Updated: June 8, 2015
Generac Generators - Standby Generator Reviews:Finding the Best Generac Generators - There is a county in Georgia where the power is interrupted an average of every 3 or 4 days. Most of us like to think that power outages are uncommon, but people here know different. The biggest cause of power outages in this small county is squirrels, birds, and other "critters." Also to blame were downed limbs and trees, bad transformers, bad weather, blown fuses or burned wires, equipment failure, vehicle accidents, house fire, and overload. The point is that the power goes out for any number of reasons, any time of year, any time of day, and at any location in the country. While we may be lucky enough to live in areas that do not experience regular power outages, few, if any, of us can say we never have them. And, unfortunately, few can really say they're prepared. But you don't have to be one of them. Buying a power generator before you need one is a smart decision, but where should you start? Here, of course. We are going to talk about Generac Generators and help you pick the one that will work for you.
A Bit about Generac - Generac, founded in 1959, focuses solely on power generation products. Their goal is to provide quality and affordable power solutions for your home or business. Generac was the first to create an affordable standby generator for the home; because of their power, they were solely used by businesses who could afford the hefty price tag. Generac sells more standby home generators than all of their competitors put together. When you need power that you can afford, turn to Generac. Choosing Your Generac Generator - Standby or Permanent Generators - Standby generators are permanently installed and connected to your home's wiring. They offer superior power and the convenience of automatic turn on and shut down. Is a Generac standby generator right for you? The first step in choosing a power generator is to know what type of power you need. Of course, the more you need, the higher the price, so that is something to consider as well. A good way to start is to take a moment and think about what you will need to power if the electricity is out: in extreme temperatures, you will need to stay warm or cool. Do you want lights? Do you want a stove or microwave? Do you want to power your computer or TV? What about water heaters or fans? These answers depend on what you deem important. A television may not be essential in most times, but it can be a lifeline if there are storms or if you need to know what is going on in the outside world, so to speak. Your next stop should be the Generac website's generator selector tool. You need to enter in your region (US, Canada, International), zip code, house size in square feet, and select the circuits or appliances you would like to back up. A list of suggestions is then generated for you based on the estimated watts you would use. Let's do an example so you can get a feel for how much wattage you would need: say we live in Albany, New York in a 1500 square foot home. We want to make sure we power our electric heat, heat pump, electric range, electric water heater, well pump, sump pump, and freezer. We would need a generator that produces between 28kW and 36kW (36kW is the high simultaneous usage - which is what you would need to power all of these options at the same time). We have the choice of the Generac 30kW or 36kW. Here's a quick look at each: The Generac Guardian Series 30kW is very efficient and compact. It burns either natural gas or propane and has a meter for run time, neutral styling, small footprint, Quiet-Test mode for weekly tests, liquid cooled engine, sturdy galvanized steel enclosure, and low oil and high coolant temperature shutdown. The QuietSource 36kW is quite similar. It offers the features mentioned of the 30kW, as well as a powerful low-speed liquid-cooled engine that is quiet and uses less fuel. The engine and alternator have a longer life. The Guardian costs just over $8000, while the QuietSource costs almost $11,000. While these are superb choices, this is a great deal of money for most budgets. If your home is smaller and requires less power to operate the essentials, or you can cut down on your essentials, you can dramatically lower your cost. For instance, the Guardian 8kW provides enough power so your essentials stay on during a power outage. It is the most affordable standby on the market. The 8kW has easy installation, simple conversion from propane to natural gas, a Generac OHVI engine, which lasts 3 to 4 times longer than other generator engines, a sturdy galvanized steel closure, user-friendly design, LED display, information at-a-glance, generator status alerts, and quiet operation. The 8kW is just under $1800, making it a viable choice in more homes. Browse the best selling Generac generators online here.
What about a Generac Portable Generator? :Typically, portable generators are much less expensive than standbys. While people often purchase them for use in camping or tailgating, they are also useful in power outages. If you opt for a portable generator for this purpose, make sure you buy one that is specifically designed for "emergency" use. That way, you have the right amount of power. Camping generators, for instance, can power an appliance or two. You may need to power a refrigerator, TV, and other essentials, so you'll need some more wattage. Also remember that these are typically gas powered, so you cannot use them inside because dangerous fumes, including carbon monoxide, will build up. You have to keep them outside and run extension cords to your appliances, or safer and easier, get a transfer switch.
Note: When shopping for Generac portable generators, you may see them under the name Briggs and Stratton, which bought the portable generator division.
3000-6000 watts: this is a good, basic size to power your refrigerator, sump pump, furnace fan, and other appliances during an outage. This will be your least expensive option. Try the Briggs and Stratton 3500-Watt Gas Powered Portable Generator. It has a recoil start, Power Surge alternator so you can start multiple appliances at once, and Lo-Tone muffler (not for sale in California). It is $600 (see the top rated Briggs & Stratton portable generators here).
7000-9000 watts: this will power multiple rooms, if you don't use central air. This is a step up, so you will have more options when it comes to powering appliances and devices. A good choice is the Briggs and Stratton 8250-Watt Gas Powered Generator (model #030440). This has a top quality 1450 Series OHV engine, 5-gallon fuel tank, 10-hour run time at 50 percent load, Power Surge alternator, extra surge wattage to start large motor-driven appliances, convenient outlets, and 8-inch wheels. It is under $800.
10,000+ watts: this will give you enough power to sustain a small home and maybe even your central air. The Briggs and Stratton Elite Series 13,500-Watt is a good choice. It has a 15 HP Vanguard OHV engine, electric start, extra surge wattage, and Lo-Tone muffler. It is about $1370.
Look at the wide selection of Generac and Briggs and Stratton products here. Whether you choose a standby or portable, having a generator provides extra peace of mind, and extra comfort, in power outages.