Years ago, buying a generator was more or less an easy affair. Most generators had one or two outlets to provide electricity to tools or appliances, and the power source was simple: gasoline. Starting the generator involved pulling a cord.
Keeping the generator going simply required you to keep track of the fuel level and ensure the generator had plenty of oil.
Today’s generators, however, offer a variety of features. These features do not necessarily make buying a generator difficult.
However, if you are not aware of all the features on a generator or how to operate modern generators, you might end up with a machine that does not suit your purposes. Additionally, if you misunderstand the machine, you might even end up with one that creates a dangerous situation for you and your loved ones.
Of course, gas-powered, cord-pull generators exist aplenty. These types of generators are the workhorses of the backup-power industry.
However, there are also solar generators for limited use during camping or survival situations, and there are actually battery-powered generators for use indoors.
Finally, whole-house generators can power every appliance you have. Which type of generator you require often simply depends on your needs.
– gas-powered generators: good for reliable power for offsite construction or backup power during power outages
– solar: good for emergency situations when you need to charge a phone
– battery-operated models: offers quiet power for sensitive electric equipment, such as laptops or phones
– whole-house generators: good for people with medical equipment that cannot bear interruptions
- AC or DC
Alternating current (AC) can power just about any instrument, but there are variations in the frequency of the electricity that can damage sensitive equipment, such as laptops, televisions, or even refrigerators.
Direct current (DC) is alternating current that has been smoothed, so to speak, allowing for a safer power source. Most modern appliances require DC electricity. Although some machines, such as AC motors, can handle AC electricity, you will likely need DC electricity for most situations.
Consequently, you will need an alternator with an inverter, which changes the AC electricity created by the generator into DC electricity, which you can use to power your home.
How you use your generator also determines what you will need. For instance, if you require a quiet generator for indoor use, your only real choice is a battery-powered generator. Battery-powered generators require you to charge them every 12 hours, but they are quiet, and they can provide steady DC electricity.
If you intend on using your generator on a job site, you will likely need a gas-powered generator.
In this instance, you will want to look for a generator with large back wheels as they help provide a steady center of gravity as you roll the unit from one location to another. Additionally, the large back wheels will help you turn the generator, enabling you to round corners without the front of the unit fighting you.
The critical thing to look for in any generator is the total time it can provide power on one tank of gas or one complete charge.
This is important because it allows you to estimate the amount of gas you will need to outlast a storm. Additionally, knowing the amount of time a single charge will last in a battery-powered generator allows you to work on a laptop, for instance, and save your work without fear of the generator shutting you down.
For anyone buying a generator, you must first know that most generators should never be operated indoors. Gas-powered generators emit exhaust, which contains carbon monoxide. A high level of carbon monoxide will kill you. Whatever the emergency, the generator must be located outdoors. To operate your appliances, you should run a properly rated extension cord from the generator to the appliance.
- Reliability during an emergency
Regardless of the promises manufacturers make regarding their products, you should read the online reviews for the generator you are thinking of buying. Do not buy a generator because of anything the manufacturer says.
Do not buy it because it is affordable. Do not buy it because it seems it will suit your purposes. Instead, find a reliable generator place online. Once you find an affordable generator that suits your purposes, read the reviews. Once you have read the reviews, you can then make your final choice accordingly.
- Increasing the life span
Although most generators will come with a 24-month or 36-month warranty, you do not want your purchase to die as soon as the warranty expires. To ensure a long-lasting generator, you need to make sure to keep oil in it. This is the simplest way to keep your generator humming along.