With your own generator, you'll have the peace of mind of knowing that your lights and appliances will continue to run if the power goes out temporarily.
Before buying a generator, figure out the total power you'll need from it by making a list of the appliances you'll need to keep on during a power outage and their power requirements in watts. Small portable generators put out about 900 to 2,000 watts, which is enough to run a few appliances. A large generator can put out about 6,000 to 9,000 watts, which can power almost your entire home. The largest portable generators can produce over 10,000 watts, which is enough to power everything in your home, including a central air conditioning system. A standby generator produces 8,000 to 22,000 watts and automatically clicks on as soon as your power goes out.
When deciding on a generator, you may have to consider portability as well as power. While a standby generator produces the most power, it has to be professionally wired into your home's electrical grid. Portable generators usually have less power, but they're more versatile in emergencies or for outdoor activities. Smaller inverter generators can be stored in your car to power cell phones, laptops and other small devices on the road.
For more tips on choosing a generator, check out our Generator Buying Guide.
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