How to choose a backup generator

You want to be prepared for any potential power outage, but how do you know which backup generator is best for you? Purchasing a generator can be intimidating, so it’s important to ask the right questions and consider all of the available options.

In this article, we’ll discuss how to choose the perfect backup generator for your home or business.


When choosing a backup generator, it’s important to understand the purpose of having one and what type is best suited to your individual needs. Having a backup generator gives you peace of mind and can be crucial if there ever were an emergency situation. This guide will walk you through the different types of generators, their uses and how to select the one that’s right for you. With the right generator, you’ll be prepared in case of any power failure.

A backup generator can be powered by gasoline, diesel, fuel oil or natural gas and come in a variety of sizes. The type and size of the machine that you choose depends on a number of factors including: required output power, standby or continuous operation (also called ‘load’), material compatibility with fuels it uses, noise control issues and cost vs initial outlay.

It is also important to factor in maintenance costs as well as operating costs over time when making your decision. The better maintained your unit is, the more reliable it will be when needed, so don’t skimp on regular servicing! Additionally, consider safety features that should go into owning any type of power generating equipment.

Explanation of backup generators

Backup generators come in a variety of sizes and types, with each type offering its own advantages and disadvantages. Depending on your needs, the type of generator you choose will largely depend on your budget and the power needs of your home or business. In general, most homes and businesses require a backup generator that can produce at least 7,000 watts (7 kW) of power, though larger units are available if more power is required.

When selecting a generator for your home or business, it is important to calculate the total wattage that will be necessary for powering appliances or other devices during a power outage. All electrical items in your home use electricity at different wattages; larger items such as refrigerators require more than smaller items like TVs. Once you have determined the total wattage needed to power all essential items in your home or business during an outage, you can then select a generator size accordingly.

In addition to selecting a generator based on necessary wattage output, other factors should also be taken into consideration such as fuel efficiency and noise levels. Generally speaking, diesel-powered generators are considered to be more fuel efficient than gasoline-powered generators; however, they tend to be more expensive upfront. Additionally, some people may prefer quiet electric generators while others may prioritize spark ignition models if they need sturdier engine performance under varying weather conditions. Ultimately the type of generator selected should best suit both wattage requirements as well as budget and personal preferences.

Importance of having a backup generator

Having a backup generator is extremely important for many commercial and residential customers. A reliable backup generator will protect businesses and homes against power interruptions caused by extreme weather conditions or other power outages. Not only does it provide an alternative source of energy to keep essential appliances, lights, and other electronic equipment running, but it can also protect sensitive electronic components and data from sudden surges or power dips. The presence of a backup generator can also help to ensure a safe passage through extreme weather, as critical systems such as security systems, HVAC controls, emergency lighting and video surveillance can remain powered even during long outages.

Additionally, depending on the application or location of the generator, having one on-site can also serve as an emergency response in places like hospitals or data centers where continuous power supply is required to maintain safety and security. Backup Generators are also useful for special events like concerts or festivals that require independent power supply for entertainment devices including lights and speakers without relying on local utility supply. Having a reliable backup generator will help to ensure smooth operations in an ever-changing environment.

III. Fuel type and runtime

Choosing the right fuel type is an important part of choosing your backup generator. Generators can be powered by gasoline, diesel, propane, natural gas or even solar energy. Different types of fuel offer different advantages and disadvantages.

Gasoline: Gasoline is a smaller, more lightweight option which makes it easier to move and store. It’s also relatively inexpensive and generally easier to find in an emergency or power outage. However, it has fewer run time capabilities than other fuel sources and its emissions are not as clean as some other options.

Diesel: Diesel generators have numerous advantages; they are reliable and efficient in terms of powering multiple tools at once with little danger of the generator running out of fuel quickly due to longer run-time capabilities than gasoline generators. They are also sturdier than gasoline generators since they have fewer moving parts making them more durable for prolonged use. The largest disadvantage when using diesel is the upfront cost which is generally higher than that of a comparable gasoline model.

