Generator Buying Guide
Generators are great to have when there is a power outage at home, on camping trips or on a job site. Learn more about the different types of generators including Genarac standby generators, inverter generators and portable generators, plus find out which one will work best for you!
What to Look for When Buying a Generator
- Use: Generators are used for backup power during emergencies, on job sites, or during leisure activities like camping or tailgating. There are two types of generators: standby and portable.
- Wattage: The wattage needed for your generator is dependent on what type of generator you need and how you will be using it. Usually the higher the wattage of the generator, the more you can power.
Note: Power on generators are measured in circuits, which varies from brand and model. Always consult a licensed electrician before doing any calculations.
- Runtime: Keep in mind that runtime is usually quoted at an average fraction load because most people do not run their generator at full load all the time.
Generator Safety Tips
These tips are merely supplemental and are not intended to substitute reading the owner's manual.
Before reading these tips, always read the owner's manual and instructions for your generator, which also reference generator safety tips. Carefully follow all instructions and warnings to safely start and operate the generator. Do NOT cut corners when it comes to safety.
- Never run a generator in an enclosed space or indoors. Exhaust contains carbon monoxide, a deadly poison gas you cannot smell, taste, or see.
- Don't run a portable generator in the rain.
- Before refuelling, turn off the generator and let it cool down.
- Avoid electrical hazards like connecting a portable electric generator directly to your household wiring.
- Keep children and pets away from generators at all times.
- Inspect the generator regularly, and contact the nearest authorized dealer for parts.
- Make sure the generator is properly grounded. Check and follow all applicable federal, provincial and local regulations related to grounding.
- Use proper power cords like heavy-duty, outdoor-rated cords with a wire gauge.
NEVER OPERATE A GENERATOR INSIDE, INCLUDING THE BASEMENT AND GARAGE
Always operate a portable generator in dry areas 30 feet away from the home and far away from open doors, windows and vents. Improper use of portable generators can cause death by carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide symptoms include dizziness, unconsciousness, nausea, vomiting and death. Make sure to always have a working carbon monoxide detector in your home.
Portable Generator FAQ
Note: Never plug your generator into an outlet in your home or business. If you would like to connect a portable generator to your home's wiring system, have a certified electrician install an approved manual power transfer switch in compliance with electrical codes.
This can be avoided by not plugging your generator directly into the electrical outlet of your home. Portable generators must be plugged into the appliances themselves.
Standby Generator FAQ
Keep your most vulnerable appliances and electronics safe during inclement weather or power surges with a whole house surge protector.
Learn how to protect your home from power spikes and surges with surge protectors in our buying guide.