Portable generators are generators that you can move from one location to another. They typically have wheels and handles to make them more ergonomically friendly. But are they actually any good?
As you’ll discover in this post, it depends on your requirements. Yes, they are great if you want portability, but regular standby generators tend to be better in static applications – such as providing emergency power to your home.
So, without further ado, let’s take a look at five compelling reasons why you might buy standby generators over their more portable counterparts.
Affordable portable generators can power one or two appliances in your home (such as the TV and refrigerator). However, being so small, their power output is low. Even the largest portable generators can’t put out more than 17 kilowatts. Thus, homeowners who use them often have to be conscious of which electricity-drawing devices they use in a power cut. Things like kettles, hair dryers, and high-performance computers may draw more than the generator’s limit, especially if used concurrently.
By contrast, standby generators are orders of magnitude more capable. They can generate over 150 kilowatts of power – more than enough to provide electricity for all your household appliances running at the same time. Thus, when you use a standby generator, you don’t have to adapt your behavior: you can carry on with life as normal.
Portable generators require storage while they are not in use. Typically, owners keep them in garages or sheds until a power cut occurs. This means that they take up space that you could be using for something else.
However, standby generators are different. These typically fit to the side of your home, similar to central air conditioning units, meaning that they do not eat up any of your existing storage space.
Furthermore, standby generators have the benefit of already being in a position to provide power to your home. By contrast, portable generators do not. Typically, owners must first wheel them out of storage and then manually connect them to their home’s power supply. Not only is it inconvenient, but also potentially dangerous if operating in low light conditions.
Portable generators are smaller than standby generators – a great feature if you want to move them around. Unfortunately, there is a cost: it shortens their operational life. Shrinking components reduces their inherent longevity, meaning that portable generators may only last a few hundred hours before requiring replacement.
By contrast, standby generators have optimally-sized components, since space constraints are not so much of an issue. This means that they can last for 3,000 to 5,000 hours (and sometimes more if you choose quality brands, such as Generac).
There is also another major benefit of standby generators: their increased reliability.
Generac generators combine multiple technologies that allow them to perform well repeatedly. For instance, many models have technology that keeps the engine warm while idle to reduce wear and tear upon startup. They also have systems that allow them to maintain oil pressure throughout the engine consistently.
Unfortunately, these systems take up space, so many portable generators do not include them. Instead, they rely on owners regularly maintaining them which can become expensive over time.
Moreover, portable generators have additional inherent weaknesses that do not affect their larger counterparts. For instance, portable generators require you to keep fuel in reserve, ready to go. Many fuels, such as gas and diesel, change chemically when left stagnant, leading to changes in how they burn. When used in portable generators, they can lead to fouling issues and poor burning which clogs the system and makes a breakdown more likely.
Lastly, as hinted above, standby generators are more convenient than their portable rivals. There is no need to take them out of storage or hook them up to the mains. Instead, they start up the moment the power supply fails.
This advantage is particularly beneficial in storm conditions when power cuts are most likely to occur. When the mains fail, you don’t want to have to set them up in the dark or go outside in the wind and rain. A quality standby generator will switch on automatically, restoring power to your home within a matter of seconds.
If you are interested in getting a top-of-the-line standby generator for your home, then stop by Generator Supercenter’s showrooms. We offer best-in-class Generac generators that come with a no-worry warranty and full servicing support.