- Do you want a Portable or Standby model?
- How much power do you require?
- Where will you store the generator?
- What type of fuel do you prefer to use?
- Do you care how much noise the generator makes?
Generators vary widely in price and quality.
Checking customer reviews and comments about different brands will help to inform you of potential problems.
Basically, there are two types of generator, Standby and Portable.
The Standby generators are typically fully enclosed and because of their size, are set in a fixed position on your property.
They often require a permit and need to be installed by a qualified electrician.
The generator is connected to your electricity supply and is designed to take over the distribution of power to your household during a power outage.
The fuel used to power the generator is usually either liquid propane or natural gas.
It needs to be maintained and most of the companies you purchase from will usually offer a maintenance program.
This is something you need to check with the supplier before you buy.
Standby Generators are more expensive initially but worth the expense if you like the fact that everything runs automatically.
The other type of Generator for home use, is the portable style.
The difference is that you can move the generator around, so it can also be used for recreational purposes such as camping or boating.
There are light weight models that you can lift yourself and also heavier models which will require a wheel frame to move.
The portable generators usually run off gasoline and do not link directly into your power.
They have 120/240 volt power outlets and you plug your appliances directly into the outlets.
Portable generators cannot be used inside your home as they produce carbon monoxide, so you would also need to purchase extension cords so you can run the wires into your home.
If you do want to run specific items in your home with a portable generator, a transfer switch is required.
This stops dangerous feedback to your power supply.
There are instructional videos to help you to install a transfer switch yourself or you could employ a qualified electrician.
Additional accessories to consider purchasing alongside your portable generator are:
- Wheel frame (if the model is too heavy to lift).
- Cover, to keep the engine dust free.
- Extension cords.
- Transfer switch (to connect to your home power supply.