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A buyer's guide to generators for sale

Buying a generator is a great idea if you live in a remote area or experience frequent power outages. Buying standby generators can be a difficult choice as there are models to suit a wide range of specialisms and budgets. In this guide, we'll show you how to cut through the jargon and find the best unit which will suit you and your family.

Minimum requirements

The energy consumption The power consumption of your house is measured in Watts. The first thing you should do before considering any electric generator is appraise your energy consumption. You really need to calculate two requirements.
The first is minimum continuous load. -Add up all the peak power consumption of essential devices in your home. This will include one or two light bulbs, the fridge and freezer, one ring of an electric stove, an electric heater for one room and consideration for any specialist medical equipment that you might have in your home. -Then, appraise maximum consumption, what is the total wattage if you were to use all the devices in your house at full power, all at once. When you have done this, you will have found the range of generators that you need to consider. The rest is up to your budget, the larger the wattage, the more expensive its initial cost will be and the more fuel it will use. If you are only experiencing infrequent and temporary outages, buying a generator which is double your minimum needs is a safe bet.

Buying a generator

Reliable generator The most important consideration for your generator is reliability. For this reason, many people only consider new generators. The more money you spend on your generator, the quieter and more efficiently you can expect it to operate. Some models may even have battery powered electric starters to prevent you from starting your unit with a pull cord. Once you have purchased your generator, you will need to make some additional preparations and purchases to ensure that it can be operated safely. Firstly, make sure that the exhaust is properly vented or the unit is kept in an outside location. Failure to do this can lead to death from carbon monoxide poisoning. Next, make sure that the generator can be connected to your house mains via a proper heavy duty cable. Avoid home made extension cords at all costs. Finally, you'll need to keep spare fuel both in the generator and in a suitable fuel storage container. Add stabiliser to the fuel to prevent it from chemically degrading. It's a good idea to fire up your generator once a month, lubricate it every other month and perform an annual maintenance check.

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