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Essential Features to Consider When Buying Your Next Power Generator

Power outages are unpredictable and can happen at the most inopportune moments. Whether you’re running a business that requires uninterrupted power or simply want to ensure that your home remains functional during blackouts, investing in a reliable power generator can be a lifesaver. However, with the vast array of options available in the market, how do you choose the right one for your needs? In this blog, we’ll dive into the essential features you need to consider when purchasing your next power generator. 

1. Power Output

The primary consideration should always be the power output. You need to identify how much power you’ll require during an outage. Calculate the combined wattage of all the devices and appliances you intend to run. This will help you determine whether you need a small, medium, or large generator.

2. Type of Fuel & Fuel Efficiency

Generators can run on various types of fuel, including diesel, gasoline, propane, or natural gas. Each has its pros and cons: 

  • Diesel: Tends to be more fuel-efficient and requires less maintenance. However, diesel fuel can be more expensive and less environmentally friendly. 
  • Gasoline: Widely available but has a shorter shelf life and is less efficient than diesel. 
  • Propane & Natural Gas: Cleaner burning and has a longer shelf life than gasoline. They’re also quieter but can be more expensive in some areas. 

Choose a generator that not only uses your preferred fuel type but is also fuel-efficient to save on operational costs.

3. Portability

If you’ll need to move the generator around, portability is a crucial factor. Look for generators with sturdy wheels and handles. However, if you’re considering a standby generator that remains stationary, then installation and anchoring factors become more vital.

4. Noise Levels

In residential areas, a noisy generator can be a source of disturbance. Modern generators often come with sound-dampening technologies to ensure they operate quietly. Check the decibel (dB) rating of the generator – the lower of the dB, the quieter it will be.

5. Safety Features

Safety should never be compromised. Features to consider include: 

  • Automatic Shut-off: Turns the generator off when oil levels are low to prevent damage. 
  • Overload Protection: Protects the generator from being overloaded, prolonging its life. 
  • Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI): Protects from electrical shocks, especially vital if the generator will be used in damp conditions. 

6. Automatic Transfer Switch

For those opting for a standby generator, an automatic transfer switch (ATS) is a valuable feature. It detects when there’s a power outage and automatically starts the generator, then switches it off once power is restored.

7. Warranty and Service 

A generator is a significant investment. Ensure that the manufacturer provides a robust warranty. Also, consider the availability of service centers and the reputation of the brand in terms of after-sales service. 

8. Contact Northside Power Today

Choosing the right power generator requires a mix of understanding your power needs and being aware of the various features and functionalities available in the market. By keeping the factors mentioned above in mind, you can make a well-informed decision that caters to your requirements. 


If you’re on the hunt for a dependable generator service provider, consider Northside Power. In business since 1978, Northside Power offers standby generator service, sales, and installation. Their long-standing reputation in the industry is a testament to their commitment to quality and customer satisfaction. Regardless of your generator needs – be it purchasing a new one or servicing an existing unit – Northside Power is equipped to assist. Rain or shine, our team of professionals is dedicated to providing excellent service regardless of the weather conditions. If you’re ready to make a choice or need expert guidance, don’t hesitate to reach out. Contact our office at (501) 315-7213 to get your free quote today.