Generators have become an increasingly essential component of many businesses and homes today, providing a vital back-up during ongoing loadshedding implementations and other power failures.
While there are a wealth of excellent generators for sale, knowing which option is the best for your needs can be difficult. In this article we provide a list of useful criteria which you should consider before buying a generator.
1. Consider all the items which you need to operate
Determine how much electricity you will need to run essential activities like kitchen appliances, the air conditioner or heater, power tools and computers by making a list of the appliances which you regularly use.
Homeowners often choose 5,000-watt generators for their needs, however this can vary from household to household. Added to this, businesses will likely have higher power requirements than households.
2. Find out how much power is needed to start your appliances
Make sure you can start (and not just run) your appliances when you need to. To start an appliance with a generator, you’ll need a lot more power than you’ll need to keep it running, which is known as the “starting wattage.”
Make sure to check the start-up wattage indicated in your appliance’s owner’s manual if you have one, and be sure to identify the running or rated wattage stated there.
3. Identify the best generator for your needs
Inverter generators, portable generators, and home standby generators are the three primary types of generators available. In the event of a power loss, a home backup generator will kick on and continue to run for an extended period of time to provide additional power.
If you need more than a few hours of electricity, you’ll need to bring along a larger, more powerful generator. Portable inverter generators have lower power capacities than diesel or petrol generators, but they emit fewer emissions.
4. Consider your fuel source
The majority of portable generators are powered by petrol, however diesel variants are also available. Diesel engines can be more difficult to start and cost a little more than petrol engines in most cases.
However, they have a longer lifespan, especially if used regularly. Due to lower fuel prices, diesel engines are more cost-effective for larger scale operations.
5. Decide whether your generator should be stationary or portable
Portable power isn’t important if you’re looking for a backup for your home. The advantages of using stationary generators are numerous.
They are generally quieter, easier to start, and more powerful than portable alternatives. Then there’s the convenience of not having to deal with extension cords when the power goes out.
For camping, motorhomes, or simple home use, you’ll likely need something portable. With portable generators, the most important decision is which type of start-up you prefer. There are two ways to get your generator started which you should consider: with a battery or with a pull cord.
6. Consider the installation process
As a precautionary measure, it’s essential to study the generator’s owner’s manual. While this assures proper safety practices, it also keeps the generator safe from harm, which could result in costly repairs or even replacement.