Choosing the right generator can be challenging due to the sheer number of generators on offer at hardware stores. But knowing what you're looking for can help narrow down your options. Here are 10 things to consider before buying a generator: (h/t to Survivopedia.com)
Your generator should be able to provide the amount of electricity necessary to power your survival shelter. To figure out the right size generator for your home, list down all the appliances and devices that you need to survive. Then check how many watts (W) it takes to run each of them.
A unit's wattage is usually listed, but if it's not, look for its required voltage (V) and amperage draw (A). Multiply and the resulting number is the unit's wattage. For example, a 110 V unit drawing 11 A per hour has an hourly energy demand of 1,210 W. If your appliance has a motor, such as refrigerators and air conditioners, you have to further multiply the initial product by three.
Once you know the wattage requirements of your devices, add them up. The sum is the minimum amount of power your generator should be able to provide.
You need to choose between a conventional and an inverter generator. The latter is a generator that produces direct current and converts it into alternating current using a built-in device called an inverter. It's quieter, more fuel-efficient and more lightweight but is more expensive than a conventional generator.
You may need to keep your computer on for work or to stay updated with the news. As such, your generator should be suitable for your computer too. Choose a brushless generator with a low harmonic distortion rating as this works the best for computers. (Related: 5 Machines preppers need in their homestead before disaster strikes.)
Whether you should buy a portable or a standby generator depends on your survival plan. Choose something portable and easy to carry if you plan to bug out to an off-grid location. If you plan to bug in, choose a standby generator.
Diesel generators are more expensive than gas generators because they are more fuel-efficient and have a longer engine life. At the same time, they smell, produce smoke and make a lot of noise.
You need to estimate how much fuel your generator consumes. Manufacturers usually indicate a model's fuel requirement, but in general, the bigger the generator, the more fuel it consumes.
When it comes to cost, you should look beyond the sticker price to really get the bang for your buck. While some cheap models are able to produce the same amount of power as expensive ones, they may not be as long-lasting so you need to pay for repairs or buy a new generator altogether.
As with other survival essentials, you should buy a generator before SHTF to be prepared for grid-down situations.
Here are a few features to look for when buying a generator for your survival shelter:
Gas and diesel generators are just two of the many types of generators you can choose from. You can also look into solar, wind and hydro generators if you wish to go green.
A generator will power your survival shelter during grid failure. Buy the right one for your home before SHTF to be prepared for blackouts.