequently in your living areas and last a couple of days. A whole house generator or a home standby, in this case, is perfect.

Power output quality

99% chances are that you will need energy for charging electronics like laptops, tablets, and smartphones during a power outage. They are all sensitive devices that just small fluctuations in the electricity flow can cause damage to them.

Of course, everyone knows that such electronics are really expensive and we never would like to spend a bunch on fixing them.

That’s why I suggest choosing a generator that can produce clean power. I mean it’s capable of limiting the total harmonic distortion, usually under 1.2% at full load and 0.3% at no load.

Two common ways to regulate the generator’s voltage are using inverter technology and Brushless motor.

Inverter generators are really popular because of their multiple benefits. Not only producing the clearest power but they also deliver lower weight, greater fuel efficiency

Noise level

The bigger the model, the louder it will run. The official measurement unit of noise level is the decibel rating (dBA or dB).

An ideal noise level range of generators should be within 48 dBA to 65 dBA. Don’t go any further. Many areas come with noise ordinances to control the generator utilizing so, you should learn about this issue before any decision.

It’s not true to go for the largest-sized model for the best results. Many whole house generators can deliver 70 dBA to 80 dBA, which is super-noisy to bother your neighbors and even you.

There are still some modern models constructed somewhere in between of low noise level and power output. Some signs to identify them are:

·         Inverter technology

·         4-stroke engines

·         Thick-padded foam inside the generator shells

·         Eco-mode

Runtime & Fuel Efficiency

If a generator featuring a long runtime and fuel efficiency is what you’re looking for, take note on these things:

·         Auto throttle: Help with less noise and more fuel efficiency while limiting the components’ wears and tears.

·         Large fuel tank: Will require fewer refilling times and give longer runtime

·         Eco-Throttle: Allow for maximum fuel efficiency by auto-adjusting the motor speed to fit different power needs.

Others

Portability: Though a home-use generator won’t be moved here to there as much as the RV/camper models, it’s necessary to be lightweight, compact and portable. Choose a generator with handles or wheels for easier mobility.

Transfer switch: This uses a cable connect a generator to the circuit panel, retaining safety for both your appliances and generator. Just take note it works differently in a portable model and a home standby. Besides, hiring a licensed electrician to set it up for you.

Conclusion

While considering all the listed features above, don’t forget to think about your budget. The bigger and more advanced generator, the more expensive it will be.

For example, a medium-sized model in general costs within $200 – $400 while the large is $500 – $850. Because the price isn’t cheap, let consider a good warranty as well. 

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