If you live in the Carolinas, severe weather can cause power outages. A backup generator can be a lifesaver when the power goes out, and today you’ll learn how to choose the best backup generator for your needs. Here’s what you need to consider when shopping for a backup generator in Dillon, SC:
Size and Power Requirements
Backup generators come in various sizes, from small portable units to large commercial-grade generators. The size and power output you’ll need depends on how you plan to use the generator. For example, a small portable unit might be enough to power a few lights and keep your fridge running during a brief power outage. But if you want to run your entire home or business, you’ll need a more powerful generator.
Find the Right Type of Generator For Your Home or Business
There are two primary types of generators—portable generators and standby.
These generators are smaller and typically powered by gasoline. You can easily move them from place to place, making them ideal for camping, tailgating, or emergencies. However, portable generators are only suitable for short-term use, as they don’t provide a stable power source as a standby generator.
Standby generators are larger and powered by natural gas or propane. They’re permanently installed outside your home or business, and they automatically turn on when the power goes out. Standby generators provide a reliable power source, ideal for long-term use. These are necessary for homes with a resident that relies on specific medical equipment, such as oxygen or a CPAP machine.
Other generator types include inverters and portable power stations.
Inverter generators are portable and powered by gasoline. They’re smaller and quieter than traditional generators, making them ideal for camping, tailgating, or powering sensitive electronics.
Portable Power Station:
A portable power station is a battery-powered generator. They’re small and lightweight, making them easy to take with you on camping trips or to use as emergency backup power.
Generators can run on various fuel types, including gasoline, propane, and diesel. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. Gasoline is the most common fuel type for small portable generators, but it isn’t easy to store large quantities of gasoline safely. Propane is a popular choice for larger generators because it’s easy to store and burns cleanly. However, propane-powered generators can be expensive since you’ll need a special tank for fuel storage.
Cost and Maintenance Requirements
Before you decide which generator to buy in Dillon, SC, take the time to consider the overall cost of ownership. This includes the initial purchase price, fuel costs, and maintenance requirements. Some generators require more frequent maintenance than others, so be sure to factor that into your decision.
Features to Consider
When shopping for a backup generator, there are several features to consider.
This is a must-have feature for many homeowners, as it allows the generator to turn on and off in response to a power outage automatically.
Some generators provide the option for remote monitoring, so you can monitor your generator’s performance even when you’re away from home.
While a backup generator will only be used sparingly, you’ll want to choose one that’s not too loud to operate in your outdoor space.
Automatic CO Shutoff:
Carbon monoxide is a dangerous byproduct of generator use, so choosing a model with an automatic CO shutoff feature is essential.
Many modern generators offer the option of an electric start, which makes it easier to get started in any weather. You don’t have to worry about pulling a cord to start it.
A backup generator should provide enough power and outlets to handle all of your home or business needs during a power outage. Make sure the unit you choose has enough outlets for your appliances and electronics.
You’ll want to monitor your generator’s fuel levels, so choose a model that comes with a built-in fuel gauge. This will help you avoid running out of gas in the middle of an outage.
All generators need oil to operate, so choose a model with a low-oil shutoff feature. This can prevent damage to the engine if the oil levels get too low.
Do You Need a Transfer Switch?
If you’re planning to use your generator for backup power at your home or business, you’ll need to install a transfer switch. This will allow you to connect your generator to your electrical panel safely. Without a transfer switch, you could damage your appliances or start a fire.
How to Maintain Your New Generator
Once you’ve chosen and purchased your generator, it’s essential to take the time to maintain it. A regular maintenance schedule with a professional includes once or twice-yearly visits from a licensed and insured technician. Common steps include:
- Checking the oil level and changing the oil if necessary
- Inspecting the air filter and replacing it if needed
- Cleaning the spark plug and checking its condition
- Inspecting the generator for loose or damaged parts
- Testing the generator to ensure it’s working properly
- Making sure the fuel tank is full and clean
Maintaining your generator is the best way to ensure it will be there for you when you need it most. By following a regular maintenance schedule, you can rest assured knowing your generator will be ready to go when the power goes out.
These tips can help you keep your backup generator in top shape and ensure that it’s ready to provide power when you need it most. With proper care and maintenance, your new generator can help you and your family stay comfortable and safe during any power outage.
Mister Sparky Generators is your local backup generator specialist in Dillon, SC. We can help you choose the right generator for your needs and budget, and we offer professional installation and maintenance services. Call us today to learn more about our generator services or to schedule a consultation.