What Type of Portable Generators do you Need?
Whether you need power when in remote areas, or want an emergency back up power source for your home, or you need power on a job site, a portable generator is what you need. But how do you know what size you need? Find out some general guidelines and rules of thumb to pick which, of the portable generators available, is best for you.
So, lets take a look at each of these categories so that you can find the best portable generator for your personal needs.
Recreational Portable Generators
Now, I did kind of have it right, portable generators allow you to take the convenience of home with you no matter where you go. But you also have to be careful. There is nothing worse than being at a remote campground and having somebody pull up, set up their tent and then start their noisy generator so they can watch a movie. It takes the peace out of being one with nature. When in the outdoors, stick to a recreational generator. They are typically small with low wattage and do not make as much noise as an emergency or professional generator.
The most common sizes that a recreational generator comes in is 1000 watts and 2000 watts. The smaller of the two is good for running only one or two appliances at a time, the larger one will usually allow you to run multiple appliances simultaneously. But always be aware of how much wattage each appliance takes, they should all have a plate on the back letting you know their wattage, that way you can unplug and plug in appliances as needed without overloading your generator.
Emergency Portable Generators
The modern world is very dependent on electricity, and though it can be a fun family evening sitting around in the dark with only candlelight or a fireplace, lack of power can cause some real problems. Security systems can fail, food can spoil, basements can flood, and if you live in the country on your own well, you typically lose your water along with the power. These can be real problems if power is out for an extended period of time. To solve these problems, many people use portable generators as an emergency back up, and your little recreational generator will not do the trick!
Now, to know how much power you need if your power goes out, you can figure it the long way by looking at every appliance needed and tallying up the total wattage, or you can use a general rule of thumb.
Medium portable generators (30000 - 6000 watts) will allow you to power multiple appliances; however, any appliance that has a motor (fridge, furnace, sump pump, freezer) takes more power and you would not want to run two of these at the same time on this small of a generator. You would have to rotate the major appliances that you need to run. So, the cost is less, but it takes more effort to keep things going.
If you want more power, you can move up to the 7000 - 9000 watt range, this will allow you to power multiple rooms or a couple of larger, motorized appliances at one. But even this size is not enough if you want to run an air conditioner.
If you want central AC, you have to get the extra large portable generators that are 10,000+ watts. These will restore power to most of your house, assuming your home is not very large. But if you are running a central air conditioner, check the amount of energy that your AC needs to make sure that you get a generator that is big enough.
These portable generators are typically used on a job site, and the sizing is basically the same as for all generators. You have to consider how big the job is, and how much equipment and tools you need the generator to power. Professional generators are typically a bit beefier than their home emergency counter parts, they are designed to hold up under rougher conditions.
Personally, when in the outdoors, I do not need to power a coffee maker, TV or mini fridge. But having been in many black outs, I do like the idea of the emergency portable generators. Especially having lived in the country and know what it is like to have to melt snow on a wood burning stove just to flush a toilet! But how about you, do you have any need for a portable generator?
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
MJ writes for ClickShops Inc., which offers a great selection of† portable generators at www.generators.us.com.