Portable electric generators are a must-have tool for many people. It may help overcome a blackout comfortably, power some appliances while camping, or even enable you to use electric tools on a construction site. Despite choosing a generator may sound easy, several parameters are not very obvious. There are also lots of disappointed customers who had not thought of these points in advance. For you not to make the same mistakes, we have prepared a list of tips on choosing a portable electric generator.
First, note that we are not explaining all the technical details of how the generators work. In case you want to learn more about the generators, you can read the DuroMax XP12000EH reviews done by professionals.
7 Tips on Choosing a Compact Generator
In this article, we will highlight the most important parameters to check before making the final decision of buying a portable electric generator.
Calculate the power needs in advance
Let us start the list with the most obvious and essential point: calculating your power needs beforehand is crucial in selecting a portable generator. As power capacity is one of the most important parameters of a generator, it affects the price directly. Buying a lower capacity generator will result in disappointment, while the capacity exceeding your needs will make you overpay.
To choose the capacity properly, you should think of the ways you will use the generator. Making a list of the equipment which it will supply is also a great idea. Portable generators usually have from 1,000 to 10,000 watts, but there is an important detail you may miss. Many buyers make the mistake of calculating only the running power that their appliances require. This is not the correct approach, as most tools and devices require much more power to start. This number is usually listed in the user manuals. So to calculate everything correctly, you will have to add the total starting wattage to the total running wattage of your appliances.
Choose the type of generator
Basically, there are three types of portable generators: gasoline-powered, propane-powered, and dual fuel generators. Propane-powered models are pretty rare, but they are eco-friendlier. They have their own pitfalls as well: for example, they do not usually work well at low temperatures and have a higher chance of malfunctioning in general.
Gasoline-powered generators are the most popular ones. They are usually easy to refill, and finding gasoline is a bit easier than propane. Dual fuel devices, as their name implies, allow you to fill them with both types of fuel. They are usually more expensive than others and have a gasoline-powered version of themselves as well.
You might want to learn more details on the fuel types before making your final decision. As we have mentioned, we are not going into technical details in this article, so we will move to the next tip.
Make sure you will be able to transport the generator
Most people buying portable electric generators intend to transport them in the future. It is true that some people use this device as an additional source of energy during a blackout, and they never carry it anywhere. If that is your case, you may move to the next tip on our list.
Otherwise, it is important to ensure the transportation will be comfortable with the model you select. Whether you plan to go camping with the generator or take it to the construction site, you need to imagine yourself carrying it the whole way. Some models come with comfortable wheels, and others are light enough to carry.
Check the runtime
Another important tip is to ensure that the runtime of the selected generator is sufficient. Portable generators usually provide about 10 hours of runtime, which is comfortable for most cases. However, if you need a longer supply, look for the specific models that offer it.
Plan the outlets
The models of electric generators also vary by outlet types and quantities. It is always a good idea to estimate how many appliances you need to power simultaneously before making the purchase. Sometimes, it is also important that the outlet types match your appliances.
Think of the weather
This is also an important aspect of each generator as different models are designed for peculiar weather conditions. Before making the purchase, think of where you will use the generator and what the weather may be like. For camping or open-air construction sites, where you can have rain, dust, or dirt, it is much better to select a weather-protected model.
In fact, if you had to choose between a model with efficient weather protection and the one with any other feature we have listed above, it would be sometimes more reasonable to select the weather protection. Most features we have mentioned will either affect your comfort or your power limitations, while not having a decent weather-protection may result in a very short lifetime of the device.
Read the reviews
Once you have selected the model that suits all your needs, don’t rush to buy it. Checking the reviews of the specific model is always a good idea. The model may have perfect features and technical parameters listed but also have some pitfalls. Make sure to read real customer reviews on an independent source, not the ones the producer filters and displays on their website.
As you can see, buying a portable electric generator is not that easy. You need to take into account many points beforehand and make sure the selected model suits your needs perfectly. Portable generators usually cost between $500 and $2500, and no one wants to spend such an amount of money on a device that will not meet their expectations.
We hope that our tips will help you select the generator you need and save some of your nerves on making refunds and going through the selection procedure over again. Have you found our tips useful? Do you have any other advice? Feel free to share your thoughts and experience in the comments section.