What Are The Major Differences Between Standby And Portable Generators?

Are you sick and tired of your power going out?

Losing power can be frustrating, especially if it happens often or if it doesn't come back on for extended periods of time when it does happen.

If you’re thinking of adding a generator to your home, make sure you know the difference between the two types of generators.

What You Should Know About Standby and Portable Generators Before Buying

standby and portable generator

Portable Generators

When many homeowners consider getting a generator for their home, portable generators are the first thing that comes to mind. These miniature generators are more recognizable and are relatively inexpensive (compared to standby generators) — usually around the $1,000 range.

While the portable generator is perfect for giving you power on-the-go when you need it most (construction sites, festivals, outdoor home improvement), it’s not the most optimal generator for your home. Here are a few reasons why:

  • Requires you to be home in order for it to be manually turned on (which won’t help prevent sump pump failure, perishing food in the refrigerator, and the heating and cooling system not working during extreme temperatures when you’re not home).
  • Might not be powerful enough to power all of the important systems, appliances, fixtures, and electrical in your home.
  • Only holds a few gallons of fuel, which requires you to have fuel on-hand and refill the tank every few hours that it’s on.
  • Many homeowners place this portable generator too close to the inside of their home (AKA at the entrance of their garage). This can cause the carbon monoxide coming from the exhaust to fill your home, which can be fatal if it’s not noticed.

Standby Generators

For homeowners looking for a reliable solution to power outages, the standby generator is the direction you want to go. When you purchase the right size standby generator, it has the potential to power all of the most important systems in your home — like the heating and cooling system, plumbing fixtures, the sump pump, major appliances, lights, and even some outlets for your secondary technology.

In addition to being powerful, standby generators also work on their own! Something called a “transfer switch” connects the generator to your home’s electrical, allowing it to turn on and off when the power goes out and then comes back on, respectively. It also can be tied into your natural gas line so you never have to fill the tank.

Essentially, you’ll almost never be in trouble (or in the dark) when the power goes out as long as you have a standby generator. The only catch (which is understandable with all that they do) is that they are more expensive than portable generators — usually costing a few thousand dollars (plus annual maintenance).

If you’re thinking of purchasing a generator, make sure you get the right one for you.

When you want more information about generators and want a professional opinion on which type, brand, and model to get — Fox & Sons has you covered! Just give us a call and we’ll be over in no time!