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What Should I Know Before Buying A Generator?

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Whatever the weather, if your refrigerator doesn’t work, it can prove to be a disaster. The food stored inside along with medications that need to be under a set temperature can spoil easily leaving you with a large portion of spoiled unusable items. Now think large scale, if you were to run a business that relies heavily on equipment and appliances, then it’s time to reconsider your contingency plans. Whatever your use of electricity, during a power outage, you must make sure you are prepared for it.

Why Generators Are A Boon?

A generator is a useful device (portable or otherwise) that converts mechanical energy from an external source into electrical power as output. These are particularly used during an electrical outage to prevent discontinuity of activity ensuring continuous electricity. Brett Patterson of Able Sales (https://www.ablesales.com.au) says that if you want to live off the grid, you will need to take care of supplying your own power. Whether it’s a business you run or for a recreational purpose you wish to use a generator, it’s important to include the use of one in your contingency plan. As misleading as the name can be, it’s important to understand a generator does not “generate” electricity. Instead, it uses the mechanical energy source to force electric charges present in the wires of its windings to move. This flow of electric charges forms the electric current supplied by the generator.

There are many factors to consider when purchasing a generator, some include, cost, size, and power capacity. Choose a generator by considering all factors and ensure you get the best value possible. Here are some common factors to consider before you invest in a generator:

1. Power and Outlets

One of the first things to consider is how much power you need. If it’s a refrigerator you are looking at, it probably only needs 700 watts to run but needs 2100 watts to start up! However, if it’s a business you are looking to run and require a generator to ensure business continuity, you are looking at huge power consumption. Questions to consider are:

  • What is the generator’s wattage capacity? Does it support your primary needs?
  • Does the generator have enough outlets to plug in all of the items that need power?
  • Is the generator noisy?
  • How large is the fuel tank? How many hours of operation will it provide?
  • Is the generator easily portable?
  • What accessories are needed to run the generator?
  • Should you choose a recoil or an electric start generator?
  • Do you prefer diesel or a petrol-powered generator?

Electric generators have multiple uses, knowing which one suits your needs best based on the above is important.

2. Size of generator

It’s important to ascertain what size of generator you need. You can check out many reviews and ideas on the type and size of generators that can fit your home or business. If you buy one that’s too small, you run the risk of it running out when it has to support heavy-duty items like fridges or other essential items during a power cut. Furthermore, you also run the risk of overloading the generator which can lead to damages and breakdowns. On the other hand, purchasing a large generator can welcome a load of costs that may be hard to keep up with. Starting from purchase, installation, fuel, maintenance- the list goes on. If you don’t need that much power, you may end up wasting that much capacity for the amount spent. The size of your generator should be based on the number and type of electrical appliances that you need up and running. It’s wise to note that heating or cooling appliances like Air conditioners and refrigerators consume a bulk of energy. Therefore, if it’s to power these appliances during a power cut, you will need a bigger generator. If your main aim is only to ensure that the lights are working in the house during an outage, a small one should work fine.

3. Startup wattage

Get familiar with this term as it’s equally important to check the startup-wattage of your appliances. If you have appliances that have moving parts in them like fans or pumps, these consume a lot of power to move from a still position to their normal functional movements.

The sudden surge of power consumption for these appliances start-up can cause your generator to fail. Ensure to workout your Total Electrical Load which will give you an idea of the start-up wattage required for each appliance.

4. Space for generator

Ideally, a generator must be placed where it is easily accessible for repairs or maintenance. The rule of thumb is that the generator must not be placed beside anything that’s flammable and should have enough space for ventilation to let the smoke out. It’s important to assess and include these factors while purchasing a generator. Make sure you have a space allocated in your property for a generator to be installed.

5. Fuel tank capacity

Aim to buy a fuel-efficient generator that has enough capacity to hold a good amount of fuel. Modern-day generators adjust their rotations per minute based on the demand of the load making them extremely fuel-efficient. An efficient fuel tank can save fuel costs while producing energy efficiently.

6. Fuel type

The next most important thing is to check is the type of fuel your potential generator runs on. The most common type of generators is natural gas, propane, and diesel. Choose your generator based on fuel price and availability.

7. Warranty

Warranties vary depending on companies and the generator you choose. Generally, normal generators used for residential purposes have a 2-5 year warranty while an industrial generator may come with a 1-2 year warranty. It is best to completely understand the warranty duration and it’s coverage particulars to make sure that in case there is any product fault early on, it will be covered.

A generator has many components that make it highly complex but almost indispensable equipment, whether you are preparing for an emergency outage or want to use it for recreational purposes.

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