Buying a generator is not a daily affairs, and even if you have bought one before, you will always need to give answers to some questions for each purchase, if you want to buy a one that best fit a specific need and purpose, as no single generator is suitable for every requirement.
To start with, if you have never bought a generator before, it is vital to equip yourself with some basic knowledge about the issues. The types, brands, power output, functionality, fuel types, issues around watts (surge and running), amps and voltage and how they all link and work together. This will give you a better idea of what you really should be looking for.
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Calculate Your Required Wattage
The criteria for choosing a perfect generator, will largely depends upon the type of usage you have in mind and the amount of total wattage required from the engine when running. It is therefore vital to measure and calculate the required wattage. Depending on where the generator will be used, you can find a power calculator to help determine the total wattage required and in turn help you to determine the generator size required.
If it is for home use, the you can easily find a power calculator online and the appliances you will be including in the calculation will include televisions, refrigerator, freezer, microwave, laptop, lightings and other home appliances.
Since it is unlikely that you will make use of all your appliances at the same time, you might not include every single one in your home, just the most used ones and a few more.
Bear in mind the surge watts (the power used by appliances for start- up) and the running watt ( power requires by appliances to keep running) of each device. The surge watts is higher than the running watts.
Here is a link to an online power calculator.
Portable Generator or Standby Generator
After calculating the required wattage, the next thing you will want to consider is the type of generator; portable or standby.
To arrive at this decision, you have to consider the use of the generator, your available space, budget and the total required wattage. For large building and offices, standby generators seems to be more appropriate, they are able to supply the very high energy level demand that will be required for such places.
On the other hand, for home and outdoors activities, a portable one seems appropriate as it can be easily moved from one place to another. This is not to say that portable generators are for small energy demand only.
Differences Between Portable and Stand-by Generators
Portable generators gives better flexibility. They can be easily moved from one place to another. Stand-by generators on the other hand, are permanently installed at a particular location and cannot be easily taken elsewhere to provide energy.
Stand by generators are wired directly into the electric supply system. They provide higher level of energy and they usually run on natural gas.
When operating any type of generator, a transfer switch is required. What it does is that it allows you to safely connect your generator to your household wiring by preventing both the utility and the generator power to supply energy to your household circuits at the same time with a simple flip switch.
During power outage, you only need to plug generator into the transfer switch, power it, and switch from utility position to generator position. And when power is back, you change the source of energy using the transfer switch flip again.
Transfer Switch are installed permanently in your home near the service panel. Be sure to speak with an expert before executing any work concerning installation.
You also need to consider these additional factors to ensure a better user experience.
Total Load Capacity For Maximum Performance
When considering buying a generator, it is of utmost importance to be sure of the total load that the generator is expected to power. This will help prevent damage to lives and properties.
Since start up wattage (the wattage requires to power your appliances at the beginning) is normally higher than running wattage( wattage used when the engine is in operation), you will need to buy an engine that is somewhat higher in watt to what you will require when the engine is running.
For a standby generator, this might not be much of a problem. But if the generator is to be shuttled between places, then easy of movement will be a very important factor you will have to consider.
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The noise coming from a generator can take away the joy and pleasure of owning one. Some generators emit so much noise that the owner only turn's it on when it is extremely necessary.
The noise from a generator have been known to cause problems with neighbours and authorities, so be sure to look for one that has very low and acceptable noise level.
Safety is the most important feature to consider when embarking on anything, be it purchase, installation, or something as simple as opening or closing the door. Be sure to check out the safety of using a generator. Every good generator should have features that will alert the user when there is a reason to. This is to prevent damages to the user and his properties and should not be overlooked.
Warning: Never, ever make use of any generator indoors. Avoid running generators in moist locations and plugging them into a wall surface site.
Price, sometimes is the one single factor that prevents one from buying the idea product, but it is worth knowing that the best product need not be the most expensive and the best price isn't always the cheapest……
Keeping these factors in mind, here are some of our top pick based on recommendations from real people.
Here is a link to other generators you might also like to consider:
Link to review 4