A major storm can knock out electricity and make it impossible to power essential appliances. If a member of your family relies on medication that needs to be refrigerated or uses a medical device that requires electricity, a power outage can be life-threatening. A generator can keep your appliances working until power is restored.

Why It’s Important to Choose the Right Size Generator

Standby generators come in a variety of sizes. The size of a generator refers to its level of output, measured in watts or kilowatts, and not the amount of space it occupies.

It’s important to choose a generator that is the right size for your needs. If your generator is too small for the number and types of appliances you want to run, it may overheat and shut itself off. A generator that is too big will require more storage space and fuel than an appropriately sized generator and will be more expensive to operate.

Which Size Generator Do You Need?

The difference between running watts and starting watts is important. Running watts are the number of watts needed to keep appliances running, and starting watts are the extra watts required for a few seconds to get appliances started.

Figure out which appliances you want to run during a power outage and check your owner’s manuals to find the running and starting watts for each. Add the running watts required for each appliance to figure out the total number of running watts your generator will need to have. Then identify the appliance that requires the highest number of starting watts and add that number to the total amount of running watts. The generator you buy will need to have at least that number of starting watts.

Other Factors to Consider

Find a generator with a long run-time at half-load so you won’t have to refuel it frequently. Choose a generator with enough outlets and the right kinds for the number and types of appliances you want to plug into it. Look for a generator with wheels so it will be easy to move.

Generators can be powered by several types of fuel. The type of fuel doesn’t affect the size of generator you will need. Natural gas is inexpensive, but natural gas generators cost more upfront than other types. Gasoline and diesel fuel are readily available at gas stations, but they can be difficult to store safely. Propane is easier to store and more efficient than gasoline and diesel. A propane-fueled generator will require less fuel than one powered by gas or diesel, but propane is more expensive than those other types of fuel.

Learn More about Home Generators

CT Generator Service can install a new generator to keep your appliances running and keep your family safe and comfortable if you lose power. Contact us today to learn more about the models we offer and to get help choosing the right size and brand.