Remember Snowmageddon 2011? The city of Atlanta was crippled for most of a week, because of the 6-12 inches of snow that we received. Ice became a major problem on roads for several days. I’m sure you, like me, were the target of many jokes from friends and family who live out of the state, because they could not believe that a major city like Atlanta couldn’t handle the elements.
Georgia Power crews (and crews from neighboring states) worked around the clock to get power back to areas of the city and north Georgia. Sled and ice melt sales soared. After the storm passed, we even sold some snow blowers! It was crazy.
Since the power outages of Snowmageddon, however, one product has seen many residual sales. Generators.
Sure, a lot of folks have been getting generators for the ‘play’ aspect of owning one. Many people are buying portable generators that can be taken camping or tailgating, but most people are also considering the benefits that come from owning a generator during an emergency. We’ve become a digital society that is dependent on our smart phones and other battery powered products.
We also have very high expectations for the products that help make our lives easier. When it comes to owning a generator, we want a product that is designed to work without hassle. Here are some other things to consider when looking for a generator:
- If using primarily for emergency power, how easily can you get power to essential home appliances?
- Generators are typically viewed as loud products, but newer ‘inverter style’ technology actually allows some generators to operate no louder than normal speech.
- The last thing you want is a generator that you have to constantly be filling the fuel. Some generators (like the Honda Super Quiet EU Generators) can run for up to 20 hours on a single tank of gas!
- What are your power needs? This really is unique to each person. What must you have in order to be comfortable? It is fairly simple to add up wattage needs and determine what is best for you. Check out this wattage calculator to easily determine the generator size you need.
- Not all generators produce CLEAN power. Now, I’m not talking about smog and pollution (remember a generator can NEVER be run indoors.) Clean power refers to consistent power. No spikes. Spikes can cause equipment to shutdown, but can also damage some appliances. Almost everything digital today has circuitry or a computer to make it run. You really should consider the quality of the power output on your generator.
- Don’t forget service and support over the long term. Your investment should take into consideration regular maintenance but also make sure you have someone who can service the product if there are any problems in the future.
If you already have a generator and plan to pull it out in the case of an emergency, make sure you have clean fuel in it. As I’ve mentioned before in previous articles, ethanol in our fuels can cause havoc on small engine power equipment. The fuel breaks down and can invite moisture into the fuel system. Do not use marginal fuel!