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Generating a Solution

Generators require a significant investment, so it’s essential to nail down exactly what you’ll need from one. There are three main types of generators, and here’s a closer look at each:

Home Standby Generator

A home standby generator offers maximum convenience and output and works by continuously monitoring the home’s power level. If it drops below a certain threshold, which should only happen during a power outage, the generator kicks in automatically. There’s no need to go outside and switch it on manually.

Portable Generators

Portable generators are less expensive than home standby generators and are mobile. If a homeowner wants to bring their generator on the road, like for a tailgate, then a portable generator may make the most sense.

Inverter Generators

Inverter generators are also portable, but they are built with more advanced engine technology. An inverter generator will throttle up or down as power demands inside the home change. This provides an efficiency boost and also keeps noise to a minimum. The added efficiency also means inverter generators produce fewer emissions, which makes them a bit safer to operate.

But how much power does the home need? This will also guide generator choice, so it’s an important number to have. Fortunately, it’s easy to come up with. Most appliances and electronics have a label somewhere that lists exactly how much wattage it requires to run. If no label is present, these numbers provide a general average:

Central air conditioner – 5,000 watts
Water heater (small) – 3,000 watts
Refrigerator – 600 watts
Microwave – 1,500 watts
Clothes washer – 1,200 watts
Dryer – 5,000 watts
Lighting – around 400 watts
TV – 200 watts
Computer – 250 watts

These numbers are only estimates, but as long as you allow for a bit of headroom this should help determine the power needed. Add up all of your wattage needs, and make sure that the chosen generator can meet them. It’s highly recommended that you leave some room in case additional electronics need to be plugged in or if the air conditioner will need to operate near continuously.

Generators are ideal pieces of technology. When the power goes out, the generator powers on, keeping people comfortable, safe, secure, and entertained.


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