Best Emergency Generators: Electricity has become a part and parcel of our lives. Irrespective of where we live and what we do, electricity is important for us. Whether it be someone in living in the city or it be someone living in the rural areas, electricity finds use in every step of our modern lives. From lighting up our homes to enabling us to using modern gadgets, electricity has, indeed, made our lives better and easier. In fact, we cannot imagine our modern lives without the use of electricity. But if the electric supply is to be suddenly disrupted? While sudden power cuts are not very common in most areas, there’s no way that you can escape a natural calamity or a system breakdown that occurs without any notice at all. Moreover, if you live in an area where weather conditions often get harsh, you may have to face power breakdowns quite regularly.
This means that you would be left without any power supply and that could be for a few hours a whole day or even several days at a stretch. What do you do then? Live in the Stone Age with candles lighting up your rooms and coal fueling up your ovens? Well, probably not. And that is exactly why you need to have an alternative source of power supply. An emergency generator will not only ensure that you do not have to go back to a primitive lifestyle but will also ensure that you remain immune to most calamities and sudden incidents that may result in power supply breakdown. Emergency generators are quite easily available in the market and purchasing one that fulfills your power supply needs is sure to go a long way in making life comfortable and convenient for you and your close ones.
Why Do you Need Emergency Generators at Home?
Facing a power outage isn’t a nice experience for anyone. It can hugely affect one’s daily day life, especially if the power doesn’t resume in a couple of hours. You can feel helpless and find yourself incapable of carrying on with your daily life in the absence of power supply. And the worst part is that all this can happen all of a sudden and you may have no alternative option to fulfill your needs. That is why, having a backup supply of power is what you need, whether you reside in the urban or village areas. And emergency generators happen to be the best alternative option that you may go for. They can surely be your savior in a number of ways, some of which are mentioned below:
Never stay in the dark: Whether it be a breakdown in the power grid or a huge cyclone that has wrecked havoc, emergency generators ensure that you have power supply at your home at all times. As soon as the utility power becomes unavailable, you will be able to switch to your generator for power supply. These generators can power all parts of your home and so, you do not have worry about staying in the dark or carrying candles and torches to different areas of the house while there’s no power. This not only makes things convenient for you and your family, but also ensures that no mishaps occur due to lack of light.
Carry on with your with daily life: Having no electricity means that you won’t be able to electric appliances such as microwaves, washing machines, vacuum cleaners, heaters, air conditioners, computers, and loads more. This means that you will be back to washing your clothes with your own two hands, dusting and scrubbing your floors, etc., thus putting you in a lot of trouble. Moreover, you will have no option to control your room temperatures, enjoy the cool of an AC, or carry on with your work from your computer or laptop. The problems are endless. But when you have an emergency generator to provide backup power, all these issues will never crop up, thus making sure that a disruption in power supply doesn’t disrupt your lives.
Prevent wastage of money: Imagine that you have bought a lot of food items for the coming weekend and suddenly there is a blackout. Your refrigerator is stocked with food and there is no electricity to run the fridge. The food is surely going to get spoilt, unless the power supply resumes soon. But when you have an emergency generator, there’s no chance of this happening as you will have the power to run your refrigerator even when the utility power is out.
Prevent damage to your home: If there has been a natural calamity like thunderstorms, there is quite a high chance that there will be torrential rains in the area as well. And this means that you will need your sump pumps to work frequently to pump the water out and protect your house from getting flooded. But if there is no electricity, sump pumps will not be able to operate and you run the risk of water logging and flooding in your house. This is when an emergency generator turns into a savior. It offers the power to run your sump pumps even when the utility power is out. Moreover, if you run out of power during the freezing winters, your house plumbing system may freeze and pose a huge problem. Having a backup power eliminates such problems.
Ensure comfort: When the rays of the sun unfurl their wrath or when the cold winds outside push the mercury down the barometer, what you need is the service of an air conditioner or a room heater. And since none of these can run without electricity, you are sure to be left sweltering or freezing when the utility line breaks down, unless of course, you have an emergency generator that can offer you an alternative source of power.
