Generator Buying Guide with all the different choices available, purchasing a generator can be fierce these days between traditional open-frame generators, inverters, and home standby generators. How do you decide which one is right for you? Choosing whether you need a generator primarily for home, work, or play will be an excellent place to start.
Traditional open frame generators are the least expensive. They are ranging from $150 for a 1200 watt unit up to $2000 and up for a 12,000-watt unit.
Inverters range from $400 to over $1,000 depending on their wattage and features. And home standby generator systems range between $2000 to $4000 plus the cost of insulation and regular required maintenance.
Table of Contents
- 1 Generators for Home
- 2 What Features Should You Consider?
Generators for Home
When a power outage occurs, do you want a unit that will power your entire home? Or keep a few essential household items running? You can purchase a portable generator for a temporary power solution or invest in a home standby system, which will provide permanent and convenient backup power.
A portable generator or inverter will work fine. Keep in mind that you'll need at least 3500 watts to run your most basic appliances. Such as lights, computer, TV, and Internet, and refrigerator.
A 5500-watt unit can cover your essentials and even a few extra items. And a 10,000-watt unit will be able to power your entire home. If noise is an issue, you may want to look into a traditional or open-frame inverter, which has quieter operating volumes.
Also, pay attention to the different features that can make your life easier when the power goes out.
Features to Consider:
- Wheel kit: makes it easy to move the unit around and lets you avoid heavy lifting.
- Dual fuel: Dual fuel units can run on gasoline or propane. So you can always be sure to have some fresh fuel on hand. Especially when major storms can make it challenging to buy gas.
- Electric or Remote Start: Electric or remote start can help remove the confusion of starting an engine. And knowing which outlets you need to power your different appliances can help make your decision.
Home Standby Generator
A home standby system may be right for you if you want to power your entire home in an outage.
The convenience of a home state my system can't be overlooked home standby generators.
- Connect directly to your home's electrical system
- Run on your home's fuel supply
They'll automatically start up within seconds of a power outage, and return to standby mode when the power is restored.
Generator for Work - Westinghouse WGen7500 Portable Generator
If you only need to run a few small power tools at a time, then the three to four thousand watt generator is all you need. If you need to run multiple power tools simultaneously, you'll need something in the range of 4000 to 8000 watts.
If your project requires multiple power tools and large power equipment, you may need a generator that can provide 10 to 12,000 Watts. Knowing how many devices you'll need to run simultaneously, we'll help you decide what generator to choose.
Specific tools have very high starting watts compared to their running watts. Make sure to get a unit that will cover the wattage requirements for all the tools you need.
A traditional generator is probably the best choice for the job. They're typically the least expensive but still have the highest wattage availability.
Generator for Play - Honda EU2200i 2200-Watt 120-Volt Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator
Whether you're camping, tailgating, boating, hunting, or using your RV, portable generators and inverters are perfect for recreation. They come in a wide range of sizes, with one to three thousand watt units being high for most outdoor activities.
While three to four thousand-watt units work well with trailers and RV's. Enough power to start and run most 15,000 BTU RV air conditioners. If you want to power your RV find out what type of outlet you need for your RV
Things to Consider:
Either 30 amp or 50, and make sure you choose a unit with one of these outlets. For most activities, you'll want a lightweight unit. You'll want to consider the operating noise level since most campgrounds have noise regulations.
For these reasons, an inverter might be the best choice for the outdoors. They're small, quiet, easy to transport, fuel-efficient, and have specific outlets that are great for recreation if you want all the benefits of an inverter but need a larger generator.
Some inverters can run simultaneously along with a parallel kick to increase or even double your power output. If you want both worlds' best, you can look into a digital hybrid open frame inverter, which is quieter, lighter, and more advanced versions of traditional generators.
What Features Should You Consider?
You know you need a generator for work, home, or play, but what features should you consider? It's essential to take a look at all the available features for the generators and inverters that will fit your needs.
Having a generator with a wheel kit will make it easy to transport your unit wherever you need it.
Weight and Size
If you plan to take your unit on trips or use it recreationally, consider the total weight and size of your unit as smaller lighter units are much easier to lift and move around.
Dual fuel units offer the versatility of running on both gasoline and propane. Propane has a very long shelf life, which can come in handy when gasoline is in short supply.
Some inverter models have the economy mode, which provides quieter operation extended engine life and better fuel economy when running under a reduced electrical load.
If you plan to use your unit with your RV, consider the available plugs. Our RV ready units come standard with 30 amp or 50 amp plugs, providing power directly to your RV.
Outlets & Adapters
Some units come with 12-volt DC adapters with USB ports or automotive-style battery charging cables.
Inverters produce clean power with a harmonic distortion of less than 3%, which is necessary if you want a safely power sensitive electronics like audio or stereo equipment.
If you want the ability to increase your power output, some inverters can run simultaneously alongside a parallel kick to increase or even double your available wattage.
Electric & Remote Start
Electric start generators help take the confusion out of starting an engine. And remote start generators take that convenience one step further. Allowing you to start and stop your unit from up to 80 feet away