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Compare prices and reviews of solar providers near you online. Whole home inverter generator

Compare prices and reviews of solar providers near you online. Whole home inverter generator

    That’s why savvy homeowners invest in the Rebel Solar Generator. providing 120V/240V of off-grid support to power their entire home.

    Free from the loud noise levels, high fuel expenses, and carbon monoxide risks of gas generators, the Rebel offers a full spectrum of customizations such as battery capacity, output, solar panels, and wind turbine controls. You can even plug and play your own batteries and solar panels. The Rebel Solar Generator is perfect for homes, RV’s, cabins, well pumps and any other 240V or 120V applications.

    Made right here in the USA, the Rebel brings heavy-duty, premium quality to your home that’s ready immediately upon delivery. In turn, homeowners can count on greater power input output, functionality, and durability than the Rebel’s flimsy and lightweight competitors.

    All the while, the Rebel’s modular design means simple part replacements and easy additions for more solar panel or battery connections.

    Whether you’re looking to stay prepared for anything or are in need of a long-term, off-grid solution, the Rebel offers uncompromising peace of mind. Not to mention, the Rebel ensures immediate ROI by cutting down grid spending during peak hours.

    When it comes to your family’s safety and wellbeing, gas generators and cheap imported solar generators simply miss the mark. Only the Rebel delivers the features that matter with the dependability you need.

    Order now to make this the last season your home was left unprepared.

    Winner of the 2022 Best Solar Generator Award from the American Wind Solar Association!

    Features

    • Totally Plug and Play: No crimping, splicing, or extra wiring needed. Easily connects to your home’s breaker box via a transfer switch (optional).
    • 120V and 240V outlets, The same familiar connections as a typical gas generator
    • Weatherproof and outdoor rated. Exterior connections are waterproof and designed for outdoor use. The Rebel is designed to live outside 24/7/365.
    • Totally modular:
    • Exterior post terminals for connecting as many additional batteries as you need. Use our lithium batteries or use your own batteries.
    • Easily add multiple solar panels to speed up charging.
    • Car charger and faster wall chargers available for purchase. Integrated 240V AC charger included as standard.
    • Expandable: Add batteries as you go

    All models except the 3000W include the 240V AC charger.

    Electrical / Software features

    Low frequency inverter:

    The Rebel features a low frequency inverter. Low frequency inverters are extra heavy duty. They use powerful transformers (lots of copper!) which makes them more reliable and sturdier than the cheap high frequency inverter’s MOSFETs. MOSFETs use electronic switching and are more prone to damage, particularly at high power levels.

    • Low frequency inverters have a much higher tolerance for harsh and humid environments, making our solar generators ideal for use in emergency situations. Plus, our Rebel’s inverter has conformal coating on the PCB, further reducing the potential water/moisture damage to the electronics.
    • Low frequency inverters have a higher surge output than high frequency inverters. (300% surge versus typical 200%) For example: The 4,000W Rebel has a 12,000W surge rating.
    • The surge rating of 300% is for a full 20 seconds! Almost all solar generators except the Rebel have a surge rating of about 10 milliseconds to 2 seconds.

    All models except the 3000W include the low frequency inverter.

    For TONS more options and customizations, check out our beta features and generator accessories.

    Rebel Advanced Features

    The Rebel Advanced Features are not intended for beginners or novice users. However, all it takes is a little bit of reading and some patience to become an advanced user. The following features can be accessed on all Rebel Solar Generators. They are described in detail in the Rebel Inverter Manual, but feel free to ask us if you have any questions.

    • Automatic transfer switch operation: This is similar to a conventional UPS (Uninterrupted Power Supply) used with computers and electronics. This requires the Rebel’s 240VAC input AND240VAC output to be continuously connected to your home or building. Note: The Rebel’s Input is sometimes referred to as Shore power or shore connection. With this feature enabled, your home or building will continuously run on power from the grid until the grid goes down. Within 8 milliseconds of the grid going down, power will be transferred to the Rebel’s inverter/battery off-grid system only. Visit Rebel Inverter Manual section 2.5.5 for more details.
    • Gas Generator Auto-start for backup charging: (Only works with gas generators that have auto-start function). When the Rebel’s battery voltage drops to 10.0V DC (21.0V DC on 24V models), the Rebel will send a signal to start your gas generator. The gas generator will remain on until the batteries are fully charged. This allows you to maximize your free solar/wind power, but still have the reliability and dependability of a gas generator. The auto-start feature is completely automatic, so no more waking up in the middle of the night to start up the generator! Visit Rebel Inverter Manual section 2.5.13 for more details.

    Combining these two features equips your home or business with the most cutting-edge backup power system available on the market. The system takes advantage of the best of both worlds; free and reliable solar power as primary, but still the option of falling back on traditional gas generator power. These two advanced features (along with Rebel’s other features) will provide a fully automatic backup system that you will never have to think about!

