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Emergency Generator Buyer's Guide

How to Pick the Perfect Portable Emergency Generator

Generator Product Expert

In the past, enduring a power outage was as simple as starting the fireplace. Not anymore.

Without electricity, basements can flood. Security systems can falter. Home businesses can be hindered.

You don't realize how much you rely on electricity until it's gone.

Many homeowners are unwilling to wait out the next power outage, so they are converting their portable generators into emergency backup power systems.

So what do you do? You can count every light bulb in your house and calculate your exact wattage requirement based on some scientific mathematical equation.

Or you can simply select one of three sizes: Medium, Large or X-Large.

Compare Portable Emergency Generators

Medium Emergency Generators
Generac 5500 Watt Portable GeneratorDon't let the name fool you. Medium emergency generators (3,000-5,000 watts) may be relatively small, but they pack a good punch.

Unlike smaller camping generators, medium-sized emergency portable generators can simultaneously power multiple survival appliances, including your refrigerator, sump pump, and furnace fan.

Most homeowners simply run the generator outside and string extension cords through an open door or window to the inside appliances.

Large Emergency Generators
Generac GP8000E Portable GeneratorIf you want to thrive instead of just survive, consider a large emergency portable generator (6,000-9,000 watts) instead.

Yes, you can string extension cords from the generator. But, you won't be able to tap its full potential.

Instead, large generators work best with manual transfer switches that can restore power up to 10 circuits in your main electrical panel. In other words, they can energize multiple rooms in your home (minus a central air conditioner).

X-Large Emergency Generators
Generac GP17500E Portable GeneratorIf you want the strength of a home standby generator without the shackles of being tied down, get an X-Large portable emergency generator (10,000+ watts).

These portable generator behemoths generate enough juice to keep your central air conditioner humming during a summer sweltering black out.

While electric start is standard on most X-Large models, they are NOT automatic. Unfortunately, if you're not home, the electric start button won't press itself.

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