How To Choose the Best Backup Generator for Your Home

Propane: Propane offers many benefits like being easy to store, readily available in large volumes during an emergency situation, and unlikely to become stale like gasoline sitting in a tank over long durations due to lack of oxygen, which strengthens its combustion abilities over time when used frequently. Its primary disadvantage is its short shelf life – only two years at best – making it necessary to shut down at least every two academic years if remaining unused for extended periods and keeping fresh propane on hand at all times as a preventive measure against power outages/situations where backup power would be needed immediately with no prior warning.

Types of fuel: gasoline, diesel, propane, natural gas

Choosing a backup generator can be a complex task as there are many factors to consider, including types of fuel, portability, cost, power output, size and installation. Different generator types use different fuels and each has its own advantages and disadvantages. Understanding the differences between them can help you choose the generator that’s right for your needs.

Gasoline fuel generators offer a wide range of power outputs at relatively low initial costs. They are typically lightweight and portable but require regular refueling and can be noisy when running. Diesel generators provide higher short-term power outputs than gasoline generators and require less maintenance but may have higher initial costs and require more frequent refueling for long run times.

Propane generators are another option with somewhat lower running costs than gasoline or diesel but can also have higher startup costs. They are desirable for areas prone to extreme weather due to their quick startup time and relatively quiet operation during use. Natural gas generators require permanent installation due to their connection with an area natural gas line but offer some of the lowest running costs available.

The type of generator you choose will depend on your specific requirements for power output, budget, portability needs and environmental conditions in which it will be used. All types have pros and cons that deserve consideration before making your final decision so you can select the best option for your purpose.

Pros and cons of each fuel type

Backup generators come in a variety of fuel types. Here, we look at the features and considerations involved in making an informed decision about what type of fuel source you should use for your backup generator.

Gasoline Powered Generators: Gasoline is the most common type and provides a reliable, convenient and versatile source of power for emergency situations. They are typically small and lightweight, easy to start as well as quieter when compared to other types of generators. Since gasoline is generally easier to obtain than more specialized fuels, this option may be more preferable for some applications. However, storing gasoline can raise safety concerns due to flammability and the risk of fuel contamination or theft. This option also creates exhaust byproducts, including carbon monoxide which can be hazardous if not used properly.

Diesel Powered Generators: Diesel powered units are often preferred for their durability; they require less maintenance than other types, are fuel efficient and generate very little sound when compared to gasoline powered options. They can supply higher output levels over long periods of time which is ideal in some situations such as construction sites that require long duration power sources or standby operations where they need to remain operable even after long breaks in between uses. One consideration with a diesel generator is that certain varieties may require more specialized fuels which may not be available all the time or easy to transport in certain locations; depending on where you live, accessibility and availability could vary widely for diesel products so finding out ahead of time will help you weigh different options during purchase decisions. Diesel products are also heavier in weight due to their larger parts which means installation costs may be higher depending on your application needs or if these have to move around frequently.

Natural Gas Powered Generators: Natural gas powered solutions usually provide reliable power with less noise than some other options while minimizing cost issues since natural gas is often sold through utility companies with prices determined by individual City regulations; users don’t have to worry about running out on short notice since it’s reflected in monthly bills just like electric energy usage would be otherwise billed or charged per amount consumed throughout the month depending on where you buy it from initially; check local guidelines before looking into this option carefully due approval and safety prerequisites necessary for installation etc.. Natural gas units come in different sizes depending on how much capacity your system requires but typically consume less space due their size making them popular choices for residential applications too however portability could create a challenge if needed.

Budget and maintenance

Once you have determined the size and capacity of backup generator you need, it is important to consider your budget and compare various models. Most of the cost associated with a backup generator is for purchasing and installation. Determine if you want to purchase a one-time generator or something more permanent.

Next, consider how much energy will be produced from the generator and how much energy it takes to run your home/business. Consider both initial cost, as well as long-term maintenance like fuel storage, usage requirements and cost. Many companies offer lifetime warranty services to help reduce maintenance costs over time.

Finally, be sure to inquire about any pertinent details prior to making a purchase decision including: noise level, safety features, response times for parts replacement (if necessary), and requirements for hood venting. Additionally, find out about any special permits that may be needed if local codes require their submission before operation can commence in an emergency situation.