    All models except the 3,000W include the above-mentioned advanced features

    Specifications

    Pure sine, split phase (240V AC and 120V AC)

    Inverter rated power output:

    Continuous output:

    Surge output:

    Maximum solar panel input open circuit voltage (VOC rating on your solar panel label): 100V DC

    Maximum solar panel input power:

    (UPGRADEABLE)

    3,000W / 4,000W / 6,000W Models: 1,200W (40A @ 24V) Max solar input

    8kW / 12kW Models: 2,400W (80A @ 24V) Max solar input

    18kW Model: 2,880W (60A @ 48V) Max solar input

    Maximum 240V input charging power:

    Standard feature but not required to use the Rebel. (240V charging can be from the grid, a Level 2 EV charger, a gas 240V generator, or another Rebel Solar Generator. )

    Please note: This feature is North American 240V only, not 120V. For 120V charging, see wall chargers.

    Rebel version:

    240V input charging power:

    3,000W / 4,000W / 6,000W models: (1) Solar panel connector pair

    8kW / 12kW Models: (2) Solar panel connector pair

    18kW Model: (4) Solar panel connector pair

    • Battery hookup cables (with 3/8 ring terminals)
    • 1 x 30A 240VAC/1PH/60HZ Input, NEMA L14-30P (Accepts 240V grid / 240V gas generator)
    • 1 x Pair input/output heavy duty and universal 3/8” post terminals for connecting wall charger (optional), external batteries or devices
    • 1 x 30A 240VAC/1PH/60HZ Output (Standard North American Split Phase 240V), NEMA L14-30R
    • 3 x 3-prong outlets, 15A max, Waterproof household 110/120VAC/1PH/60HZ wired with heavy duty 12AWG wire
    • 1 x 12V socket, 30A (360W max output), protected by circuit breaker
    • 1 x Pair input/output heavy duty and universal 3/8” post terminals for connecting wall charger (optional), external batteries or devices

    (1) USB-C PD (1) USB-A QC 3.0: 18W Max. Output Power (5V@3.4A, 9V@2A, 12V@1.5A)

    • Supports DCP (BC1.2, Apple, Samsung)
    • Supports Qualcomm Quick Charge Protocol QC2.0 and QC3.0
    • Supports Samsung Fast Charge Protocol AFC

    Operating temperature range (Not including batteries):

    (With fans on, tested 60dB at 3ft)

    • Models over 150lbs will ship freight with residential drop off free of charge within the continental US.

    Battery chemistry compatibility:

    Cutting Edge Power Lithium 7S or 14SDeep Cycle Lead Acid Flooded Lead Acid Sealed Lead Acid (SLA) Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) / Gel Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4)

    Complete solar generator: 5 years

    Solar charge controller: 5 years

    Lithium Battery (If equipped): 5 years

    There is no limit to the capacity of batteries you can use with the Rebel Solar Generator. When ordered, the lithium batteries you selected will be factory installed in the Rebel housing. If you ordered more batteries than this table shows, they will be shipped loose and will be ready to plug and play with the Rebel.

    Background

    An introduction to solar generators and Cutting Edge Power:

    Solar generators are an excellent investment for hurricane / natural disaster preparation, backup power for your home, camping, tailgating, medical devices, refrigerators, air conditioners, construction equipment and tools, CPAP machines and more. Future maintenance of Cutting Edge Power products is easy with simple hand tools and off-the-shelf parts, unlike some solar generators that are worthless if one component fails. Designed in America and professionally wired in Houston, TX so you can rest assured you’ll have the best performing solar generator available.

    Featuring our new high performance solar charge controllers, these solar generators can be used with virtually any battery on earth. Installing your own batteries is super easy: Just connect the supplied 5/16” ring terminal wires to your battery’s posts.

    Cutting Edge Power lithium battery packs are welded, assembled and tested in Houston, TX. Even better, our lithium batteries are factory-installed when purchased with a solar generator. Our lithium batteries provide about 450% lifetime and 100% run time over traditional lead acid batteries. Plus, they’re about half the size.

    about our lithium batteries

    SAFE. COMPATIBLE. POWERFUL.

    Cutting Edge Power’s wind and solar lithium-ion battery modules are the best way to pack more power and run time into a smaller space. Leveraging the amazing performance of our lithium cells and the resulting smaller footprint, our battery modules provide up to 450% lifetime and 100% run time over traditional batteries!

    The cells are imported from the most reputable cell manufacturers in the world that also supply Tesla and other high performance companies. Cells are arranged in plastic holders. These plastic holders are a custom in-house design and they’re made in our shop. The cells are then welded together using a special machine designed and built by Cutting Edge Power! The plastic holders are then assembled and mounted inside your solar generator. All of this is done in Houston, TX.

    Each cell array is continuously monitored by redundant Battery Management Systems (BMS), not just one like most battery manufacturers. If one module were to go out, you would still have the remaining modules in operation. The multiple BMS systems protect all cells against overcharging, overdischarging, as well as overcurrent. They also equalize all the cell voltages and keep the pack running cool.

    #2: COMPATIBLE.

    PERFECT FOR SOLAR OR WIND TURBINE CHARGING.

