Wildfires, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes… A lot of natural disasters and other unpredictable factors can cause a blackout and leave you without power for god knows how long. In places where such things are a common occurrence, people like to be prepared and often have an alternative source of power in the form of a generator of some kind. The most common type of generator for homes is a standby generator, which simply kicks in when power goes out to keep your lights and electronics running like nothing has happened, and turning off when it senses power from the main source is back. Portable generators have become a popular alternative, but there are 3 things you should keep in mind before deciding on one or the other.
Portable generators have limits
The portable factor in portable generators means that they are inherently limited due to their size. Most people wonder if these machines can handle the workload of backing up the power of an entire house, and unfortunately the answer to that question is no. The most capable portable generators can reach close to half the output of a regular standby generator, which is why you won’t see any portable generators on this house generator list.
Needless to say, portable generators won’t work automatically like standard ones either, meaning you have to be prepared with a gas can in your garage to fill up your portable generator. On top of that, some of these portable units don’t have gauges or readers to tell you how much has been consumed at any given point in time, so you just have to keep an eye on it for as long as you need it running in case you need to refuel it.
Portable not always means easy to transport
A considerable amount of work goes into generating power, and the engine and mechanisms through which these generators do it means that they are also somewhat heavy. People should always check the model of generator they want to buy to see if it is light enough to carry from one place to another, or if the model has wheels to roll it.
There is something for everyone, but often it happens that some generators compromise the supposedly portable aspect they should have in exchange of other features or more power output. It’s not a bad thing, but it is a tradeoff when you’re looking for something portable.
There are different types of portable generators
Most portable generators are just like standard units, they run on gas and they generate a certain amount of watts to supply your energy needs for as long as you need them. However, there are different types of energy generation mechanisms, and the one used by your generator can influence things like cost, efficiency, energy output, and more.
Make sure to always check portable generator reviews before settling on one option or another, because you might end up buying a portable inverter generator, for instance. While it isn’t that much different from a traditional generator, it comes with its advantages and disadvantages, some of which may end up not working for what you had in mind.