When's the best time to buy a generator?

Hint: It's not after the lights go out.
And if you live in an area where power outages occur often, you'll want to get a generator as soon as possible.
But which one should you get? Let's discuss everything you need to know about buying a generator.

First Things First: What Are Your Options?

There are three main types of generators: portable, standby, and those that use a battery-inverter system.

The first option is budget-friendly and easy to operate. It's a lot like using a lawnmower. But you should only use one in a well-ventilated area as its exhaust contains carbon monoxide.

Next, are standby generators. They use natural gas or propane for fuel, which makes them a safer option than portable types, which run on gasoline or diesel.

Also, they're self-monitoring. As soon as the grid goes down, they automatically generate power. But the downside is they require complex installation and come with a high price tag.

Last but not least are generators with a battery-inverter system. These generators are quiet and you can use them indoors. You should note though that they're not suitable for extended power outages and may not be compatible with certain types of appliances (e.g. those with built-in clocks).

Sticking to a Budget: Buying a Portable Generator

If you've decided to go for a portable generator, the good news is you can buy one from a home improvement store. Or you can buy one online - just google 'portable generator for sale' and you'll get tons of results.

Now, before you buy one, make sure you've already calculated your wattage needs. If you don't know how to do that, you can ask your dealer for tips on how to buy a generator that's the right size for your home.

You can also check included items and services such as warranties and maintenance packages to help you decide which one will best meet your power needs.

Buying a Generator: Research Is Your Friend

One generator buying guide will not be enough to answer all your questions. So don't hesitate to consume as much information as you can about buying generators and how to use them properly.

Especially with portable generators, you'll want to read up on how to safely connect and disconnect one to your home's electrical system. You'll also want to research on grounding your generator to avoid violating any federal, state, or local regulations.

Need More Tips on How to Buy and Use a Generator?

Now that you know more about buying a generator, you should be feeling more confident about shopping for one.

But if you need more tips and advice on getting the right generator we have related articles you might want to check out. We also encourage you to continue researching so you can be safe while using your generator.

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