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Portable vs. Standby Generators: Which is Better?

January 17, 2019

Having a generator is essential – you don’t want to lose food, business, or even just comfort due to a long-term power outage. A generator can help you maintain what you need until power is restored.

One question you may have, though, is what kind of generator you need. Can you get away with a portable unit, or are standby generators actually much better?


A lot of the answer depends on your needs during a storm. Here are some things to consider!


The Pros and Cons of a Portable Generator

A portable generator is less expensive and can be rolled out quickly if a storm hits. You can move it almost anywhere you need it, and can even share the power with neighbors if your homes are close together.


However, a portable unit needs to be run outside, and requires a lot of fuel. A 7,000 watt generator uses 12 to 20 gallons of fuel per 24 hours. Having sufficient fuel stored around your home can create its own hazard.


Running long extension cords to your portable generator can also be dangerous, so you might want to choose a transfer switch generator if you decide to go with portable. A transfer switch gives you better power more safely and allows you to get power to things on your circuit breaker as well as hardwired appliances.


Of course, if you’re going to the trouble to install a transfer switch and get your portable generator set up in advance, why not just go with standby generators?


Pros and Cons of Standby Generators

Standby generators cost more than portable generators, and you have to set them up well in advance. No running to the big box store the day before a storm – you need to plan ahead.


Once you do, though, you reap a host of benefits. You can power your entire home without having to run outside to set up a portable unit in the lightning, ice, or other bad weather. It runs automatically anytime power is interrupted. Most of all, you don’t have to store additional fuel around your home like you do with a portable generator.


You do have to perform general maintenance on the standby unit, and run it frequently to make sure everything is still working. Of course, if you choose a great supplier, you can sign up to have maintenance taken care of for you.


There’s nothing like knowing that if the power goes out in a storm, you’re safe and sound with all the power you need. No more digging around in a shed or garage during a lightning or ice storm and running long extension cords during bad weather.


Just get standby generators ready before the season and you’re set!


Get the Generator You Need Locally

No matter whether you choose portable or standby generators, it’s worthwhile to shop your local Little Rock businesses. When you come to Northside Power, we can not only get you the unit you need, but we back up our sales with personalized service.


We’re in town, so you can hold us accountable for our sales and follow-up service calls. If you need maintenance, call us – we’ll be here. No long holds and wait times to talk to someone in another state.


Are you ready to get the generator you need before the next big storm hits? Contact us today to explore your options!