What Type of Emergency Generator is the Best for You?
There are hundreds of generator models available in the market and they come packed with a variety of features and at different price tags. But which one would be the best for you? You just can’t pick any random generator that you may come by at any online store. You have to ensure that the generator fulfills all your needs and only then will be the best pick for you. And that is why, it is important that you choose a generator that will be able to offer sufficient power output for your house. Without this, you won’t be able to run the necessary electrical units or appliances. That is why, before you even think of choosing a model, is vital that you find out what your power requirements are. Depending on this, you will be able to decide which generator type would be the ideal for you.
Emergency Generator Types: If you are looking for backup power for your home, you have two main types of emergency generators to choose from
- Portable generators
- Standby generators
Each of these generator types have their own set of advantages and disadvantages and it is worth considering them before deciding on what type would be ideal for you. Let’s take a look at each type in detail.
As the name goes, these generators can be moved from one location to another and thus, are perfect for those who would want to roll out the generator once an alternative power is needed and stow it away once the utility power has resumed. This means that they do not occupy any space permanently. They have to be usually connected to your home electric panel via an extension cord and can have to be manually started when you need the power supply. They usually come at a lower cost than the standby generators and are thus, ideal for those who want an alternative power supply, but at a very affordable cost. That being said, portable generators are also categorized into four different types based on the amount of power that they can produce. This can help you choose a particular sub-type based on your power requirements:
- Medium size portable generators: These generators have an average output of 3000 – 6000 watts and are ideal for any family that wants to run the basic electrical appliances during an emergency. They are comparatively small in size, but can conveniently light up your home, run important appliances like sump pump, refrigerator, furnace fan, etc. This means that you will be able to enjoy convenience even when there’s no utility power.
- Large size portable generators: These models are usually a bit bulky, but they have significantly higher output of 6000 – 9000 watts, which means that you will not only be able to run the basic appliances at your home during a power outage, but also run appliances that can enhance your comfort, like an air conditioner. These generators are also good if you want to run multiple circuits at the same time during an outage. It must, however, be remembered that these models can run only small window air conditioners and not central ones.
- Extra large portable generators: If you think that you need a lot more power during a power blackout to ensure that everything goes on as normal, you definitely need one of these beasts. They have the capacity to produce 10,000 watts of power or more and can power up any electric appliance that you may want, even a central air conditioning system. That apart, you can run any number of appliances at the same time without any worry of overloading the generator.
The other type of emergency generator that you may choose to buy is the standby generator. These generators are very big and must be installed at a fixed position. You cannot roll them out and plug them in whenever the power supply breaks down. These generators have to be installed at a fixed place and connected to your house circuit via a transfer switch so that the power supply resumes immediately after the utility line fails. They have an automatic start up which means that the power supply switch occurs as soon as the main system fails. These generators can produce enough power to energize your home and can be used for hours and days at a stretch which make them ideal for people who live in areas where power failures are common or natural calamities like tornados and cyclones strike often. Since, there is no manual effort needed to turn on and switch the power, they are also ideal for people with mobility and other issues.
What to Consider Before Buying an Emergency Generator?
The size of the generator is, undoubtedly, the most important factor to be considered while choosing an emergency generator for your needs. This will decide whether your power needs are met successfully or not. But that is not all that you need to factor in. There are quite a few more things that you will have to consider before you can zero down to the Best Emergency Generator for your home. This mainly includes:
Fuel source: This is an important factor to take into consideration when it comes to buying an emergency generator for your home. Portable generators usually have gasoline as their fuel source while standby generators generally run on propane. However, there are models that can run on natural gas. You can also find models in the market that can operate on two different fuel sources like propane/gasoline or propane/natural gas. It is you who has to decide on which fuel source would be easier for you to acquire. Dual fuel source models may cost more, but offer you the guarantee that you will have an alternative fuel source to use in case one is unavailable.
