FAQ: What is the Difference Between a Standby and Portable Generator?

Owning a generator is by far one of the best ways to make sure your home is prepared for unexpected power outages. However, there isn’t a “one size fits all solution.” When considering which kind of generator you should buy, it’s important to keep your needs in mind, so you can choose the right one for your home. There are two main types of generators: Standby and portable. Below you’ll find a useful breakdown of each type to help you determine which one will give you the best results based on your needs and your budget!

Standby Generators

  • Standby generators are more expensive than portable generators, but they’re also a more permanent solution.
  • This type of generator requires professional installation, but comes with the benefit of having a licensed technician who can help answer questions or make repairs if needed.
  • Less maintenance is required than with a portable generator, but servicing every 2 years is recommended.
  • Standby generators are quieter than portable generators.
  • If your power goes out, a standby generator kicks on and restores your power immediately with no action required on your part.
  • A standby generator can power your entire home, so your family won’t be inconvenienced while waiting for power to be restored.

Portable Generators

  • Portable generators are less expensive, but also require more maintenance.
  • As the name implies, portable generators can be moved around, and are smaller than standby generators.
  • Many portable generators run on gas, meaning that they’ll need to be refueled to keep running.
  • These generators need to be placed at least 10 feet away from your home to get adequate ventilation and prevent any chances of carbon monoxide poisoning from occurring.
  • They need to be manually started when the power goes out—they do not kick on automatically.
  • Portable generators are smaller, so they won’t be able to power an entire home, but they are ideal for powering a handful of your most necessary appliances.

When choosing between a standby or a portable generator, convenience and budget are big factors to consider. If your budget allows, a standby generator is a worthwhile investment if you’re looking for a more convenient way to keep your home safe and functioning during a power outage.

To learn more about your home generator options, contact the experts at Anderson Water & Power! Our experienced technicians can help you find the best solution for your home.