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I Want a Generator… How Much Power Do I Need?

When it comes to generators… It’s a question that we get asked ALL THE TIME.

How Much Power Do I need?

screen-shot-2016-09-29-at-1-53-40-pmThe answer isn’t really easy. It’s not the sort of thing where we can give one quick number and be able to recommend a specific generator. Generator transactions are the epitome of what makes Howard Brothers unique from other retailers. All our customers questions will not be answered by literature and signage. It requires conversation and understanding the full requirements of a given situation.

Before we even get to power needs, we often have to ask our customers how the generator will be used.

  • Is this a commercial or residential need?
  • Delicate electronics vs appliances (which… almost all new appliances could be considered high end electronics now!)
  • Are their sound requirements? How loud are you willing to put up with.

screen-shot-2016-09-29-at-1-53-49-pmFor this article, let’s assume we’re talking about a residential customer who wants a generator for backup purposes only. He’s not demanding that it kick on power immediately after power failure. He’s willing to run some extension cords from outside where his generator is sitting (Yeah… you can’t keep any gas powered generator inside where people will be.)

So let’s discuss some of the things our customers need to consider when researching generators and wattage requirements.

Wattage and Amps

It used to be easier to talk about power needs. In the past, most appliances did a pretty decent job of specifying how many watts it required to run. Over time, most appliances and electric motors started listing their power requirements primarily in amps.

screen-shot-2016-09-29-at-1-53-57-pmWhich means that you’ve got to get out your calculator and do some simple math.

  • Watts = Volts x Amps
  • Amps = Watts/Volts

If you’ve got a 6000 Watt Generator, you have to get all your appliance and electronic needs converted to watts first so that you can add them all up to ensure you don’t exceed your wattage needs.

Most household appliances (in america) use 120 volts, and for this example let’s assume the customer is only interested in 120volt power needs. So let’s assume you don’t know the watts used by your wife’s hair dryer. You see stamped to the side that it is 15amps. 15amps multiplied by 120volts equals 1800 watts.

This isn’t always perfect, and it is best to know the actual wattage specified by the manufacturer of the product, but it is a good starting point to determining your total wattage requirements.

Honda has created a great wattage calculator that you can plugin numbers from your home and see the overall requirements you’ll need for your generator. Also, when in the store, we have some good charts that we generally share with our customers that helps determine total need.

screen-shot-2016-09-29-at-1-54-20-pmStarting vs Running Wattage

Some appliances require extra power to start up, while others maintain the same power requirements constantly.

To calculate your power needs correctly, you need to know which kind of load you are dealing with. (A load is defined as the device that you are powering.) There are two kinds of loads:

Resistive loads – Resistive loads are pretty simple: they require the same amount of power to both start and run the equipment. Many resistive loads are involved in heating or making heat of some kind. Examples of resistive loads include:

  • Light bulbs
  • Coffee maker
  • Toaster

Reactive Loads – Reactive loads contain an electric motor, which requires additional power to start, but significantly less power to run once it gets going. Typically starting power is 3 times the amount of power to run the application. Examples of reactive loads include:

  • Refrigerators / freezers
  • Furnace fans
  • Well pumps
  • Air conditioners
  • Bench grinders
  • Air compressors
  • Power tools

screen-shot-2016-09-29-at-1-54-07-pmSome household appliances, like a furnace or refrigerator, have internal fans that come on intermittently. Extra wattage/power is needed to start the fan each time. Refrigerators also have a defrost cycle that requires power in addition to the compressor and fans. In these cases, we recommend that you allow the appliance to cycle for a while, but then unplug them during the temporary time that you are running other appliances. Once that temporary use is done, you can plug back in the refrigerator or freezer without having lost the temperature advantage from the closed appliances.

Reactive loads may also require additional power when the electric motor begins to work. For example, when a saw begins cutting wood, its power requirement will increase. This is not applicable for most household appliances.

Noisy vs Super Quiet Generators

screen-shot-2016-09-29-at-1-54-41-pmThere’s not a lot to say here except that there is a difference in decibels that everyone should be aware of.

Honda makes some of the quietest generators available today. It truly is remarkable how quiet they run and you’re able to have a conversation with someone while one is running feet away from you.

Something that not most folks understand or know is this. For every 10 db, the sound level (noise) doubles. 70 db is twice as loud as 60 db. 50 db is 1/2 as loud as 60 db. Again, this isn’t perfect and we all hear differently, but the best way for you to tell truly how quiet a generator is, is to have it running and you listen to it.

We’re happy to demo this for our customers and honestly, it often becomes the principle selling point. Most of our customers get a generator not only for emergency power needs, but for fun times too. Tailgating, camping or other outdoor events which require power are more and more needed. You want something mobile enough that gives you power, but also allows you to enjoy being outdoors at the same time. No noise = Happy neighbors.

