People dread blackouts and brownouts. These power outages make it harder for everyone to move around and do their daily tasks.
One cannot work or do chores at home without the electrical appliance and equipment running.
Good thing there are portable electric generators we can depend on when a power outage occurs. More importantly, these devices are beneficial during medical and disaster-related activities.
These are instances when power generators can be considered as life-savers.
What to Consider
Looking at the various generators, you might think that there is not much of a difference between these units. However, if you take the time to inspect each one closely, you will notice the small differences between each unit.
These slight dissimilarities can make a big difference in the performance and efficiency of generators. Additionally, each extra feature may add up to the unit price of the device. However, when searching for the best one, you might look beyond the amount.
Before putting your money into an expensive generator unit, you must first know what you are looking for. Here are some factors you need to consider when buying a generator for your home, work, or any project you want to accomplish.
There are different types of generators. Although they may vary in some ways, remember that these machines need regular maintenance to keep their excellent performance. Let’s take a closer look at each type and find out which one will be perfect for your needs.
- Portable Generator
A portable generator is a convenient backup power source that you can use at home and in campsites. It is fuel-powered by either gas or diesel. Below are some of the other features of a portable generator.
- You can provide power for your lights and tools.
- One can give power to your TV and refrigerator.
- You can wire it into a subpanel of a facility.
- It uses a combustion engine for electricity conduction.
- The unit has sockets where you plug electrical appliances into.
- Must run at 3600 RPM to be able to give a current of 60hz.
- It uses a governor to control the speed of the engine.
- Inverter Generator
Unlike other generators, an inverter unit uses a rectifier to convert an AC into DC power. It also uses an engine that is connected to an alternator to create AC power. Most customers prefer inverter generators due to its compact and lightweight design.
You can easily carry the unit along anywhere and anytime you need it. Here are the other characteristics of an inverter generator you might find advantageous.
- It uses sophisticated electronic circuitry and high-tech magnets.
- The engine’s speed adjusts depending on the load and power you need, making this generator energy efficient.
- It can easily fit into your car, RV, or boat.
- Standby Generator
The standby generator has an automatic transfer switch. This switch enables the generator to run during a power outage automatically. Although this type of power supply is not portable, it offers many benefits, especially for business establishments and offices.
- Provides permanent power backup and protection
- It runs on either natural gas or liquid propane fuel
- Performs regular self-tests to ensure the efficiency of generator performance during a power loss
- Perfect for structures with elevators, fire protection system, life support, and medical equipment
This generator feature helps the user monitor frequency, voltage output, battery level, and temperature. These things will tell you if your machine is still performing efficiently. It will prevent any risk of overheating or being overused and helps maintain the functionality of the generator.
Some generator units will allow users to switch from automatic power-saving mode to power-boost performance. Some may not need this feature but can be very helpful when you need short surges of energy.
Size and Weight
The bigger and heavier a generator is, the larger the power output it provides. The size and weight of the unit you will get will depend on your power requirements.
For more massive models, you might want to get a unit with wheels for more comfortable transport. Some large generators also include battery-charging cable, wrenches, and a cover.
These extra tools and accessories may not be necessary but can provide more convenience and generation protection.
Many generator users prefer to get inverter generators even if they cost more than conventional ones. Because of efficiency, portability, and being environmentally friendly, more and more people are choosing inverter units.
So let us now take a closer look at two of the most popular generator brands available:
Champion Power Equipment 100573 4000 Watt DH Series
Champion is a market leader in power equipment. Its products are known for durability and efficiency that users can depend on at work and at home.
One of its reliable generator models is the Champion Power Equipment 100573, 4000-Watt. It is one of the most advanced power sources you will find.
It is RV ready, lightweight, and runs quietly runs that you will not have to worry about disturbing the neighborhood, especially at night.
Innovative Open Frame Design
This innovative inverter has a digital hybrid open frame that makes it more lightweight and quieter than traditional machines. This inverter from Champion produces only clean energy, making it EPA and CARB-compliant. Moreover, it features an economical mode for fuel efficiency.
This device will make your life a lot easier with a 224 cc 4-stroke gasoline-fueled engine. It can produce a 120V output and a running wattage of 3500W. The 100573 can also create a peak wattage of 4000W. Additionally, you can parallel this generator with a similar or compatible unit.
With Convenient Wireless Remote Start
This generator includes a wireless remote key fob that you can turn the unit on and off even from 80 feet away. No other machine can give you more convenience than this one.
Further, its Cold Start Technology enables you to make a quick start even during cold weather. It also has an ergonomic foldaway easy-grip handle and a never-flat wheel kit making it very comfortable to use. Users will also love the Quick Touch Panel that gives fast access to the machine’s various controls.
Finally, this generator includes the following outlets and accessories:
- One 120V 30A RV (TT-30R)
- Two 120V 20A household outlets (5-20R)
- One 12V DC automotive-style outlet with one dual USB adapter
- Battery-charging cables
You can use this device for up to 17 hours when using gasoline. Its fuel tank can hold up to 2.9 gallons. It has silent technology that the generator produces only 64 dBA. This sound level is ideal for your RV or any campsite.
Additionally, Champion offers excellent maintenance support with its three years limited warranty. It also provides for free lifetime technical support from professional experts.
Honda EU3000iS Inverter Generator
This inverter generator can handle various appliances like refrigerators, microwaves, blenders, televisions, and even air-conditioning RV units. It is a top-quality machine that is designed to stand above its competitor brands.
