Discover what kinds of power outage generators you might need to make the best of a suboptimal situation.
Instead of talking about every single feature combination, I will go over some of the most important choices you will have to make.
When it comes to fuel types, dual fuel generators tend to be the most convenient for power outages.
If you don’t use your generator that often, keeping your gasoline stores “fresh” requires extra attention and work.
Secondly, it is typically smart to go for an inverter generator to make sure you don’t damage any electronics like certain refrigerators.
Especially during a power outage.
Thirdly, portable generators tend to be the top choice if power outages only happen occasionally.
In areas where these happen a lot, you can consider making your life easier by installing a standby generator.
- Related: 5 Best Portable Emergency Generators
Power outage generator fuel types
Power outage generators all help you convert fuel into usable electricity but this process can happen in different ways.
More specifically, gasoline-only, dual fuel (propane too), and tri fuel (propane and natural gas too) tend to be the most common options.
Propane tends to be a good option for power outages since it typically stores longer than gasoline.
This means you have to pay less attention to your fuel stores throughout the year to stay prepared for any power grid hiccups.
On the flip side, gasoline degrades after a few months which means you have to follow a maintenance calendar to stay prepared.
Additionally, since many other people turn to gasoline during power outages, it might be easier to get your hands on more propane.
Next, depending on your supply, natural gas might be a convenient option too that does not really require refueling sessions.
One downside of tri fuel generators is that there are fewer models to choose from.
Besides that, both dual fuel and tri fuel generators tend to be slightly pricier than the same gasoline-only models at the same power levels.
Lastly, you could theoretically consider solar and/or wind generators although these are currently relatively weak compared to the power needs of typical devices.
What fuel type do you need?
What generator fuel type you need ultimately depends on details like how often you plan to use the machine, your budget, and what options are convenient for your location.
For example, if you already plan to use your generator regularly for other purposes, you may not get to a point where your gasoline stores degrade anyway.
On the other hand, if this is not the case, it is likely worth investing a bit more in a dual fuel generator so you don’t have to spend time and attention on maintaining gasoline stores.
You may also simply notice it is hard to get extra gasoline during power outages. In that case, being able to use propane can be valuable.
Additionally, if you have easy access to natural gas, a tri fuel generator could make your power outage life even more convenient.
As mentioned above, portable solar generators tend to be somewhat weak.
Your refrigerator and freezer likely need more power which means a more traditional generator is likely necessary.
Inverter vs regular power outage generators
Choosing between an inverter generator or a regular generator is an important decision.
Inverter (or other low THD) generators allow you to run sensitive electronics like a TV, microwave, certain refrigerators, and certain AC systems safely.
On the other hand, regular generators can damage these devices.
This would not only involve extra costs but is also simply something you don’t want on top of all the power outage challenges.
In simpler words, it is generally smarter to play it safe and get a low THD power outage generator.
Unless you have your own inverter or another way to “clean up” high THD power.
These low THD generators may be slightly pricier in the short term but help you avoid issues and tend to be quieter.
- Related: 8 Pros & Cons Of Inverter Generators
Portable vs standby power outage generators
Portable generators are very popular but you could consider standby power outage generators too.
This alternative is basically a “box” that you install in a specific location.
A benefit of these is that it tends to be more convenient to get your power back during a power outage.
You don’t have to roll out your portable generator and do the extra tasks involved in running this safely.
On the flip side, standby generators do tend to be more expensive.
You may not find these worth it unless you live in an area where you really have to deal with a lot of power outages throughout the year.