Budget considerations

When selecting a backup generator, it is important to take into account budget considerations. Generators range in price from several hundred to several thousand dollars, and there are a variety of features and power levels that can affect the cost. Consider the size and power of your generator needs when selecting the right model for your budget.

How to Choose the Right Backup Generator –

It is also essential to check the installation requirements — will you need additional wiring or plumbing for the generator installation? Are there any fuel requirements that need to be met? Be sure to get multiple estimates from qualified professionals before you make a decision.

Additionally, factor in maintenance costs as generators need routine service and upkeep in order to function reliably when needed.

Maintenance requirements

The maintenance requirements of your backup generator are contingent upon the type of generator it is and how often it is used. An automatic standby generator should be subject to yearly maintenance checks and major overhauls every three to five years depending on how frequently the unit runs.

Portable generators need more frequent inspections, such as after each use, to ensure proper functioning as well as performing routine maintenance as advised by the manufacturer. Most portable units require an oil change after approximately 50 hours of use and spark plug replacement every 100 hours or so.

Additional services that may come recommended by the manufacturer include inspecting the fuel system, checking battery voltage, replacing the air filter, checking the control panel operation, inspection of the cooling system components, checking alternator belt tension and adjusting governor speed if needed. Smaller portable generators may not require all these services due to their smaller size; maintainers should consult their owner’s manual for specific service needs of their generator model.

VII. Conclusion

The process of selecting a backup generator doesn’t have to be complicated. By understanding your power needs, researching potential generator solutions, and shopping around for the best deal, you can make an informed decision. It’s important to remember that a backup generator isn’t just an investment in equipment; it’s also an investment in safety and peace of mind.

When choosing a backup generator, consider the following:

  • Fuel type: Make sure you choose a fuel type that is easy to find and use. Usually this will be diesel or gasoline, but depending on your location other options may be available.
  • Power output: Estimate your power needs when selecting a generator size in order to ensure that you have enough electrical capacity for all of your essential equipment and appliances.
  • Maintenance requirements: Check what kind of maintenance each type of generator requires and make sure you have access to the parts necessary for routine upkeep.
  • Price: Shop around for the best deal on generators – comparing available packages can help you get the most bang for your buck.
  • Warranty information: Check what kind of warranty or guarantee is offered with each generator so that you are covered if something goes wrong with it in the future.

Summary of key points

Backup generators are a great choice for providing power during electrical outages. It is important to purchase the right size and type of generator for your needs, so that you have the power you need when the lights go out. Here are some key points to consider when choosing a backup generator:

  • Determine how much wattage or kilowatts (kW) your home requires in an emergency by adding up the wattage or kW of every device you want to power in an outage
  • Choose either a portable or stationary generator depending on your budget, location and energy capacity needs
  • Consider the amount of noise it will produce and if it meets local regulations and standards
  • Determine how much fuel storage capacity you need
  • Select features such as outlets, automatic start/stop transfer switches and overload protection

With these tips in mind, you can choose a backup generator that will give you peace of mind during times of power outages.

Final considerations for choosing a backup generator

Beyond the power source, capacity, and size of a backup generator, there are several other considerations you should make before you buy. Environment is one of the most important considerations for your generator. Some models are designed for outdoor installation and others for indoor use. Make sure to select a model that is designed for the environment in which it will be used. Depending on your location, noise level may also be a factor you want to consider when selecting a generator. The noise rating will vary from model to model and it is important to choose one that meets the local sound ordinance in the area where it will be installed.

In addition, consider the type of connection needed between your primary power source such as utility lines or solar panels, and your generator. If necessary, this connection can often be made via an inverter or transfer switch that connects to both sources and allows people or devices to easily switch between them using an automatic system in order to reduce strain on either source at certain points in time or energy demand.

Backup generators come with numerous options such as remote monitoring which can give you insight into usage data while also providing an added layer of security especially during extended power outages by sounding off alarms if power readings ever exceed preset thresholds alerting you if a problem arises e.g., carbon monoxide build up due to inefficient combustion etc..

Last but not least consider maintenance requirements both during installation and ongoing use in order ensure consistency in terms of performance and safety when relying upon your back-up power unit during times of need.

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