Many workers and homeowners choose this model, notwithstanding the price due to its superior quality and robustness.
Ultra Quiet Technology
This super-quiet machine produces 49 to 58 dBA, making it a perfect partner for your RV and camping. This level is so quiet that you can carry a normal conversation even if you are just a few feet away from the generator.
Another fantastic feature of this device is the oil alert that protects the unit by shutting off the engine once the oil falls below the required level. Aside from this, it is very convenient to use with the electric start.
Hence, you won’t have to worry about straining your hands, arms, and shoulders with the recoil pull start.
With its 3.4-gallon fuel capacity, this generator can run up to 20 hours. This extended runtime is due to the eco-throttle feature that automatically adjusts the fuel consumption depending on your power requirements. You can be sure that this inverter generator will run your home equipment throughout the night.
Sturdy and Reliable
Honda is known for its sturdy products and reliable engine. The EU3000Is inverter generator is no exception. It is made of 100% durable steel frame; thus, it will not weather easily or get damaged by harsh weather or elements.
The machine has a 4-stroke original Honda engine that can deliver up to 2800 running watts. This power is enough to run air conditioning units at home or in your RV.
If you still have some doubts in your mind about purchasing a portable generator, the following questions and answers might help you decide.
Why should I choose an inverter generator over other types?
An inverter generator is more compact, lightweight, and much quieter than a standard generator. You can also be guaranteed that there will be no power fluctuations when using this type of machine.
However, the most crucial factor that you might want to think about when buying an inverter generator is its efficiency.
Standard generators run at a constant speed, which does not adjust. Thus, these types of generators are generally noisy and consume a lot of fuel.
Meanwhile, an inverter generator can adjust its speeds according to the power you need. This feature is due to its innovative engine that can vary its speed rates depending on the power load you require.
Hence, inverter generators are quieter, more fuel-efficient, and most importantly, environmentally friendly.
Although inverters are more costly than standard generators, you can get more other benefits from these machines as follows:
- Powerful, yet compact
- Lightweight, hence easy to carry around and store
- Can easily fit in a car
- Extended runtime
- Generates consistent, reliable, and clean power
- Can be paired with identical or compatible units for more power
- Easier to maintain
However, whether you choose a conventional or an inverter generator, you must always consider your needs and one that suits you best.
What generator size should I get to power a house?
You must need to know first where you are going to use the generator. Is it for your home, camping, your RV, a boat, or tailgating?
If you need to run an RV, a 3000-watt inverter generator will be powerful enough. But if you need to operate home appliances and equipment simultaneously, you might be needing large 10000-watt units.
Below is a simple guide for generators of various power wattages:
- Small generators for camping operate at 1000 to 3000 watts.
- For your RV, a generator with 3000 to 4000-power watts will be enough.
To know how much power you need, you can follow the steps below to determine which size of generator you will get.
- List all the appliances, equipment, and devices you will run on the generator.
- Calculate and add the total power of all these listed devices. However, it gets a little tricky here since you also need to know each appliance’s starting and running watts.
Devices that use a motor to run typically require more starting wattage. The required power goes down after a few seconds.
- Select a generator that is slightly bigger than the total energy you calculated. The few extra watts will prevent overloading the machine. You don’t need a broken generator in the middle of the night when there is a power outage.
Can I save money if I use a propane generator than a gas generator?
Propane is a by-product of petroleum refining and natural gas processing. There are standby and portable generator models that use propane fuel. Below are some other advantages you will get when using propane for your generator:
- Clean burning and produces low carbon monoxide
- Environmentally friendly
- Long shelf life
- Supplies consistent power at all times
- Runs longer than gas
However, propane generators are more expensive than gas-powered ones. Additionally, they generate less heat and are usually bigger, hence more challenging to carry around.
You must weigh each type’s pros and cons and determine which one will work best for you. You can get a propane generator that emits less carbon monoxide or get the standard gasoline generator and save a lot of bucks.
How do I maintain the performance of my generator?
The maintenance of a generator follows the same procedure as those machines with engines. Remember to follow the maintenance schedule, as indicated in the user manual. Hence, it is also essential that you read the user guide that comes along the device.
Before another power outage occurs wherein you need to use a generator, you need to check it for leaks, coolant and oil levels, intact belts, hoses, cables, and battery terminals. You also must regularly change its oil.
Changing motor oils will depend on the brand and model of your generator. Generally, you must change the oil every after 100 hours of use, especially if your unit runs on diesel. But if you are not sure about maintaining a generator, it is wise to call professional technicians to do the right job for you.
Portable power generators are your lifesavers in power loss, natural calamities, and crisis times. Many depend on electricity to power their home appliances like lights, TV, heater, etc. Hence, electricity is essential for a lot of people, especially those working in construction sites.
Choosing the right one entails a lot of factors to consider. Always remember to get a generator based on the level of power you need. Do not get a small-sized unit if you know that you will be using it on heavy-duty equipment and appliances.
Likewise, it is not wise to get an expensive and oversized generator if you will only need to run your RV, a boat, or a few home devices.
Having a power generator can make a big difference, especially during medical activities. Therefore having the right unit is inevitable for some people to perform their jobs efficiently. Choosing the perfect device is critical to ensure that you will not run out of power, especially when you need it the most.