The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Right Generator for Your Needs

A generator is a backup power source that can keep your essential devices running during a power outage. The type of generator you choose depends on what you plan to run it and its power requirements.

Calculate the total wattage of the devices you need to power during an outage. Then, find out which generator type can safely produce that much energy.


A generator is designed to provide emergency power during a power outage. To make sure your generator is big enough to keep the things you need most running, add up the total wattage of all the appliances you want to be able to use during an outage.

Remember that many appliances have their starting and running wattage on the label. The starting wattage (surge) is usually 2-3 times higher than the running wattage.

You don’t want to undersize your generator, which can cause the unit to overheat and damage any hooked items. On the other hand, oversizing your generator can be costly in both upfront and fuel costs. An experienced generator installation service can help you find the right balance for your needs.


A generator turns energy into electrical power that can help keep critical appliances running when the lights go out during a blackout. They’re helpful for everything from maintaining refrigerators and freezers cold to operating a sump pump during storms, but they have their downfalls:

  • They require someone to work them.
  • They can pose an electrocution risk when performed in the rain.
  • They’re expensive, requiring frequent refueling.
  • They supply only a limited amount of power.

It’s also important to note that portable generators should never be used inside a house, garage, basement, shed, or other enclosed space because they produce deadly carbon monoxide. Many people are hospitalized or dead from CO poisoning yearly because they tried to run a generator indoors. Ensure your generator has a carbon monoxide detector that will shut off the engine when CO levels reach dangerously high. This feature is increasingly available on portable generators from major manufacturers.

Fuel Type

Depending on the type of generators Edgewater MD you buy, there are different fuel types that it can run on. Gasoline, diesel, propane, and natural gas are all familiar power sources for generators, each with pros and cons.

For example, gasoline is less expensive than diesel fuel and is readily available at most gas stations. However, it has a shorter shelf life and may degrade engine parts over time. It’s also flammable and dangerous to store in your home, so you’ll want to consider adding a fuel stabilizer.

Propane is another fuel that can be used for backup generators, offering a much safer option than gasoline or diesel. You can easily order propane for your home from companies like Nelson Propane Gas, which also offers various propane services. This gas is easily stored in various-sized cylinders, burns cleanly, and doesn’t release as much carbon monoxide (CO) into the air. However, a propane generator must be appropriately maintained to work reliably during an emergency. A well-known benefit of this type of generator is that one tank typically lasts up to eight hours of operation.


A generator can be a valuable tool for homes, shops, and offices that face frequent power outages. However, they must be properly installed and protected to last for years to come.

This includes ensuring that your generator is sized correctly for the appliances and electrical systems you intend to use to power. This involves consulting a professional electrician to determine your power needs, electrical system capacity, and upgrades needed for correct sizing.

Also, if you run appliances directly off the generator, ensure that any extension cords you use are heavy-duty and rated for exterior use. You don’t want to end up with a damaged or fried extension cord from running it too long, especially when powering high-wattage appliances. Also, always follow the product manual and regularly maintain it to avoid warranty issues. Choose a reputable warranty provider and be “there when you need them.” Read reviews and check the company’s stability before buying.



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