    Our lithium battery modules will be factory installed in any Cutting Edge Power solar generator when purchased together. Adding a lithium batteries to an existing Cutting Edge Power solar generator is as easy as ordering a pizza with our custom drop downs.

    We call them modules, because our entire solar generator product line is modular. We understand sometimes you need testing before you know how many batteries you need. battery modules can easily be added later and it only takes about 5 minutes.

    We don’t believe in proprietary connectors or special permanent installations. No other connection or additional assembly on your part is required! Terminals on our battery modules allow you to quickly and easily replace old batteries. You can even replace our batteries with a different type or manufacturer!

    Why are they so small, what’s the catch?

    compare, reviews, solar, online, whole

    Our battery cells were pioneered by the auto industry so they have a high energy density in order to keep cars lightweight and extend their range. This means a smaller battery pack can have up to 2x the run time as a standard SLA battery. Combining the small size and higher energy density, our batteries will maximize your run time in a compact solar generator!

    DIYers love our lithium batteries for the small footprint, cool operating temperatures and high energy density!

    Only our lithium batteries provide about 450% lifetime and 100% run time over traditional lead acid batteries. Plus, they can do this in about half the size!

    Compared with traditional batteries, Cutting Edge Power lithium ion batteries have a higher run time, higher cycle lifetime, better power density and charge faster. They also weigh less than LiFePO4 and a single module can even provide a higher discharge rate than multiple SLA or LiFePO4 batteries! In wind and solar applications, our lithium batteries have proven to be superior against lead acid, NiCd, AND lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4) batteries.

    Can a home with solar panels use a generator?

    One of the biggest misconceptions about solar panels is that they’ll keep your house running when utility power goes out. However, contrary to popular belief, solar panels actually can’t send electricity to your house when the grid is out.

    compare, reviews, solar, online, whole

    Why? Well, it’s a safety thing. Grid-tied solar panels send electricity to utility lines, and if they aren’t shut off during a power outage, they would continue to send electricity, posing a threat to utility workers fixing the lines. That means, in order to prevent any harm, your solar panels go out when the grid does.

    So if you want your lights to stay on when the rest of your neighborhood goes dark, you need a backup plan. The good news is, homes with solar panels can be connected to gas-powered generators, but how it works can be a bit tricky.

    On this page

    Find out how much you can save monthly by installing solar

    How do gas-powered generators work?

    Before we get into how generators and solar work together, let’s go over some basics about whole-home backup generators. Often referred to as ‘standby generators’, these large generators are able to backup entire homes for extended periods of time. Some popular standby generator manufacturers include Generac, Kohler, and Cummins.

    The generator’s automatic transfer switch, or ATS, is able to detect a power outage and then immediately switches your home’s power source from the grid to the generator. There are multiple types of whole-home generators that run on different types of fossil fuels, including natural gas, gasoline, diesel, and propane.

    Do solar panels and generators work together?

    Here’s the deal. even if you have a standby generator hooked up to your home, your solar panels aren’t going to turn on when the grid is down. Unfortunately, you cannot run your home with both solar power and generator power at the same time.

    In other words, the generator and the solar panels cannot operate parallel to one another.

    Like we said earlier, solar panels send feedback to the grid, creating a dangerous scenario for utility repair workers. Similarly, if the panels remained on, they would send feedback to the generator and thereby cause damage to the generator, the solar system, or both. Plus, the energy generators produce isn’t powerful enough to boot up most solar inverters anyway.

    This doesn’t mean you can’t have a standby generator if you have solar, or that you can’t get solar if you already have a standby generator installed. There are many homes that have both solar panels and generators, especially when it comes to off-grid systems.

    The panels and generator just need to be wired properly so that the two won’t interfere with one another. Your solar installer or a certified electrician will be able to help you figure out the best (and safest) way to do this.

    Is a standby generator or solar battery system better for you?

    Instead of buying a generator, you can install a solar battery to provide backup power to your home in the event of an outage. Whether a generator or a solar battery is best for you really depends on the reasons why you want to install a backup system in the first place.

    A standby generator is best if you live somewhere that regularly experiences multi-day power outages and you want to be able to power your entire home, as generators offer more power than a solar battery can. Generators also tend to be cheaper than a solar battery storage system.

    If you’re looking to have access to emergency backup power for a day or two that can power your most important loads (like your fridge, lights, and wall outlets to charge electronic devices), and you also want to reduce your day-to-day reliance on the utility, then a solar battery is a better choice.

    Another benefit to solar batteries is that you can use them daily to maximize the amount of solar energy your home uses. Plus, a battery can keep your solar panels running when the grid is down. something a generator cannot do.

    You can maximize your home’s resilience against power outages by installing both a solar battery and a standby generator. Much like with solar panels, a generator and battery cannot power your home at the same time. When the power goes out, the solar battery will power your home first until it is depleted. Then the generator will kick in.

    Below, solar expert William White discusses pairing solar generators and batteries with solar systems.

    Do you really even need backup power with your solar panels?

