Stand-by Generators vs. Portable Generators

When the power goes out, a generator can help keep your lights on and refrigerator running-what more do you need to know?  The answer is, plenty!  There are many different types and brands of generators for sale.  One of the bigger decisions is whether to purchase a stand-by generator or a portable generator.

A stand-by generator is a permanent fixture.  It is located outside of your house, often right near the air conditioner.  This generator should have an automatic transfer switch that will sense a power outage and turn the generator on.  It will also shut it down once power is restored. When purchasing a standby generator you have options as to how much power it will supply your home.  You can choose anywhere from the bare minimum to enough power to keep your home running normally. Generators for both residential and commercial needs can be purchased.

Portable generators can be purchased for recreational use (such as camping or tailgating), professional use on job sites (such as construction) or for use in emergencies.  Like the stand-by generator, different sizes of portable generator can be bought to power a few necessary appliances or more.  A portable generator must be manually plugged into the device and appliances that are to be powered by using extension cords.  (An electrician may be able to hook it up to a circuit board like the stand by generator.)

There are pros and cons to each of these generators.

Pros Portable Generator:

  • Less expensive than stand by
  • Portable (If you have 2 residences, such as cottage where you stay for a long time in the summer-the generator can be taken there during the summer and used that way)
  • Do-It-Yourself, you can purchase and hook up the portable generator by yourself without having to hire an installer or electrician

Cons Portable Generator:

  • Cannot power as much Stand-by generator
  • You have to manually hook it up during an emergency
  • Portable generators are intended for shorter amounts of time (hours vs. days)

Pros Standby Generator:

  • Automatically switches to generator power in case of a power outage.  This is very convenient if an outage occurs during the night while people are sleeping, or if no one is home.
  • Certain generators can power your entire house
  • You don’t have to worry about storing it, because it will be hooked up outside your house
  • An installer or technician will install it, and this insures that it is properly set up and functioning correctly.

Cons Stand-by generator:

  • More expensive than a portable generator
  • An installer or electrician needs to come and install the generator

Flame Furnace offers certified technicians and electricians to install stand-by generators.  If interested, feel free to contact Flame and have a free consultation for a generator.  Flame Furnace does not offer portable generators, however call to find out more information on generators.

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