5 Part Emergency Generator Series – Selecting the Right Size Unit

In the event of an extended power outage, having a reliable emergency generator can be vitally important to your health and safety. Emergency generators can be used to power your lights and small appliances, and can even run your home heating and air conditioning unit.

Over the next several days, we’ll be posting a series of tips about emergency generators.  Today we’ll be discussing how to select the right size emergency power generator for your specific needs.

When determining how much power you will need to run your house in an emergency situation, keep in mind these three basic facts about power consumption during an emergency situation:

1. The more things you want to run, the more power you are going to consume.
2. Consume more power and you must run a bigger engine to turn a bigger generator.
3. The bigger engine you run, the more fuel you’ll consume. Do you have enough fuel?

Most people take a conservative approach to energy used during an emergency situation, powering down all
but the truly needed electrical devices. This approach will allow you to run a smaller generator and use less fuel.

If however, a good supply of fuel is available, such as a natural gas line, or large fuel tank, then larger generators can be run for extended periods. It is critical when selecting the generator that you have the ability to provide the fuel that will be required to power the size of unit you want for the time period.

To get an idea of where you are on emergency power usage check out this power assessment checklist.

Have other thoughts on this topic?  Please share them with us by posting a comment.  Be sure to check back for our next installment where we’ll be discussing the pros and cons of gas-powered emergency generators.