Home generators are a rapidly growing market. More and more people are purchasing generators for their homes, especially during Hurricane season in tropical states like Florida. Many people rely on the internet or computers to do their work these days. Connect that with the reliance on refrigerators, air-conditioning, and safety equipment such as smoke or security alarms (which are especially useful in the chaos that follows a major storm), it’s no wonder many people are making these purchases. So how do you find the best one for you?
The Difference between Portable and Standby Generators
There are several different types of generators on the market, but there are two major types to first consider. Portable or Standby? Standby generators are external units that you add to your home, not unlike an A/C unit. Portable generators are machines that can be moved and placed anywhere needed or conveniently stored. Generally, standby units can be more convenient since they are automatically turned on when the power goes out, but that’s a minor luxury since a portable generator only requires a little bit of effort to get started. Standby units are expensive; where a portable generator would only cost around $500-$2000, a standby unit can go for at least $4000, but will likely cost more depending on what you need. They are also harder to install and rely on working gas or propane lines in the area. Chances are, if they are cut during an emergency, then a portable generator is going to be the only source of power you’re going to have access to for a while. Portable generators are also good options for campers and going outdoors, since you can bring them with you as they provide exactly what you’ll need.
Gasoline versus Propane
The next thing to evaluate for generators is to decide whether you’d like gasoline or propane powered generators. Gasoline generators are the most common, and as you’d suspect, there are a lot of places to get gasoline. All that is required is a container and access to a working gas station. However, gasoline can be dangerous; it’s toxic for you and the environment, extremely flammable, and expensive. Furthermore, since gas stations require electricity to pump, most stations will not be able to serve you when you need it most. There are less available models of propane generators, however propane generators remain more popular than gasoline as it is easier to store propane tanks than gasoline. Discount Propane Inc. sells lowered priced propane, making this investment convenient and affordable.
• Propane containers are sturdy and safe and are almost impossible to spill.
• The propane evaporates if spilled, requiring little to no clean up at all in an accident.
• Propane can be stored for more than a year, if not almost indefinitely.
• Propane burns clean for the environment
• Propane generators run more quietly than gasoline generators.
That said, a great option for any power outage are generators that could use both fuels. Not only does that keep both avenues open, but it also allows you to see for yourself which you might like more.
What to look for
There are a few brand names on the market. Honda, Yamaha, Briggs & Stratton, Champion, Generac, and more can be found just about anywhere. According to Forbes, the best gasoline generator on the market is a Briggs & Stratton 30470 7000-watt generator, which has, so far, the best reviews. It’s reliable, long lasting, and has a great power output. That said, it is pricey. Another great option is the Generac LP5500, which uses propane fuel. Although it has a short running time compared to some gas generators, it’s the best option for emergency situations. It also comes from a reliable manufacturer, Generac, which is actually considered to be the largest and most trusted in the industry.