    For most homeowners, installing backup power with your solar panels probably isn’t necessary. It costs thousands of dollars and most places in the U.S. have a fairly stable utility grid.

    It’s a different story for those who do live somewhere with unreliable access to grid power. If your area experiences regular blackouts due to extreme weather events, or if you live in a more rural area, then backup power isn’t such a bad idea. You can choose either a standby generator or a solar battery, but which one is better really depends on how you want to use your backup source.

    Even though a battery or a generator doesn’t always make sense for a home, installing solar panels is a different story. In most parts of the country, installing solar panels has a substantial financial benefit for homeowners and lets you run your home on clean, renewable energy.

    You can use our solar panel calculator to understand what kind of savings a solar system can provide you, and what installation solar companies are offering in your area.

    Find out if installing battery storage is worth it where you live

    Key takeaways

    • Solar panels do not work during power outages, so homeowners need a backup power supply if they want to run their home without the utility.
    • Gas generators are the most popular form of backup power and can be installed at a home that has solar panels.
    • Even if you have a standby generator, your solar panels will remain off during a power outage.
    • If you want your solar panels to stay on during a power outage, you need to install a solar battery, which adds considerable costs to a solar installation.
    • You can install both a solar battery and a solar generator with your solar panels if you want to maximize the amount of backup power available to you.

    Catherine Lane

    Written Content Manager

    Catherine is the Written Content Manager at SolarReviews. She has been researching and writing about the residential solar industry for four years. Her work has appeared in Solar Today Magazine and Solar Builder Magazine, and has been cited by publications like Forbes and Bloomberg.

    Everything you need to know about buying a backup generator

    Standby vs. portable generators: Which is best for your home?

    Credit: Getty Images / JodiJacobson

    Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases made through the links below may earn us and our publishing partners a commission.

    Nothing makes us more aware of our dependence on electricity than a sudden blackout. You’re sitting alone in a dark room, mind abuzz with questions about how to handle your predicament. When was the last time you saved that project you were just working on? Do you even have candles, and where are they? Should you check for news, or does it make more sense to conserve your phone’s remaining battery life for an emergency? How long do you have to wait until it’s socially acceptable to eat all your ice cream?

    A combination of increasingly violent weather and aging infrastructure has been steadily amping up the severity and frequency of power outages for decades now—and there’s no sign that trend is changing. If you’re looking to keep your home running through a blackout, a generator is your best bet. As with most cases, however, it’s important to choose the right tool for the job. And, in this case, the best solution for your budget.

    Choosing the right type of generator

    Before you can ask, what size generator do I need, you need to ask what type of generator best suits your needs. There are four types of backup generators, each with their own unique list of pros and cons. For example, a standby generator keeps your whole home powered, but it’s an expensive proposition. There are other, less expensive options that can help take the edge off an outage.

    Standby generators: Expensive but strong backup for the whole house

    Standby generators aren’t portable, but they’re the best and most automatic way to keep your home running during an outage. But they’re a significant investment.

    Also referred to as stationary or whole-house generators, these units run on either propane or natural gas and can efficiently power your entire home.

    If the only reason you’re buying a generator is to provide total coverage during a power outage, a standby generator is your best bet—but it won’t come cheap. In addition to the high cost of the unit itself, you also need to factor in the price of on-site installation. While it’s impossible to determine the total bill up front, a good rule of thumb is to anticipate that installation will run you about twice the price of the generator itself.

    Portable generators: Affordable and effective

    Portable generators can be moved from place to place and can power your entire home, though they’re best used as a short-term solution.

    Unlike standbys, portable generators are comparatively affordable, but they often require much more work.

    These devices usually run on gasoline (although there are models that use liquid propane, natural gas, or diesel fuel) and have the advantage of being mobile. This means that you can take them along to job sites, where they can be effective for powering everything from tools to lights and more.

    The advantage of portability does have its downside: These devices are often extremely loud and significantly less energy efficient than a standby generator. You also have to maintain a level of safety, and never run a portable generator in the house.

    Inverter generators: Easy electricity on the go

    Inverter generators like this one are typically less noisy than other portable generators, but often can’t output enough energy to power a whole house.

    Looking for a quieter generator that you can take along to a campsite? Inverter generators are the way to go.

    This subset of portable generators runs on gas or propane and can be transported from place to place. They are also far more lightweight and quiet than standard portables.

    With more sophisticated engines allowing for greater energy efficiency, inverters are ideal for juicing up everything from lights and air conditioners to electronics, smartphones, and more. That being said, inverters are better suited for a long camping trip than they are powering a house full of appliances.

    Portable power stations: A quick fix for your smartphone—but not much else

    Portable power stations are can keep all your electronics online for quite a while, but aren’t powerful enough to keep most large appliances up and running.

    If you don’t have the resources necessary for one of the generators we’ve already mentioned, but at the very least want to make sure you always have the use of your phone during a power outage, a portable power station is a good compromise.

    These devices don’t burn fuel at all, and they are more like large, rechargeable batteries that you plug in. They might lack the raw power and longevity you can get from other types of generators, but they’ll keep your laptop and smartphone going during emergencies.

