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Overview

Pestered with frequent power cuts and having to schedule everything around the availability of electricity, then it’s time that you should get a generator for your home. A generator is not only an efficient power source but also easy to use.

With technology on up rise, generators have only become smaller, sleeker and quieter. The noise made by generators, considered their forte, have been reduced to significant decibels. If you are planning to get one for your household needs, we have listed useful points that will help you pick one for your home.

Types of Generators

Generators usually convert mechanical power into electrical energy. There are two types that can be used at for residential purposes.

1.Portable Generators – These are the small sized generators and very in-demand because they are designed for portability. They yield a power output of 3000 to 8000 W and are used to drive small appliances like fans, tube lights in the house. Being light and portable, these generators can be taken during camping and outing. Most of these portable generators run on petrol or diesel. Mentioning below are few pros and cons.

Pros

  • Small in size, portable and can be easily handled.
  • It can be used to run small plug-in electronics and lights at home
  • It can be taken on camping and trekking.
  • It is suitable for powering a house or a small shop, and requires less fuel for working

Cons

  • As it has low capacity, it cannot power up bigger appliances like ACs, refrigerators and TV.
  • There is no automatic transfer switch, which means when the power outage occur it has to be done manually.
  • For its efficient running, fuel needs to be stored separately, which can be dangerous.

 

2.Residential Standby Generators – They automatically restore power within 20secs during power outage and switches off when power is restored. These generators can be installed outside your home and are capable of working in any weather conditions. They have high wattage of around 5000 to 16000 watts and are linked to your house’s electrical system. They are proficient in powering air-conditioners, TVs and refrigerators.

They work on LPG/natural gas or diesel, but gas is most preferably as it doesn’t have to be filled like diesel. The connection is linked with house’s gas connection and they have capacity of 6000 to 40000 watts.

Pros

  • It is connected with automatic transfer switch and can give back-up power within 20secs of power cut.
  • It can run all the electrical appliances of a house or big office, powering centralized air-conditioning as well.
  • It works on petrol/diesel or LPG.

Cons

  • They require professional installation and maintenance, and are expensive too.
  • The fuel requirements is high to power them up.

Thinking that even inverters or UPS can fulfil these requirements but let see why one should choose generators or inverters?

Generators are of more need to power up higher power requirement appliances. An inverter is an economical alternative power sources that is used to run machines below 1000W and is suitable for appliances like fans, lights, laptops, etc. For powering ACs, refrigerators, washing machines and other high load appliances, a generator is a much better option. Generators are proficient for power consumption of more than 2000W.

Factors for Consideration to Buy Home Generator

  1. Noise Level – You don’t want your home to have that constant buzzing sound of the generator’s motor, so correct home generator for your home depends upon the amount of noise it generates. They are not recommended for outdoor events and camping, as noisy generators are unsuitable, especially at night. Opt for 4-stroke engine generator, they give out low noise and advancement in technology is also very effective in reducing the noise level.
  2. Fuel Efficiency and Run Time – Fuel efficiency is of utmost importance to look for while buying a generator. The engine should be able to match the power needed at a desirable speed. Make sure that you bring in a generator with a large tank so that it runs for a long time at a stretch. The generator should be able to take effectively raise the RPM on load application and go back to idle, when load is removed. This will not only increase fuel efficiency but also prevent damage of components.
  3. Power Output Quality – Power fluctuations can harm generators, so consistent power is most important. In a generator, power output is regulated by using voltage regulator. So select a generator with voltage regulator to give a stable power and to safeguard the equipment it powers.
  4. Size and portability factor – For home purpose, it is better to opt for small and lightweight, it helps in ease of transport. Probably go for something with wheels, so they can be moved with ease.
  5. Service & Support – After making a significant investment, servicing is also important. Make sure the parts or components are easily available in your area, so that you can get generator’s servicing and maintenance done. Or just opt for comprehensive warranty from reputed dealers or buy brands.

Other Features

  1. Automatic or Electric Start – Automatic start option enables the stationary generator to power on without your intervention. Whereas, an electric start-up offers you a push-button option to the hassle of pull-starting the engine.
  2. Alternative Fuel Capacity – Many of the generators run on petrol or diesel, but few come equipped to run on natural gas or LPG – or additional kits can be installed.
  3. Inverter Technology – This feature can be seen with high-end portable generators, it prevents overheating of sensitive electronics or devices.
  4. Low-Oil Shutoff – It helps in shutting off the generator, when the oil level falls below the minimum requirement. This feature is generally present on standard generator, now becoming a common on portables too.

While using generators always keep in mind not to place them indoors and proper ventilation to prevent carbon monoxide accumulation. Never overload the generator and always keep a fire extinguisher handy.

Reading all of the above and remembering them during selection of a generator for your home, is only going to make is easy and simple for you. Make sure you opt for something that can be easily handled and maintained, as this is one of the crucial investment decisions.

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