Storage capacity: The capacity of the fuel tank of a model should also be considered while making a choice. The model that you choose must have a fuel tank size that is decent enough so that you do not have to fill it up again and again. That apart, it is also important that you choose a model that offers good fuel efficiency. Both these factors will have an impact on the generator’s run time and on your pocket as well.
Noise levels: All generators produce some amount of noise – some less, some more. Comparatively smaller & quietest generators usually produce less noise while larger ones are bound to produce a lot of it which can become inconvenient for you unless they are placed at quite a distance from the house. So, if you are planning on getting a high output portable generator or a standby unit, you will have to ensure that you have enough space outside your home to be able to put the unit at a decent distance.
Budget: Obviously, your budget will play an important role in the choice that you make. If you have a good budget, then you can easily go for a model that will produce enough power to run all electric appliances in your house, even when there is no utility power. However, if you are on a shoe-string budget, you will have to make do with a model that produces enough power to light up your house and some basic, necessary appliances.
Permits: If you are planning on buying a large generator, whether that be an extra large portable generator or a standby one, you will have to first make sure that your local laws permit the use of such a generator. In case it does, you will have to first obtain a permit and only then should you think about buying a large generator.
Clean power: Clean power is a necessity if you have to run important and sensitive appliances like TV, computers, etc. That is why, looking for a power conditioning feature in your generator is necessary.
Wattage ratings: If you are not quite aware of what the wattage ratings imply, then it is vital that you understand them before buying a particular model. Any generator will have two different types of ratings – starting wattage and running wattage. The first value indicates the power that a generator can produce when an appliance starts up. This is more than the running wattage which is the maximum power it can produce continuous to run the appliances. The starting wattage is available only for a few seconds and mustn’t be confused with its power output. Make sure that your power requirements are met by the running wattage of the generator model that you want to buy.
Best Emergency Generators to Choose From
1. CHAMPION POWER EQUIPMENT 100294 HOME STANDBY GENERATOR:
If you have been looking for an emergency generator that can offer you high power output along with other impressive features then 100294 from Champion might be the right generator for you. This apart from having a power output of 14kW, this generator is quite silent too. So, in case you live in an area where power outage is a serious issue, you do not have to worry about your neighbors getting disturbed. According to the Emergency Generator review this one has a noise level of 63dBa only. Apart from that, this generator is meant to run for hours. Technically you can use it for 24 X 7 and still the generator won’t overheat at all. Technically, this generator is equipped with an auto-temperature regulator that maintains the heat of the system by running a self-diagnostics.
- Powerful enough to help your home stay light up for at least 24 X 7.
- It has a low-tone muffler that makes sure the noise generated is really low. 63 dBa sound level is certainly not enough to disturb your neighbors at least.
- Startup system is really good and keeps this generator way ahead of its competitions.
- You can use it in any difficult weather condition with ease.
- You can have a power output of 14000 watt if you are propane, whereas using natural gas will only yield 12500 watt of power.
- Comes with a warranty of 10 year.
- Installing the unit is really easy; you do not even need an expert to guide you on this.
- Noise reduction is at its best.
- You can use either propane or natural gas.
- Self-regulatory for controlling the temperature which eliminates any chance of overheating even if you use the unit for longer duration of time.
- Capable of working 24 X 7
- 14000 kW is really good enough power output to light up all your necessary appliances at home.
- Compared to any other generator of the same category, this generator is really big in size.
2. Champion 7500-Watt Dual Fuel Portable Generator with Electric Start:
This particular generator from Champion is one of the best dual fuel emergency generators that you can get. It is a perfect combination of versatility and convenience. Whether there is a power outage in your home or at the office, as per the Emergency Generator review this is the perfect emergency generator that you can get. Comes with an electric start facility, a battery, quick start feature even in the winter season, monitoring panel for tracking output, power used, voltage. Although it has an auto-shutdown feature for low oil level, still you can have the option to keep a track on the oil level from the panel. Whether you wish to use propane or gasoline, you can start using this generator as soon as you receive it. You can even choose to switch fuel anytime. At a load of 50%, it can generate maximum of 7500 watt power if you are using gasoline.