    Powering your entire house: Standby vs. portable generators

    One of the most common reasons people research generators is because they’re looking to power their whole home in the case of a power outage. If that’s the case, your options basically boil down to a standby or portable generator—an inverter could power your refrigerator, but not much else, and a power station won’t even keep your ice cream from melting (though you will be able to tweet about it).

    Portable generators

    If you only have short outages, are on a tight budget, or want a generator for multiple purposes, a portable unit might be the right choice.

    • Typically cost between 500 and 1,500
    • Can be moved and set up at different locations
    • Its exhaust presents a carbon monoxide poisoning hazard—needs to be set up outside, away from the house, and therefore might additionally require weatherproof casing
    • Requires more manual operation and monitoring
    • frequent fuel refills
    • Not well-suited for days-long outages—typically more of a short-term solution

    Standby generators

    If you have long, frequent outages and don’t mind paying more for a fully-automatic system, a standby generator makes a lot more sense.

    • The unit and installation typically costs between 10,000 and 20,000
    • Wired directly into you home’s electrical system, so it can’t be relocated
    • Requires less manual operation, often none at all
    • Comes in weatherproof, insulated casing that makes it run much more quietly
    • Typically uses a propane tank (can operate for weeks without refueling) or natural gas (doesn’t require refueling at all)

    Manual or automatic? How your transfer switch affects your generator experience

    Regardless of which type of generator you choose, it’ll need to be routed through a transfer switch first. Transfer switches are a relatively deep topic in and of themselves, but, in general, you’ll need to choose between a manual and an automatic system.

    A portable generator plugs into your house via an inlet box, while a standby generator is wired directly into the system. Either way, they’ll connect to a transfer switch first.

    While portable generators are typically paired with a manual transfer switch, and a standby generator installation often comes bundled with an automatic transfer switch, the generator type is independent from the type of transfer switch—and the type of transfer switch greatly affects how you interact with your generator.

    A manual transfer switch is significantly cheaper to purchase and install, but it requires manual activation during a power outage. You’ll also need to manually switch back to utility power once the outage is over, which means either monitoring the utility line itself or keeping an eye on your provider’s website for updates. As an additional bit of upkeep, you’ll need to run your home off the generator once every month or so to keep everything in working order.

    Does this all sound like too much work? Then an automatic switch is for you. They’re more expensive to install and maintain (continuously checking the incoming line for outages does use a small, consistent amount of electricity), but it typically automates all of the steps outlined above.

    A fully automated system will recognize fluctuations in power and swap over to your generator. Once the fluctuations cease, it will switch back to the utility line and power down the generator.

    The system detects any outages, swaps between the utility line and the generator when required, and then swaps back again and powers down the generator once the incoming electricity is stable.

    Additionally, the generator’s monthly maintenance can be scheduled to occur on a date and time of your choosing—even activated manually via a smartphone app. Of course, if you’re pairing an automatic transfer switch with a portable generator, some of the process can’t be automated: You’ll still have to manually set up the generator outside and plug it into the inlet box, then turn it off and put it back in storage once the power is back on.

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    were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.

    Home Generator Buying Guide

    If you are looking to keep your lights on during an outage, here’s what you need to consider when comparing home generators.

    Erin Gobler is a personal finance writer based in Madison, Wisconsin. She writes about topics including budgeting, student loans, credit, mortgages, investing and insurance. Her work has been published in financial publications and startups such as NextAdvisor, The Simple Dollar, LendingTree, Robinhood and more.

    Power outages and blackouts are inconvenient and dangerous. Home generator can help.

    Whether you need a fridge running to keep medicine cold or you just don’t want to deal with the interruption, you might turn to a backup generator ( or a backup battery ) to get you through a power outage.

    Generators aren’t a one-size-fits-all solution, so you’ll want to have a clear understanding of your needs and the features of a generator that best fit them. Below we have the important questions and answers you’ll want to consider as well as an overview of the safety considerations.

    If you’re looking for other options, consider the advancements in home backup batteries. When paired with solar panels. they can keep the lights on for days.

    What is a home generator?

    A generator is an appliance that can supply electricity for your home, your business or when you’re on the go. Despite what the name implies, generators don’t actually create electricity. Instead, they take another form of energy and convert it into electricity.

    Generators can be used to provide backup power to your home or business when there’s an outage due to inclement weather, downed power lines or any other hazards. They can also be used to provide power on the go, such as when you’re camping or traveling in an RV.

    Safety concerns

    Before choosing a generator, it’s important to understand the safety considerations involved. Like anything that produces exhaust, generators can result in carbon monoxide poisoning if you aren’t careful. To learn more about the safety considerations of generators, we spoke to Christopher Haas, a licensed master electrician and owner of Haas Sons Electric.

    Never run the generator in enclosed spaces, as they produce exhaust no different than your car or power tools and, that’s not good for anyone due to CO poisoning, Haas said. Even so, we recommend a portable CO detector to be certain exhaust doesn’t find its way to your living quarters. These can be purchased easily online for infrequent use, but I recommend installing CO detectors in your home anyways, so place a wall unit near your garage year-round.

