Thinking about buying a generator?

With all of the outages we’ve experienced lately, you may be considering purchasing a generator. There are a couple of things to consider before buying.
First of all, what do you plan on running? A small portable generator can handle the basics such as a refrigerator, microwave and a few lights. These generate about 3,000 – 4,000 watts and typically cost between $400 and $800. If you want to power a bit more, a 5,000 – 8,000 watt generator may be right for you. A generator that size will be able to handle everything a smaller generator can and some more items – such as a computer, portable heater, and more lighting. These typically cost about $500 – $1,000 for a portable generator. Go for a large portable and you can add on a small water heater, a/c, or similiar item that uses about 3,000 – 5,000 watts, giving you a total of about 10,000 watts to work with. Be prepared to pay $2,000 – $3,000. Larger stationary generators are also available if you would like the added power and are willing to pay the price, sometimes $10,000 or more.

Remember that generators can cause hazards, including carbon monoxide poisoning and electrocution, so be cautious in using them. Be sure that they are never used indoors or in an attached garage. These are just some tips – be sure to read up for safety information when dealing with generators.

Need some more help? Use this calculator to determine what size generator you need based upon your panel and what you would like to power.