With dozens of horrible storms in the rear-view and more on the horizon, there’s never been a better time to invest in a home generator. With the right preparation and planning, you can avoid power outages and their aftermath.
But where do you even begin your generator-shopping journey?
How to Buy a Generator for Your Home
There are two types of generators you can purchase for home use: small, portable options and large, standby generators.
Small, Portable Generators
Typically, small, portable generators cost between $500 and $1,500. However, that affordability comes at a price.
Small, portable generators for home use can power your home’s essential appliances, and their simple to set up. However, these types of generators require manual operation. You’ll also have to monitor these generators closely.
In order to get your portable generator running, you must be at home when the power goes out. These types of generators run on fuel—and their tanks hold between three and six gallons, on average—so you’ll need to be on standby for a fill-up.
Because there’s a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning from the engine exhaust, your portable generator must be at least 10 feet away from your home (that’s something to think about during inclement weather). As an extra precaution, you may want to hook up a carbon monoxide detector when you’re running your portable generator.
Standby generators are equipped to automatically start when the power goes out.
However, these generators typically cost about $10,000. Maintenance is necessary every two years, and it does need to be performed by licensed technician. Large, standby generators have about a 15-year lifespan, provided that they are properly maintained.
Should You Invest in a Generator?
There’s no question that power outages are inconvenient—but for some people, they can be deadly, such as those who rely on home medical equipment.
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