Survival Basics

Portable Gas Generator Buyer’s Guide

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There are many other ways of generating power during a power failure besides a generator, more than ever before in the realm of power generation tools. Solar chargers and power packs have really come into their own of late, and are capable of powering a good array of tools. Still, both solar and power pack technologies really struggle with large loads or constant loads.

Portable Gas Generator Buyer’s Guide

Items like refrigerators, freezers, high wattage incandescent lighting, air conditioners, electric heaters, and similar appliances will absolutely overwhelm portable solar chargers and power packs. Vehicle mounted inverters will fare a little better since they use the vehicle itself as a source of constant energy, but the problem with vehicle inverters is that it’s tough to find one over 2000 watts, and when you need a big, cheap hit of power, generators really fit the bill quite nicely.

A portable gas generator of a modest wattage – 5000-8000 watts – is about right for powering most anything you have in your home that needs some heavy duty power. It will certainly power the vast majority of home refrigerators and freezers, as well as an array of space heaters. It may not, however, power the largest air conditioning systems, so check your specs before hand. There are some key reasons for seeking a generator within this wattage realm:

  • 5000-8000 watts will power most anything in the average American home.
  • At this size, it will still maintain a good degree of portability. At the end of the day, a “portable” generator that weighs 1000 pounds is not very portable at all. The more watts a generator puts out, the heavier it is.
  • Generators in this size range are very affordable, and several models can be found under $1000.
  • Maintenance on a generator of this size is well within the realm of most people, even without extended mechanical training. These are simple, easy to understand motors.
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