So you see, the answer isn’t really easy. Each family and house has different expectations for when they’re power is down. If you’re more concerned with power to major appliances like freezers, refrigerators and stoves, then you’ll have different needs vs someone who wants to only power heaters in extreme cold weather.

Regardless, we love this stuff. We love to help and always look forward to educating our customers on it. We want everyone to be happy with their purchase and not be upset that they didn’t get what they needed.

Come into Howard Brothers at any of our five locations and we’ll get you set up on a Honda Generator which will last you years and give you comfort and reliability for the same time.

For more information, download this Honda Generator Brochure


The Trolls are Coming

I was on vacation last week. A week at the beach in the same condo we’ve been using for the past 15+ years. I knew several things before I left Atlanta to head to Ormond Beach:

  1. The WIFI was going to be awful at this particular condo. Usable? Yes. Frustrating? Yes. But I knew I could live with it.
  2. I knew that seafood was going to be fantastic. There are several great #buylocal eateries down there, and I would frequent several of them.
  3. I’d be able to watch more TV in a given week than I normally do at home. Which leads me to this particular blog post.

I saw a TON of commercials over the past week about the animated movie Trolls which comes out later this fall.

What does this have to do with Howard Brothers and Hardware?

Read more

Duluth Fall Festival – 2016 Man’s Corner with Howard Brothers is gonna be a Little Different!

If you’ve been to the Duluth Fall Festival sometime over the past 7 or 8 years, and you’ve been by our area in Man’s Corner, chances are you’ve had a piece of meat off of of the 4-5 Big Green Eggs that we’ve sold. Well, that’s gonna change this year.

We’re actually not bringing Big Green Egg at all to the festival (Partly because we’re going to be with Big Green Egg at the 4th annual Kosher BBQ Competition in Dunwoody the same weekend)

But mainly because we’re gonna be conducting a little show and tell on the Traeger Wood Pellet Grills. We’re not feeding the masses like we’ve done in the past… we’re feeding the foodies.

Well, let’s not call it Show and Tell… Let’s call it Smoke and Tell!

Read more

Move on Over, Tool Time; It’s Shed Time!

As part of the True Value Hardware Stores of America, we’re happy to announce that we will be taking part in the Annual Sale on Suncast Storage Sheds, Utility Closets, and Deck Boxes. Nothing has been left out.

It’s about time to put up our Lawnmowers and our Trimmers, and to put them in a place worthy of their hibernation. Otherwise, you’ll need easy access to those Rakes and Pitchforks when the leaves start falling for the Fall; either that or you’ll need them for riots – to each his own.

Anyways… All Suncast Storage Sheds are Made in the USA, and will hold up during the Cold, Hot, and Everything in Between. Also included in the sale items is a lot of extra storage space for inside some of the Sheds and Storage Containers, with roof-hanging brackets and mountable shelf racks.

20% off is a big number, and the savings hit into the hundreds of dollars when it’s all said and done.

To grab your Suncast Storage Unit, simply order online at www.truevalue.com, and simply ask to have it shipped to one of our Howard Brothers Hardware locations at Doraville, Duluth, or Oakwood.

If you have questions about dimensions, layout, or accessories, simply call or chat with the online services at True Value’s Website.

The link above will take you straight to the sale!

Order one today and we’ll hold it for you!

Bargains of the Month: September 2016

Ah, Fall. Fall is coming/among us – depending on when you read this. For us Georgians, this means cold is coming, and quick. In the meantime you’ll be scouring our stores for some rakes, gloves, boots, and blowers to keep you and your lawn ready for nature’s changing season.

We all know the crunchy sound of the leaves from when we would walk through the woods as a kid with our puffed-out vests and a half-soaked stick in our right hand. From the occasional Red Cardinal to the times we thought we could chase squirrels, it was always more fun to adventure with the temperature lower than a solid 84 Degrees.

Even so, the cold has never been high on my list of favorites, and I feel as if many others around me share the same opinion. It just gets everywhere and you can’t get rid of it without very specific equipment: a fireplace, a Central Heating Unit, or a cuddle-some dog that is slightly heavier than you’d want in your lap.

Even if we don’t carry those things specifically, we have some of the other stuff you’re going to need to maintain, use, and make sure you’re not freezing underneath those boots that just came back into season.

Camco -50° RV Antifreeze and Ethanol Blend – Gallon Jugs850543

First on the list is making sure that your precious RV is taken care of. Whether you’ve been spending the entire summer on the road, or are about to head out on a grand adventure, you want to make sure that the pipes and engine will make it through the cold times.

