Due to the increasing reliance on technology, experiencing a power outage can be quite inconveniencing to your life. Whether you need a constant electrical supply for your business to avoid productivity issues or at home for running your home appliances, it is clear that having a reliable source of electricity is very important. A generator is, therefore, essential to help you during cases of prolonged or frequent power outages. Read on below and find out whether to choose a stationary or portable generator:
Types Of Generators: Stationary & Portable Compared
There are two primary types of generators, stationary and portable generators, and they differ in various aspects including price, power output, fuel type among other areas. A stationary generator is one that is always connected to the fuel source, and it automatically switches on once it senses a power outage. In contrast, a portable generator is one that you turn on when necessary.
Here are a few easy ways to help you choose the perfect generator, whether a stationary or portable generator, that will fit your needs:
Monitoring And Operation
A portable generator is operated manually. It means you need to get it from the storage area, take it outdoors, add the fuel source, like gasoline, and then switch it one. While setting up portable generators is generally straightforward, it has a few cons, including the fact that it requires you to be physically there to switch it one any time the power goes out.
Meanwhile, a stationary generator switches on automatically when it senses a power outage. It does not require the same constant supervision like its portable counterpart. The other notable pros include a more reliable energy source, like propane or natural gas and the ability to supply higher power capacities.
The other notable difference that will influence your decision of whether to get a stationary or portable generator is the installation method. Mobile units have minimal installation steps. Just install the right fuel, plug the generator into a power outlet and then switch it on.
However, stationary generators require professional installation. Additionally, a plumber may be needed for hooking up the fuel source to the generator, before a thorough inspection by the fuel supplier. You also need to get a permit before installing the stationary generator, which adds an extra step to the installation process.
The average price of portable generators ranges from $500 to $2,000, which gives you a power output of roughly 7,000 watts. That is enough power for most of the appliances and lights in the average home. Also, there is no extra setup cost once you buy the fuel to power the generator.
In contrast, standby generators will range from $2,500 to $5,000 along with an extra $5,000 in installation costs. Besides the higher price of buying and installing, these generators deliver a higher power output of up to 20,000 watts or more.
One of the notable pros of choosing a portable generator is that they do not require extensive maintenance work. Ensure you remove all fuel before storage and confirm that there are no loose or corroded wires before running.
However, stationary generators demand more maintenance and will even run once every week for at least 15 minutes. You will need to arrange for periodic service to ensure it keeps running properly. This maintenance is a significant consideration that will affect your decision of whether to get a stationary or portable generator.
Amount Of Noise
Whether you buy a standby or portable generator, there will be a noticeable sound coming from your generator. Stationary generators typically run more quietly as compared to portable units and do not produce high amounts of the harmful carbon monoxide gas. Nevertheless, you can still hear the standby generator throughout your home once it starts to run.
Tips For Buying And Installing A Generator
- Decide whether you want a stationary or a portable generator
- Calculate the power needs of your property
- Get a professional installation, especially if you decide to buy a stationary unit
- Follow the safety precautions when operating the generator
You should now be able to choose a stationary or portable generator for your home or business based on the information listed above. Remember that portable generators are more versatile and have enough power output for most households, while stationary generators deliver more power, have a reliable fuel source and are generally costlier. You should also weigh the pros and cons of each type based on your current energy needs to determine which option would be the perfect fit.
Our recommendation for the best all round portable generator is the Westinghouse WGen 5500.