Electricity is a basic need in modern society. It would be no exaggeration to say that it is just as important as food and shelter. After a long day at work, you go home, turn the lights on, plug your TV, and switch on your AC. You expect it to just naturally work because that is just how it is. We are so used to the privilege we have been given since birth that we take mundane things, such as electricity, for granted.
According to a 2017 report which you can access on this link: https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/countries-with-the-lowest-access-to-electricity.html, the same cannot be said for our friends in developing countries. Especially for those living in sub-Saharan Africa, having a power outlet, even just for a day, is a goldmine. Actual ground reports (such as the one above) make us realize the importance of the most basic but significant things in our lives.
Power and electricity are a huge part of our lives and every industry across the globe. There is a reason why every commercial building, manufacturing company, and even residential homes have a generator in place. Everyone knows that the future is nothing without power and electricity. Most people buy generators at the last minute. They will only purchase one after a terrible storm takes out their electric supply. In a rush, people tend to make poor decisions such as purchasing the first power-generating equipment they get their hands into. Believe it or not, buying a generator is far from what you have in mind. It is more complex than just picking one and paying it at the counter.
Here are some smart tips to guide you on your next generator shopping (do it before the lights go out!).
Assess Your Situation
A generator is an essential item during emergencies and natural disasters. However, you need to consider some things before setting your sights on pricey equipment.
First, think about the power outages you experience. Are they frequent? Do they last overnight? Is your home habitable even without an electric supply? Do you or your family have a condition that requires electricity? Do you have perishable items that might not survive without power? Do you run an essential business that heavily relies on electricity for production?
What Will You Power?
Another thing to consider is the appliances that you need to power up during electrical outages. List down your priorities such as lights, fans, refrigerators, medical equipment, and a computer for work purposes. Knowing your essentials allow you to list down and compute their equivalent power output. After calculating your power needs, you can now pick the right size and type of generator to buy.
Size And Weight Matters
A generator’s size depends on how much power supply it can give an average house. It is also related to the equipment’s weight. Together, they both heavily dictate the equipment’s cost. The key is to buy the smallest and most lightweight one that can power up your entire household or commercial building. To have an accurate measurement, it is vital to hire a certified electrician to perform such tasks.
Pick Your Type
Home standby, portable, and large inverter generators have enough power juices to supply electricity to your entire house. They are also capable of directly connecting to a circuit breaker, which allows you to control hardwired appliances in your home. However, every generator type varies in engine, fuel, run time, and noise production. Some run on 4-stroke engines while others only have 2-strokes. Home standby ones are fueled by propane or natural gas, which are more efficient and safer to store than gasoline. But, gasoline-powered generators cost less than propane-fueled ones. Like any appliance, generator types also have their pros and cons. You can use lists like this right here to guide you in picking the right generator type, model, and brand. And lastly…
Check The Features
First off, a power-generating equipment’s model and brand that has safety features installed should top your list. Some good examples of a sophisticated feature are listed below.
- Automatic CO shutoff system – New portable generators have a chemical sensor that detects an accumulation of CO in an enclosed space. Upon detection, it will automatically switch off the equipment to prevent further harm.
- High-end rectifier – A rectifier converts generated electricity into smooth energy—one that can power up delicate pieces of equipment such as laptops and IPads. This might cost huge chunks of your money, but it will also keep your precious MacBook from being fried.
- Electric button start – Old and cheap models usually come with a recoil handle as an engine’s “power on” button. Fortunately, new ones are now equipped with an electric button to lessen the hassle of starting a generator.
- Automatic start –This feature allows your equipment to automatically start as soon as it detects a power outage, hence the name. Most new and stationary models are built this way to eliminate the hassle of starting a generator, especially for large buildings and factories.
- Alternative fuel – Always go for a piece of equipment that runs on the most efficient fuel out there—solar energy. It provides a cleaner output and benefits you, as well as the environment.
- Fuel and oil gauge – This feature prevents you from manually checking a generator’s fuel and oil levels. The gauge has an automatic shutoff system when their respective fuels go below the normal level. This prevents the sudden seizing of the equipment, which can cause further engine damage.
- Wheel kit – This might not seem like an important feature for now, but when it is time to move your heavy-duty generator, you will thank yourself for opting with one that comes with a wheel kit.