    Underwriters Laboratories also provides a comprehensive overview of the potential safety hazards associated with portable generators. The UL guide includes a specific certification, UL 2201, to look for to ensure your model meets the requirements for carbon monoxide mitigation, though you still need to take the precautions spelled out above.

    UL 2201 has requirements that limit the active CO emissions coming from the portable generator. It also has a shutoff requirement for additional protection if the product is sensing a high output of CO, according to UL.

    Types of generators

    When it comes to choosing a generator, you’ll first have to narrow down the type of generator you want. The primary types are portable generators, inverter generators and standby generators.

    Portable generator

    A portable generator, as the name suggests, is one that’s easily portable. These generators often have wheels, making them easy to move around to deliver electricity anywhere. Even smaller models may be handheld rather than on wheels, making them even more mobile. Portable generators usually run on gasoline and tend to be more affordable than standby generators.

    Inverter generator

    An inverter generator is similar to a portable generator in that it’s smaller and easier to transport. But inverter generators tend to be even lighter than a standard portable generator. They are also quieter, which can make them suitable for a wider range of activities, including camping and other activities.

    Inverter generators and standard portable generators differ in the type of electricity they produce, the amount of power they can generate, their portability, their noise level and their price. Inverter generators tend to be more expensive and produce less power, but are more portable, quieter and produce fewer emissions.

    Standby generator

    A standby generator is a more permanent solution than a portable generator. It’s larger and considerably more expensive. Rather than being easily transported, it’s permanently installed at your home or business. When your power goes out, the standby generator automatically turns on to continue providing power. Rather than gasoline, standby generators are often fueled by propane, and can also be powered by natural gas.

    According to Haas, the licensed electrician we spoke with, standby generators eliminate many of the safety concerns associated with portable generators. And while they’re most expensive, it could be an option if safety is your top priority.

    How much do generators cost?

    The cost of a generator can span from hundreds to thousands of dollars, with standby generators being the most expensive of all. For a standby generator, you can expect to pay at least 2,000 for your unit, and possibly more than 10,000. In the case of portable generators, you could pay anywhere from just a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars. The good news is that they are easily purchased.- you can find them at just about any home improvement store, including Home Depot, Lowe’s, Ace Hardware and more.

    What to consider when comparing home generators

    There’s a lot to consider when buying a generator. Below, we’ll talk about some of the most important considerations that can help you make your decision.

    Power requirements

    One of the most important considerations when choosing a generator is the amount of power you need. You can likely answer this question by considering what you’ll be using the generator for. Portable generators produce less power and may be suitable for powering a few small things. On the other hand, a standby generator could power your entire home.

    When weighing the options for a generator, you need to consider and tally what appliances you consider mandatory for the continuation of services. Haas said. A refrigerator needs about 600 watts, your sump pump (helpful for flood-prone regions) needs about 1,300 to 2,150 watts to start and about 800 to 1,000 watts to run. For those in winter regions, a portable heater may need up to 1,500 watts. Small devices like our phones charging only require 10 watts, so they’re not a concern compared to the big appliances that you’ll have to factor in and gauge what’s right for your needs.

    Common uses

    It’s not just about how much power you need your generator to produce, but also what you’ll be using it for. Choosing a generator to power your home in an outage is very different from choosing one to take on a camping trip. As we mentioned, standby generators are installed permanently at your home and provide backup electricity during an outage. A portable generator, on the other hand, can be taken with you on the go. For even more portability, you might choose an inverter generator that is lighter and makes less noise.

    Fuel source

    There are generally three different ways you can fuel your generator. The choices available to you will depend on the type of generator you choose and the specific model. First, gasoline is most often used to fuel portable generators. Propane can be used to fuel both standby generators and portable generators. Finally, natural gas can be used to fuel standby generators, but isn’t available for portable generators.

    Budget

    The generator you choose will also ultimately depend on your budget. Remember that standby generators are more expensive, while portable generators are generally more affordable.

    Other features

    There are many features you can find with a generator. Before choosing the right model for you, consider which features are most important to you and which you can live without. Here are a few features to look out for in generators:

    • Automatic CO shutoff: This safety feature automatically shuts off your generator if it detects a dangerous level of gas building up. This feature is important to ensuring your and your family’s safety.
    • Electric start: Rather than requiring you to pull-start the engine, an electric start simply requires that you push a button to start your generator.
    • Automatic start: If your generator is intended to power your home in a power outage, you may want an automatic start. It will automatically turn on your generator if your home’s power goes off.
    • Fuel gauge: When your generator has a fuel gauge, you can easily glance at it to see how much gasoline or propane is left so you know when it’s time to refuel.
    • Multiple outlets: Having multiple outlets on your portable generator allows you to plug in multiple items or appliances and spread the wattage use out.
    • Low-oil shutoff: This feature protects your generator from damage by automatically turning it off if the oil dips below a certain level.

