Choosing the Best Generator for Your Needs in 2011 and Beyond

We are all guilty of waiting until a crisis is upon us  before finally being forced to take care of a situation that should have been carefully thought through and addressed a long time ago.  The perfect example is the need for a portable generator. Hurricane Irene has come and gone, but has certainly taught us all a very important lesson which is to make sure we are prepared for the next time.  If  last year is any indication of just how much snow will fall, we are all in for another long, snowy winter.  Also, if I were an odds maker, I would  bet that your electricity will be out at least once before the first daffodil has a chance to peek through.

Knowledge is power and Eric Savelle has been selling generators for over 30 years.  He was a live guest on 1320 WATR, specifically talking about Generac Generators and GenTran Transfer Switches.  Eric covers many important questions and just to mention a few:

  • Is it OK to run a generator inside the home?
  • How will a transfer switch eliminate the need for messy extension cords?
  • Should I keep the fuel tank full or empty?
  • What kind of draw is involved in keeping the heat on in the winter?

You can listen to the entire Q&A  audio excerpt  of this program on the FAQ section on each Generac Generator page.

Some additional important information regarding generators:

  1. Sizing your generator for usage needs.  Using the Generator Sizing Calculator, you can easily decide which household appliances and systems are necessary. Just add up their running and surge wattage to figure out the right generator for your needs.
  2. Registering your generator – In the event of an insurance loss, your customer registration will serve as proof-of-purchase.  Also, the manufacturer will provide you with continued important product information.
  3. Maintenance suggestions: Winterizing your generator, including what type of oil to use and how often should it be changed.  Above 40°F, use SAE 30. Below 40°F and down to 10°F, use 10W-30. Below 10°F, use synthetic 5W-30. Oil should be changed after the first 8 hours of operation and every 200 hours of run time thereafter. Utilize the hour running meter which allows you to easily keep tabs on oil changes.
  4. Gasoline Recommendations: Use clean, fresh unleaded gasoline with a minimum 85 octane rating.
  5. Features to look for when buying your first or next generator:
  • Low Oil Shutdown Feature – Keeps the engine from malfunctioning by shutting the engine down before it runs out of oil. Think of your car if it ran out of oil.
  • Electric Start – With the click of a button, your generator will start. Although electric start is definitely easier, some of the smaller watt generators have a pull start, which isn’t too difficult to start as well. Just make sure you have the choke engaged.
  • Storage consideration – Handle that folds down for easy storage
  • Fuel Capacity – should hold at least 4 gallons and above for many hours of running time before you need to fill up again.
  • Overloading protection – Circuit breaker required
  • Fuel Tank Construction – Sturdy Steel and large fuel gauge for easy reading.
Generac GP5500 Generator

So,  the moral of the story is, do not wait until the last minute to purchase your generator. Instead, take your time and make an informed decision to receive the best generator….at the best price…best suited for your needs!

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