Five Tips for Buying Backup Power – Part 3

portable generator | diesel generator | electric generator

What Features and Accessories Do I Need?
Aside from pure power production, there are some useful features and accessories to consider when buying a generator.

Transfer switch: If you want to use your generator to power your home, you'll need a sufficiently sized generator and a transfer switch. The transfer switch safely closes off the utility power line to your house's electrical system and opens a direct line to the generator and reverses the process when utility power is restored.

Standby models can work either with a manual or an automatic transfer switch. The benefit of an automatic transfer switch is that it senses when utility power has been lost and automatically switches to generator power.

Wheeled Frames: As the name suggests, portable generators can be transported to different locations. The smallest portable generators are comparatively light--perhaps 50 pounds--and can be carried. Larger models can weigh as much as several hundred pounds, making a wheeled frame essential for transportation.

Other Considerations:

  • Noise: Generators aren't necessarily quiet. Some offer extra features to reduce the noise created during operation.

  • Weather Protection: Make sure the generator you purchase is suited for the climate in which you'll use it.