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As the power grid becomes more and more unreliable, many homeowners are continually looking for alternative sources of power to keep their homes running during power outages. Having a power backup generator is one way of avoiding sitting in the dark for hours when outages become a routine leaving you without electricity for days. A power outage that lasts longer than usual means your basement could flood because the sump pump is no longer useful, food spoilage, your air conditioner is not running, etc.

You have options for powering your home using a generator. Small portable generators can run the essential appliances like the refrigerator and microwave, while a huge standby generator can power everything in your house when there is a power blackout. This post guides you on everything you need to know when choosing a power generator at

Types of power generators

Standby generators

A standby power generator for your home automatically starts as soon as there is a power outage and can be run by natural gas or propane. With standby generators, you don’t have to do a thing to start them. It is the best option if your location experiences frequent power outages and you would want to keep all your appliances running during the whole time. Most of them are powerful enough to run an air conditioner, kitchen appliances, and other huge appliances at a go. They are also quiet than portable generators, and you don’t have to worry about storing gasoline or plugging in extension cords.

Even if you are not at home, a standby generator switches automatically when there is a power blackout and switches off when the power is restored. It connects to your home’s fuel supply or a propane tank which can be installed underground.

Portable generators

With a portable generator, you have to switch it on when the power goes out. With the right installation, you only have to plug into a subpanel or an appliance. A portable generator with extension cords is a less expensive option, but you have to keep the extension cord at least 10ft from your house to block carbon monoxide poisoning. Here you don’t need to hire an electrician to install a subpanel.

When the power goes off, you carry your portable generator to a flat surface outside and away from your house and then run the extension cords that plug into the appliances you want to keep running. The disadvantage is that you have to run the extension cords everywhere around your house to plug in an appliance. You are also limited to the number of things you can keep running simultaneously as most portable generators have four or two outlets.

However, if you want to run a portable generator without the hassle of using extension cords, you can have an electrician install a switch subpanel off your main circuit panel. Such a setup gives you the option of powering several appliances in your house at a go. But you have to buy a large generator, or you are still limited to what you can power.


A power generator is a valuable investment in your home. Apart from keeping your home running during power outages, a standby generator increases the value of your home.

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