For propane, it can go around 6750 watt of running power. It also comes with an in-built regulator along with a propane hose. With an additional feature to protect your devices from overload, low noise level and safe and clean power, this is the best generator that you can choose to use. Apart from all these, this emergency generator has a 3-year warranty and can be used hassle freely any time you wish.
- You can use either propane or gasoline
- It has a low oil level sensor as well which can trigger the auto-shutdown of the unit
- Comes with a toggle switch for start and battery as well to power up the 493cc engine
- You can easily track voltage, runtime, power output etc.
- It can offer 7500 watts if run on gasoline and for propane it can generate 6750 watt of power and it has a built-in surge to protect your home and unit from any kind of overload condition
- Comes with a 3 year warranty as well
- According to the Emergency Generator review you can get free technical support for 24 X 7
- Outlets are GFCI protected
- 4 stroke, single cylinder engine
- Air cooled
- Recoil and electric start available
- Designed to be durable with the use of Cast Iron sleeve
- Durable and reliable
- Easy to operate and start
- Powerful engine
- Noise reduction at its best
- Enough power output for a standard home
- Power consumption capacity is quite high.
- Creates a lot of vibration while it’s running
3. Generac 5735 GP17500E 17500 Running Watts/26250 Portable Generator:
This generator from Generac is capable producing 17500 watt of power which can be really enough to light up your whole home at the hour of need. With this emergency generator at home, you will able to run eve the heavy duty appliances as well even if there is an outage of power in the area. With its clean and smooth, you can easily run sensitive appliances like Air conditioners, refrigerators and still you can rest assured that it will not harm your devices. It can even serve any job site as well. The generator is quite sturdy in nature and with its durable design; According to the Emergency Generator review it should be an automatic choice as an emergency generator.
- Powerful 992cc engine that can produce efficient power
- Maximum power output 17500
- Comes with a shutdown system that automatically activates upon a particular low level of oil and thereby saving fuel as well.
- Comes with a 16 gallon fuel tank which can provide a 10 hours run-time at just 50% load.
- Enhanced with ¼” steel frame that gives the generator required durability
- Comes with 2 years warranty as well.
- Works efficiently with heavy duty appliances
- Can be used in the job site even if you have heavy loads to work with.
- Great runtime compared to other available generators
- Like many other generators, this one also makes a lot of noise while running at full power.
See Also: Check Price of Duel Fuel Generators
4. Sportsman GEN4000LP:
This emergency generator from Sportsman is capable of generating 4000-watt power supply which is good enough to light up your common household electrical appliances. If you are thinking about going on a short trip, or camping then this is the perfect generator that you can own. Apart from being useful as an emergency generator, it’s highly portable too, which makes it easy to carry to any place you wish and utilize while there is no power. This generator is perfectly equipped with advanced features that you might be looking for in any emergency generator and it does not cause a lot of noise too. So, if you are looking for a durable, efficient, yet affordable emergency generator, this is the one you should be buying.
- Maximum power output can be of 4000 watt whereas you can expect a constant power output of 3250 watt for longer duration usage
- If you use LPG as fuel, you can get 10 hours of run time with just 50% load.
- It has 2 AC outlets of 120 V and 1 DC outlet of 12V.
- The start engine is of advanced technology that promises to deliver better performance
- Power generated is clean, smooth, and safe to use for any electronic device that you might want to power up.
- Noise level upto 68dBa only which is good enough to keep your neighbor undisturbed
- Produces less noise compared to any other expensive generators
- Affordable price
- Cable required for charging the batter is quite thin and short.
- In case you are not using the generator for longer period of time, it might not work. So, the best idea will be to keep it running on a regular interval for an hour or so.
5. Generac 6551 Guardian Series, 22kW Air Cooled Standby Generator:
If you are looking for an efficient and suitable emergency generator for your home or job site, then 6551 Gurdian Series from Generac might be the best choice for you. With a power output of 22kW and 220 amps switch, this generator is really good enough to power up your home completely. Although this generator might seem like it can work for long duration but like any other generac generators, this generator also may not run for 24 X 7 but if you are looking for a powerful generator at an affordable rate, then this is the best generator that you can get.
