A Quick Guide to Generators
Updated: May 18, 2022
With proper use and maintenance, generators provide great convenience during a power outage. Before you purchase a generator, determine your backup power needs to select the right size. Make a list of essential appliances and devices you’ll want to power during an outage, then total the required wattage.
RECOMMENDED IF YOU...
... rarely lose power.
Up to 2,000 watts
Lightweight, about 60 pounds
Quiet, easy to store
Power: fridge and a few smaller items (i.e. lamp, phone charger and home security system)
Up to 3,500 watts
Weighs up to 150 pounds
Power: fridge, laptop, five to 10 lights, phone charger, home security system and 10K BTU air conditioner
... occasionally lose power. Transfer switch required.
Portable Generators and Large Inverters
Up to 7,500 watts
Weighs about 300 pounds
Power: fridge, gas furnace, 10K BTU air conditioner, dishwasher, multiple lights, TV, laptop and more
Ability to connect to home’s breaker panel
... frequently lose power. Transfer switch required.
Up to 20,000 watts
Must be permanently installed; starts automatically during outage
Power: nearly all home appliances and electronics (simultaneously)
Can run indefinitely on natural gas or propane
Recommended if you frequently lose power.
Let us know if you purchase a generator that you plan to connect to an electric panel.
Improperly installed generators can create back feed, which is dangerous to our crews and the community. Before using the generator, disconnect the normal source of power coming into your home/business.
Never operate a generator indoors or in an enclosed space.
Disclaimer: Please note safety requirements may differ based on the type of generator you purchase. Thoroughly read the operator’s manual and know how to shut off the generator quickly.
Source: Consumer Reports