With these jugs you’re getting into that regular preventative maintenance we always talk about. Frozen valves make for a bad time, and fixing them is an even worse time.

We have both Antifreeze and an Ethanol Blend for whatever you might need. Antifreeze is 2 Gallons for $7 and Ethanol Blend is 2 for $5, just come down a grab some.

1.1 Gallon RTU Home Defense Max Insect KillerOrthoInsectKiller

With every winter, you can sometimes forget that everyone wants to be warm, including some of the more invasive neighbors around us.

Those neighbors being bugs. Lots of bugs.

Now we all know that a couple of bugs is nothing to fret over, but the entrance into houses during the winter is more of a Mass Exodus from the yard and a Genesis of Ant-Ridden Sugary Cereals. Not exactly the extra protein you needed.

Breakfast: It’s the most important meal of the day. Take care of it. Grab a bottle for $11.99 with an extra $2 Mail-In Rebate.

Touch ‘n Foam Spray Sealantsen_31_sealants

After you push back the enemy of your estate, it’s time to tend to the wounds of battle. That’s why you need yourself some Touch ‘n Foam Sealant in your life. As everyone is getting colder, some people might be very tempted to crank that heat up like a hit single from 2007. Your wallet’s had enough heartache, give it some rest for once.

These cans of Spray Sealant can be bought in a multitude of fashions to defend any part of the house. From pipes to cross beams to windows and doors, Touch ‘n Foam will reinforce the heat leaks and seal in the warm feeling of security for only $3.99 a pop.

Energizer Vision 80-Lumin LED Headlight.headlight

This one will be quick. Looking around to spray your Touch ‘n Foam Spray Sealant in the attic? It’s dark, but it doesn’t have to be.

Simple head lamp that’ll last forever with LED bulbs and a handy head strap.

On sale for $9.99 this month.

#quickadsforthewin #lettherebelight #catchyhashtags

4.75 Gallon of Drive-Kote 500DriveKote

While the temperature is getting colder, we know the cold comes in quick, and with a vengeance. From Summer to Fall, it goes from Blazing Humidity to Unexplored Tundra after 4 days of peaceful Mediterranean Tranquility. The metaphors are crazy with this one.

That being said, any outdoor repairs should be done before you lose feeling in your fingers. All of those potholes in that driveway could definitely use some attention, and you don’t want to lose it to the deep, dark depths of the “Honey, can you…?” list.

This Filler is guaranteed for 5 years and is a mere $15.99. Crazy right?

Weiman 30-Ct. Cleaning Wipes – Of an Awesome Assortment

Weiman Cleaning Wipes Assortment
Weiman Cleaning Wipes Assortment

As always, we usually end the bargains of the month with a tiny little reminder that cleanup afterwards is a must for a happy marriage.

With these Cleaning Wipes, you have an easy way to keep some around the house whenever that times comes. Maybe you haven’t been detailing the kitchen as much as the ’71 Camaro project that you may or may not actually get running sometime soon. $7 for 2, you can easily grab the entire collection, or stock up on of those “problem areas”.

Hope you had a great Summer, here’s to a great Fall.


Screen Shot 2016-08-25 at 1.46.27 PM


Traeger Shop Class in Duluth, GA – November 6, 2016

Traeger Shop Class in Atlanta GeorgiaWe are VERY excited to announce an exciting and exclusive event in Atlanta, which you don’t want to miss if you own a Traeger Grill.

On Sunday, November 6th, 2016 at our Duluth store, you’ll be able to attend a Traeger cooking class which will help you become a barbecue pro.

The Cost is $100 and you must register on Traeger’s website for this event.

Register on Traeger’s Website for Howard Brothers Traeger Shop Class on 11/6/16

Diva Q - Danielle Bennett
Diva Q – Danielle Bennett

Our Store Event will be hosted by Danielle Bennett, but you may know her as Diva Q.

Danielle is currently the host of the hit TV show BBQ Crawl, a lip-smacking, mouth-watering adventure of all things BBQ. The show features BBQ joints from all over the US, the Pitmasters, their stories and of course fun competitions. She lives by the motto “Life is too short for Bad BBQ.”

There are a limited number of seats. Don’t miss it. Register now. 

Here’s more info from Traeger’s Website



Wield your BBQ apron and sharpen your pencils – Traeger BBQ Shop Class is in session. Each half day class is taught by a Traeger Pit Master who will teach you how to trim, rub, inject, and smoke authentic barbecue using the four major types of competition meats. This includes ribs, chicken, brisket, and pork. A BBQ manual is provided with tips and tricks from the BBQ Pros. Feast on the 4 big BBQ meats throughout the class. We’ll make it well worth your time so come spend a few hours with us to take your barbecue skills pro.

traeger-grill-ribsSHOP CLASS INCLUDES

  • 3-4 hours of instruction from a BBQ Pro
  • A feast of wood-fired BBQ meat samples
  • Traeger swag bag
  • Traeger shop class apron
  • BBQ manual, including recipes and tips from the Pros


Each class format is unique to the BBQ Pro instructor. All attendees will receive instruction on pro-style BBQ, backyard BBQ, tips and tricks for preparation, best practices, demonstrations, cooking tools, and secret ingredients.