- You can use natural gas or liquid propane as fuel
- It meets the UL, EPA and CUL norms for the safety
- Every time you use the generator you get to enjoy clean, smooth and safe power.
- It comes with the OHVI engine which is particularly built for generac generators
- Comes with a mobile link that can be connected by any smartphone and apparently you can control it as well but for that you will have a separate kit.
- If you compare with other generators, this generator can offer you emergency power at a low cost.
- You can install this generator with ease without having to ask for any expert help.
- It can withstand any weather condition because of the additional aluminum enclosure
- 22kW power generation capabilities without any problem at all.
- 200 amps transfer switch is good enough to light up your whole home
- 5 year warranty
- Aluminum case for weather resistance
- Mobile like for remote controlling the machine
- Might not be able to run for longer duration of time
- Quite heavy and large
See Also: Best Generators for Camping to Buy
Helpful Tips For Using an Emergency generator
Using an emergency generator can indeed offer the convenience and comfort that you are looking for. But to ensure that you get the best performance from your unit, you need to ensure that you use it exactly the way it should be. Doing so isn’t difficult, if you keep the following points in mind:
- Opt for liquid propane over gasoline. There are many reasons why LP is a better alternative than gasoline, the most important being that LP can be kept stored for months at a stretch without any worry of it being wasted, unlike gasoline. This makes it a preferred choice for people who want to use a generator for sudden and infrequent power outages.
- While making the choice of the Best Emergency Generator your home, make sure that you choose a model that you can get serviced locally. Otherwise, you will have to bear the hassle of taking it to a service center far away from your home.
- If you are planning on installing a standby unit, make sure that it is placed firmly on a level ground.
- If you are planning to run appliances that are connected directly to your electric circuit, you will have to buy a transfer switch.
- If you intend to use gasoline as the fuel source, it would be prudent that you buy multiple gas cans while buying the generator so that the generator can run continuously for a longer time in times of emergency.
- A stabilizer needs to be added to enhance the shelf life of the stored fuel. However, you have to change the stored fuel every six months to ensure that you have fresh fuel when needed.
- If you are planning to use your portable generators via extension cords, make sure that you use only heavy duty ones for the purpose. An undersized extension cord may cause damage to the motor and even cause fire.
- It would also be wise to keep your generator locked in some way. You can put the generator in a sturdy frame and lock in down with a bolt in a concrete. Whatever may the technique be, locking it down will ensure that your generator isn’t suddenly stolen while being used.
Safety Tips for Operating an Emergency Generator
While an emergency generator can save you from the hassles that a natural calamity or a mishap may cause, it is essential that you follow a few important safety measures to ensure that no issues occur while using a generator. Fear not as these measures are quite simple and do not require you to spend a lot of money or effort. All you need to do is be aware that the following precautions are taken and you can continue using your generator without any unpleasant incidents:
- The generator should always be placed away from your home so that the gases produced during the fuel burning cannot enter your home. These gases are harmful and can cause serious health issues.
- The unit must be placed at a distance from any other item, thing, or structure. This is important because the unit can get very hot if it runs for a long time and the heat produced may cause damage to the nearby things.
- Make sure that you have the generator up and running before you start up any appliance.
- The unit must be kept dry at all times to prevent any sort of electrical mishaps.
- If you are planning on buying a portable generator, it is important that you use an electric outlet that has a matching voltage with your generator.
- If you want to refill the tank to be able to run the generator for more hours, make sure that you allow the unit to cool down before filling it up again. Refilling a hot generator is asking for a danger.
When the utility line falters, you do need to have the Best Emergency Generator to back you up. When chosen correctly, the best generator will be able to fulfill all your power needs so that you can continue living comfortably, irrespective what calamity or incident may have caused the disruption. And now that you know the best products in the category, making a choice shouldn’t be a difficult task at all. So, go ahead and pick a generator that’s the best for you.