    Maintaining your generator

    No matter what generator you choose, it’s important that you regularly maintain it. Not only will regular maintenance ensure that it runs its best when you need it, but it will also be necessary to use your generator safely.

    You have to service these generators annually so if you need them in an emergency you can rely on them in an emergency, Haas said.

    First, it’s important that you check and change the oil in your generator. It’s recommended that you check the oil before using it and change the oil every 100 hours or so (though it should be earlier for a new generator). While you’re checking the oil, also take the time to check the filters and the spark plug to ensure they’re in good shape.

    Next, avoid letting your generator sit for too long of periods without being used. Running your generator helps to burn off moisture and recharge the battery. And when you aren’t planning to use it for more than a few weeks, it should be run dry so it’s not sitting with fuel in the lines. Finally, be sure to store your generator properly in a way that it’s protected.

    You shouldn’t store your generator outdoors, but if you had to, please don’t operate it with any sort of green debris on it, Haas said. Dead leaves, pine needles, and more can find their way into the unit and when it fires up they can lead to fires.

    The bottom line

    There’s a lot to consider when choosing the right generator. But when you take into consideration all of the information above, you’ll have an easier time narrowing down the right generator type and model for you. If a generator is too noisy. you might opt for a portable power station.

    The Home Generator Buyer’s Guide: Types, Price, Fuel Sources, and

    With power outages and rolling blackouts on the rise in many parts of the country, some homeowners are taking things into their own hands and purchasing home generators to give them peace of mind. Home generators can be used as a backup power source or simply to reduce reliance on the power grid.

    But before you run to Home Depot to buy a portable generator. it’s important to do your research and choose one with the power generation capacity you need.

    Here’s everything you need to know about home generators, including how much they cost, which fuel sources they use, and how much power they can generate.

    What Are the 3 Types of Home Generators?

    Home generators vary widely in terms of size, power capacity, and fuel type. Here are the three most common types of generators you’ll find for home use.

    Home Standby Generators

    Home standby generators. also called whole home generators, are the most powerful generators you can buy for home use.

    Whole house generators are designed to power your entire home. including your air conditioner. water heater. kitchen appliances, and more.

    The downside to whole house generators is that they’re expensive, and they require a lot of space to install. On the plus side, they can connect directly to your existing gas line and provide reliable standby power in the case of an emergency.

    Portable Generators

    Portable generators are exactly as described: they’re small and easy to move so you don’t have to worry about an expensive installation process.

    Most portable generators have wheels and are small enough to fit in the back of a car or truck, which means you can take them to a campground or worksite. You can plug power tools and other small appliances directly into the generator.

    Portable generators usually run on gas or propane and they’re much cheaper than a whole home generator. Of course, they don’t produce anywhere near as much power so they aren’t as useful in an emergency as a home backup generator. Still, they can keep the lights on during a short-term power outage.

    Inverter Generators

    The third type of home generator is called an inverter generator. This type of generator produces a different type of current that’s stable enough to charge electronic devices like phones and laptops.

    Inverter generators have several benefits: they’re quieter than standard generators and they use less fuel. They’re also available in both portable and full-size units.

    However, they can’t be used for large appliances, and you’ll need to set them up at least 20 feet from the nearest building to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.

    What Type of Fuel Do Home Generators Use?

    Another thing to consider is which type of fuel you want your generator to use. Some types of fuel are cheaper and more energy-efficient than others, but they may not be readily available when you need it. Here are the four most common fuel sources for home generators and some things to keep in mind about each.

    Gasoline

    Gas-powered generators are convenient and affordable. Most of the time, gasoline is a plentiful fuel source. But can go up and down over time and there may be limited availability when you need it most—such as during a natural disaster.

    The other downside is that gas produces significant carbon emissions and contributes to air pollution inside and outside your home.

    If you choose a gas generator, be sure to store some gasoline in an airtight container that you can use in an emergency.

    Diesel

    efficient than gasoline generators, diesel generators are a better fit for homes in extreme environments since they can handle winter temperatures. They’re only practical as whole home generators, though, since they aren’t very portable.

    Although they cost more than gas generators, you may save money in the long run due to their longer lifespan and lower operating costs.

    Natural Gas

    Natural gas generators are some of the most efficient home generators you can buy. In many cases, you can connect the generator directly to your gas line. so you don’t have to worry about keeping spare fuel canisters on hand.

    Of course, if the electricity and natural gas go out, as they did during the 2021 winter storm in Texas. your backup generator won’t do you any good.

    Still, for some homeowners. a natural gas generator may be worth the higher sticker price and maintenance costs.

    Solar

    Finally, there are solar generators, which use energy from the sun to produce electricity. You can install solar panels on your roof to power a whole home standby generator. or use portable solar panels to power a portable generator.

    Solar energy is a renewable energy source so this is the best generator available from an environmental perspective. However, solar panels can be expensive to install and they may not produce enough electricity when you need it most.

    Solar generators work best when they’re paired with a home energy storage device, such as a battery pack, so you can store excess power.