Each 4 hour class is taught by a Traeger Pit Master who will teach you about the four major types of competition meats: ribs, chicken, brisket, and pork. You’ll also learn how to trim, rub, inject, and smoke authentic and delicious barbecue. A BBQ workbook is provided with tips and tricks from our BBQ Pros, and you will learn about flavoring meats.


The Traeger Shop Class is packed with valuable information and taught by a BBQ Pit Master. This is an opportunity to learn from a Pro in a close-knit setting. The time and detail spent teaching about each specific aspect of creating authentic BBQ will increase your knowledge, The Traeger loot you receive will help you hone your outdoor cooking skills to make you the resident Pit Boss.

Echo Power Equipment One Day Sale – August 24, 2016


I’d like to be able to say “Mark Your Calendars” for this event, but if you blink, you’ll miss it. Prepare now. Stop In and Save Big!

Next Wednesday, August 24th at our Alpharetta, Doraville, Duluth and Oakwood stores, we’re going to be having an Echo Power Equipment One Day Sale.

On August 24th only, we’ll be offering discounts of 20% off All Echo, Bearcat and Shindaiwa equipment. This is only on new equipment. Parts and Service on Echo is not eligable, but this is a FANTASTIC deal.

  • Prepare for Leaf Season with all Echo Blowers being 20% off.
  • Get a head’s start on Christmas Presents for that guy or gal who prefers professional grade equipment.

All Echo equipment is professional-grade and designed to be Easy Starting, Long Lasting and User Friendly. Whether you’re a pro or a DIYer, you can count on Echo to perform.

Watch this video for a sample of some of the great deals on the 24th.

Choose from Chainsaws, Power Pruners, Blowers, Shred ‘n’ Vac, Edgers, Trimmers, Brushcutters, Hedge Trimmers, Bed Redefiners, Sprayers, The Pro Attachment Series (PAS), Tillers, Engine Drills, Water Pumps. All 20% off.

Check out our inventory online of Echo Power Equipment, or better yet, stop into one of our stores in Alpharetta, Doraville, Duluth or Oakwood and Prepare for the Sale!


Southern Nursery Association SEGreen Conference at The Classic Center in Athens, Georgia -August 31 – September 1, 2016


asset-1459457206691We are excited to announce that we’re going to be at the SEGreen Conference at The Classic Center in Athens, Georgia on August 31 – September 1, 2016.

SEGreen is a new event that has been created by the Southern Nursery Association. The SNA has a history that goes back to 1899! Ultimately they have a goal of improving the horticultural industry. They work with growers and nurseries across the southeast United States. This conference will have both a marketplace and an educational component.

  • asset-1460134320979The Marketplace will allow attendees to view ornamental trees and shrubs, color, equipment and related landscape and outdoor living products,  garden gifts and accessories, seasonal products, and more. (that’s where will be… More about us in a minute)
  • The Educational tracks are geared towards growers, landscapers and retailers. You’ll gain insight on the best new plants and products, economics, trends, IPM, equipment safety, ways to build business and increase profit, and solutions to some of your toughest issues – while connecting with the top industry professionals from across the Southeast.

Now, how does Howard Brothers see this conference as a relevant place for us?

Well, obviously both landscapers and growers have been our customers for years. Many of us go back 30, 40, 50+ years in the northeast Georgia area. The relationship between landscapers and growers has always been strong, but recently we’ve seen many newer/younger landscapers jumping into business, and they often find it difficult to navigate WHERE to source plants for installation and projects.

We think SEGreen Landscape Conference provides a perfect platform for our landscape pros to gain valuable knowledge and expand their business!

Landscape Architects, Landscape Designers, Landscape Installation Contractors, Landscape Maintenance Contractors, Landscape Irrigation Contractors, Urban and Regional Landscape Planners, Erosion and Sediment Control Contractors, Arborists… there’s something for everyone!

Now… of course, you’re not gonna find shrubs and perennials in our booth. We don’t grow plants! But we will have plenty of equipment on site that both landscapers and growers use everyday in their industries.

So, Landscapers, take 5 minutes and read up on SeGreen and see how you can Make More Green in your Wallet.

By the way, while you’re in Athens, you can check out our new store… before we do our remodel 🙂

Visit SEGREEN.org for More Information