Buying Guide: How to Find the Best Generator for Your Needs

The best time to buy a generator? Anytime! The reality is, without a generator, your home is vulnerable to power outages all year around. Winter brings heavy ice and snow that can knock down powerlines, and as the weather gets warmer, the chances of high winds and severe thunderstorms increase. Don’t wait until the next major storm or weather event to make your decision though—it’s best to buy a generator when you’ve taken the time to consider all your options so you can find the best one for your needs. Waiting until a time of desperation can lead to an inadequate generator and buyer’s remorse. Generators come in a wide range of prices and models with different features, which can be overwhelming. Below, we’ve included 5 tips to make the process easier, so you’ll be able to find the best generator for your home.

1. Establish a budget

Before you start shopping for a generator, it’s important to know the budget you have to work with. Generators are available in a wide range of prices, so knowing how much you have available to spend is a must so you can find a generator that meets your needs, but won’t have you spending more than you should. Many sellers will also offer financing options so you won’t have to go without the generator you need.

2. Consider your power needs

Knowing your power needs will help you determine the generator size you need. Generators have different power outputs, measured in Watts. To cover the necessities, you’ll likely want a generator that puts out 5,000 Watts. To be sure however, it can be helpful to visualize your home without power, and make a list of what you absolutely can’t do without. There are also helpful online calculators that can help you determine the generator size you’ll need.

3. Pick a type

There are a few main types of generators to consider on your buying journey: Home standby generators, portable generators, and inverter generators. Home standby generators should always be installed by an experienced service technician. This type of generator will typically start automatically when the power goes out, and can supply a larger amount of power.

Portable generators are smaller and usually cost less than standby generators. They put out a smaller amount of power, but they can provide enough wattage to keep the essentials in your home running. Inverter generators put out a similar amount of power to portable generators, but they’re quieter thanks to the more complex engine they house. However, because of that engine, they do tend to cost a little more.

4. Pay attention to features

Different types of generators offer varying amounts of power, but there are also different features to consider.

Automatic start

  • This means when the power goes off, your generator will automatically fire up without you having to do a thing.

Electric start

  • This is available on many portable models, and allows you the ease of starting up your generator at the push of a button, rather than having to pull-start the engine—which can be a pain.

Fuel Gauge

  • This feature allows you to easily check fuel levels so you can know ahead of time if you’re running low, and fill up as needed so there won’t be a break in your power supply.

Low-Oil Shut off

  • Much like the oil in your car, if the oil in your generator gets too low it can cause major engine damage. This feature will automatically shut your generator off if the oil is low before any costly damage is done.

5. Consider buying from a servicing dealer

Buying a generator from a trusted dealer like Anderson Water & Power is a great option. Not only will you be able to find a high-quality generator for your needs, you’ll also have the option of having an experienced service technician help you with installation or any routine maintenance that needs to be done. This will help you get the most value out of your purchase, as a well-maintained generator will run for years.

Still on the fence about adding a generator to your home? Don’t get left in the dark! You can learn more about the benefits of buying a generator here. Our experts at Anderson Water & Power can help you find the best solution for your home so you’ll be prepared for any unexpected power outages. Contact us to learn more about the emergency and standby generators we have to offer!