The modern amenities of life offer plenty of things most of us would not want to live without. Heat, lighting, entertainment, and other things we use every day or something we sometimes take for granted. But what happens when the power goes out? Perhaps it’s due to a downed power line or something wrong at a substation. Maybe a recent storm left you without power for a few hours. Whatever the case may be, going without power for a prolonged period is never enjoyable. That’s where generators can make your life much easier. They’re mainstays in hardware stores, in homes, and TV or movies. So, is buying a generator a good idea for you? In this article, we’ll answer that question and help you decide if a generator is right for you.
Generators are powered devices that supply temporary power to your home. More often than not, they’re used as a backup device for situations that might cause the power to go out. The high school science class definition is any machine that converts mechanical energy into electrical energy. Generators come in different types and styles, usually have additional outlets, may have features such as an auto-start / shutoff, and have different wattage requirements depending on the machine.
Generators use some mechanical means to produce electromagnetic energy. Usually, this is a motor that is rapidly rotated within the unit. In layman’s terms, this means the motor is attached to a conductor coil/metal core combo known as an armature. The coil spins between the poles of a horseshoe magnet. When the armature spins, it interrupts a magnetic field and introduces electrical current. Generators use fuel sources like gasoline, diesel, propane, natural gas, wind, and solar energy to create the mechanical force that drives the energy production aspects of the generator.
There are plenty of reasons to buy a generator. For those times when power fluctuations might be occurring or when an emergency comes up, generators can be a godsend. Other times having a generator to produce additional energy is useful. Storms, power outages, and electrical issues are just part of life in a rural area. This reality makes a generator an essential tool for farmers, ranchers, and anyone living in those areas. Imagine you’re doing some work on your home or a project and need something portable. In that situation, portable generators work out advantageously for both you and the client. Regardless of how you’re planning to use it, it’s important to assess your own power needs and ensure it has what you’re looking for to get the most out of the appliance.
If you’re thinking about buying a generator, there are numerous fine details you need to consider as you dive into your various options. As with any other appliance or powered device, buying a generator requires some research and attention to detail. It helps to understand your power requirements and how a generator will fit into your home. According to Consumer Reports, the typical home requires approximately 5,000 watts of power to completely power up a home. Various appliances have different power needs, and the quality of the generator will influence how efficiently power gets delivered to those devices. Choosing the right size generator is a bit more challenging. It depends on factors like your home size and whether you need it to be portable or not. Then there’s the generator type and features to consider. These are variables like whether it’s an inverter generator if it has auto-shutoff features, electric starts, fuel gauges, and multiple outlets. Buying a generator is a deliberate process, so be sure to take your time and choose the one that’s going to give you the most benefit for your money.
When using a generator, don’t run it inside your home or garage. It’s not only a bad idea; it can be downright dangerous and unsafe and quite detrimental to your health. Fuel fumes are dangerous and can be just a little bit explosive. The Red Cross recommends storing your generator’s fuel in separate, fuel storage cans that are designed to store fuels. That way, the fuel is less likely to leak, combust, or put off dangerous fumes while in storage. It’s best to keep the fuel in a shed or separate building from your home so that it is safer and easily accessible when you need it. Perhaps the second most important safety precaution is not overloading the generator. Overloading a generator can be very bad and cause quite a few electrical problems, including fires. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the operations manual, the power requirements you need, and how to safely hook up your generator. Finally, only use them outside the home and make sure any smoke or exhaust is pointing away from your living areas.