By far weather is the leading cause of loss of power or black outs. Now a few hours of black out are usually very survivable and therefore not that big a thing. There are a couple of exceptions and that is as we live in the desert and if you lose your AC that can be life threatening to the very young and elderly. If you fall into those categories a back up generator is a good thing to have ready to go when you need it. The following is important to keep in mind when considering what type of standby generator you might want to purchase.
Portable generators are very slick and easy to move around as they have a generator contained on a metal frame with wheels. Thus they are easy to move to where you might need them. They are powered either by gasoline or diesel fuel. That requires you to have fuel on hand to use in your generator when you need it. Also remember that gasoline has a shelf life of about 3 months before it becomes stale. However the experts say that you should have about 70 gallons on hand which will last you about 5 days!
They must also be kept outside and a minimum of 10 feet from your house due to the gas exhaust. Also you must use the appropriate rated extension cord to run from the generator into your house. These generators are designed to run many house hold appliances like microwaves, refrigerators, stoves, lamps and TV’s just to name a few. You can also have an electrician hardware the generator into the house so you can run other equipment like a finance or AC.
One word of caution is not to run electronics that are sensitive to voltage variations that might come from the generator. These type of generators range from 1,000 watts all the way up to 17,000 watts; the latter being able to run a small house!
These are in a class of their own as they are designed to run the whole house by themselves and they are permanently installed by a qualified electrician.
They can provide 100% of your power needs for you house so as you can see this is a big step up from a portable generator. One great thing about this type is they are set to automatically come on or off depending on the power condition. This is good because they can protect your house when you are not even home! No loss of food or frozen goods.
They are also, typically, powered by propane or natural gas which is better than having 70 gallons of gas on hand! They also require NOTHING to turn on as they are automatic! They also provide cleaner power so they are OK to use with your sensitive electronics. These range from 8,000 watts to 125,000 watts. Again the small units are good for household appliances where the latter can run a whole house without any issues.
In closing, if you are looking into either of these options it’s always good to find a qualified electrician to help you with your choices and installation. A qualified electrician can see what you want to run in a black out, determine the wattage you need, then work with you on the installation ideas.