Buying a Generator? Here’s What to You Need to Know

Kimberly Bean
Kimberly Bean
Published on September 12, 2017

If the devastating storms that have roared through Texas, Florida, and the Caribbean have you thinking about buying a generator, we don’t blame you. Southern Maryland isn’t immune to extreme weather, and a bad storm could leave you without power for days.

But buying a generator isn’t as simple as going to the home improvement store and picking one up. Before you shop, it’s good to think about what you would use a generator for. You’ll get a generator right the proper amount of power to meet your needs.

The folks at Houzz compiled a great explainer of the types of generators and how to determine the size you need. First, there are three common types of generators.

  • A standby or permanent generator is wired into your house’s electrical system. It is installed by a professional and may require permits.
  • Portable generators can be moved but are less powerful than a standby generator. You can set one of these up yourself.
  • Inverter generators are much less powerful and are best for times, like camping, when you want to be able to keep your devices charged.

To make sure your generator is powerful enough to meet your needs, you need to figure out how much power you will need. Houzz suggests taking these steps to decide what size generator you should buy.

  • Determine your power needs. Add up the power requirements of all of the appliances you want the generator to run. You’ll find the power usage information on the back of the appliance.
  • Remember start-up surges. Many appliances have a power surge when they start up. Houzz suggests multiplying your power needs by 1.5.
  • Remember the generator’s limits. Experts don’t recommend running a generator at full power. Most will tell you to run it at 50 to 75 percent of capacity, so you may need to buy a larger generator so that you can run all the appliances you want to without taxing the generator.

Of course, the most important aspect of using a generator is safety. Generators emit carbon monoxide, which is an odorless and deadly gas. Never run any kind of generator indoors or in an enclosed or partially enclosed space. Install carbon monoxide and smoke detectors in your home to alert you when carbon monoxide is present.

Learn more about generators at the full Houzz article here.

Waldorf MD Homes for Sale and Real Estate Services in Southern Maryland. You now have a search engine to help you with your Southern Maryland home search! And I’m ready to provide you with a custom home valuation if you’re considering selling your home. Let’s connect to discuss how I can help you. Contact Kimberly Bean at 301-440-1309

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