    Is a Home Generator Worth It?

    Whether or not a home generator is worth it depends on where you live and how likely you are to use it. If you live in a region with frequent power outages or blackouts. then having a backup generator can give you peace of mind.

    A backup generator can ensure that important appliances continue running, including your refrigerator, air conditioning unit, space heaters. and sump pump.

    Even if you don’t live in an area with frequent power outages. having a portable power station can be convenient for working outdoors or going on camping trips.

    Of course, home generators are expensive, and they aren’t right for everyone. You’ll need enough space in your yard to install it, and you may need to keep some spare gasoline canisters or propane tanks on hand.

    If power outages aren’t a major concern for you, then maybe you don’t need a whole home backup generator and a small portable generator will do.

    What Kind of Generator Is Best for Home Use?

    Natural gas and solar generators are the best choice when it comes to fuel-efficiency and reliability, but they cost more to install and maintain. You’ll need a whole home generator if you want to power all of your appliances.

    An automatic transfer switch can turn the generator on as soon as the power goes out, so there aren’t any gaps in the electricity supply. Some models even support remote monitoring. so you can check the status of your generator over Wi-Fi.

    Portable generators are cheap and convenient, but they have a smaller power output. Plus, you’ll have to start them manually and it can take time for them to kick in.

    If your generator is meant to power electronic devices, such as a computer server, you may need an inverter generator or uninterruptible power supply.

    How Much Does It Cost to Have a Generator Installed In Your House?

    If you’re considering a home generator, you’ll want to hire a professional electrician to install it. They’ll install a transfer switch to connect it to your main electrical panel so you don’t have to plug things into the generator with an extension cord.

    According to News World Report. the cost of a professional installation can be anywhere from 3,000 to 5,000 for a whole home generator. The total cost of buying and installing the generator ranges between 10,000 and 20,000.

    If you’re on a budget, you can purchase a portable generator for as little as 200 but this may not be enough to supply all of your power needs.

    What Size Generator Do You Need to Power a House?

    When determining what size generator you need, calculate the wattage of the appliances that you want to power with it. At the low end, a 5,000-watt generator should be enough to handle your basic home energy needs.

    If you have an especially large house or a large number of appliances, then consider a larger home generator—up to 20,000 watts.

    A central air conditioning unit alone can use several thousand watts, so do the math and make sure your appliances won’t overwork your generator.

    Where Should You Put a Whole House Generator?

    Home generators can produce toxic emissions like carbon monoxide so it’s important to keep them outdoors away from doors and Windows. Current guidelines recommend placing them at least five feet away from any openings and 18 inches away from any walls.

    Portable generators should be placed even further away and never operated indoors. even in spaces with plenty of ventilation.

    How Long Do Whole House Generators Last?

    With proper maintenance, whole house generators have a lifespan of up to 3,000 hours. They should last for 20 years or more if you only use it a handful of days each year.

    Is There a Tax Credit for a Whole House Generator?

    No, there’s currently no tax credit simply for installing a whole house generator. If you’re installing a home generator out of medical necessity, then you may be able to deduct it as a qualified medical expense so ask a tax professional.

    If you’re installing a system with solar panels. then you may be eligible for a tax credit under the Residential Energy Efficient Property Credit.

    The state of California has proposed offering tax credits for backup generators installed in a “ wildfire zone ,” but this hasn’t yet been enacted.

    How Much Do Home Generators Cost?

    Cheap portable generators start at 200 while whole home generators can cost up to 20,000. A 5,000-10,000-watt generator (enough for a mid-sized home) should cost between 500 and 2,000, not including installation.

    What Do Home Generators Run On?

    Home generators can run on several different power sources. Gasoline, diesel, natural gas. and solar power are some of the most common sources.

    Who Installs Home Generators?

    Companies like Generac and Briggs Stratton have a network of retailers and partners that you can hire to install and maintain your generator. Both companies offer a five-year warranty by default, and you may be able to purchase an extended warranty.

    If you don’t purchase your generator through an official retailer, hire an electrician who has experience installing home generators and transfer switches.

    Which Home Generator Is Best?

    Home generators aren’t a one-size-fits-all power solution. The Generac Guardian Wi-Fi Enabled Standby Generator and the Briggs Stratton Automatic Air Cooled Standby Generator get consistently good reviews, but they may not be right for everyone.

    Consider how much backup power you need, how often you’re likely to use a standby generator, and which fuel source is most affordable or convenient.

    For portable generators. consider the Honda EG2800i Portable Inverter Generator or the Kohler PRO2.8i, which is great for recreational use.

    Who Should Get a Home Generator?

    If you live in a region that experiences rolling blackouts, wildfires, or adverse weather events, then a whole home generator can give you peace of mind that your appliances will continue to run in the event of a power outage.

    But a whole home generator can be expensive—not including installation fees—so a portable generator may be sufficient if you have fewer appliances or less urgent power needs.

    Be sure to choose the generator size, fuel type, and transfer switch that’s the best fit for your electrical system to get the best value for your money.

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