A portable generator is able to provide power anywhere at any time. They can be used for emergencies during power outages or some quick power while camping. How portable the generator is, what type of fuel it uses, and how much power it can provide is dependent on the model. When shopping for a generator, make sure to narrow the search based on what situation it will be used in most often. Focusing on certain options will help isolate the best unit for the job.
Generators can come in small packages, but there are caveats to every size available. Remember that the size of the generator will affect how much power the unit will provide. The smallest class of generator is usually only rated for one appliance at a time. In addition to having smaller engines, generators that can be carried with one hand will need to be refueled more often than bigger ones. Medium-sized portable generators will last longer, but full size units will have more fuel and power options. Larger portable machines may come with a wheels attached to the frame, but they are hardly as easy to move as the tiny introductory models. The portable units that provide the most power are so big that they are mounted on their own trailer.
Since there is a wide margin between the biggest and smallest portable generators, find a balance between the amount of power needed and the amount of space available. For instance, the ability to run many different appliances may sound appealing, but the largest generator models will require a truck for transportation, more storage, and more space in order to run and vent safely.
There are several options available for fueling portable generators. Smaller models are more likely to use gasoline or propane for energy. Larger units are almost exclusively diesel. Since all generators produce energy through combustions, they cannot be run in an enclosed space. Make sure they are outside and cleared of debris so that the heat and carbon monoxide can dissipate.
Gasoline and diesel are often the most popular choices for fuel because it is easy to keep these liquids on hand. However, propane is a very efficient way to provide power and is available at most gas stations. As the cost of oil rises, propane is becoming a cheaper option than the others. Also, these generators can be hooked directly into a line for a steady stream of fuel.
Obviously, smaller units will not be able to provide as much power as their larger counterparts. Many generators have their power rating incorporated into their name. This is usually the output of the generator in watts. All appliances require a certain amount of wattage to run. If that number is smaller than the rating of the generator, the unit will power it. However, many devices require a surge of power to get started. The generator needs to be rated above the starting wattage of the appliance or else it …