No lights? no tv? No fridge cold to keep your food from spoiling?
No big deal – if you have a backup power supply.
Many of us remember what it was like to have no electric power for an entire week after Hurricane Sandy hit in October 2012. Thousands of homeowners and apartment dwellers were also left in the dark during powerful thunderstorms that hit our area earlier this summer.
People without portable generators were fortunate or had to rely on neighbors or relatives for power.
If you’re thinking about planning ahead — before the next big storm arrives during this stormy summer and active hurricane season — here are portable generators to buy for your home. Most of them have been analyzed, tested and recommended by Popular Mechanics, and some have received high reviews from Amazon and The Home Depot customers.
Some of these generators are quite expensive, but they contain a lot of power. Others are smaller and less expensive, but can still keep a lot of electrical appliances running during outages.
Safety Tips for Using Generators
The most important things first. Here are some important safety tips from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, better known as FEMA (see graphic below), and advice from the American Red Cross.
“Don’t buy a generator now and wait until the power goes out to learn how to use it safely,” Popular Mechanics says. “Importantly, know that generators should always be used outdoors – the farther you are from your home, the better – due to the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning from the exhaust.”
The best portable generator
These are some of the best portable power generators on the market, based on recommendations from Popular Mechanics and consumer reviews on Amazon and Home Depot.
DuroMax XP12000EH Dual Fuel Electric Portable Generators
- price: $1199 to $1,640
- details: This model is one of the most powerful generators on the market. It has “dual fuel technology,” which means it can run on either propane or gasoline. The manufacturer says this unit can handle “heavy loads, from lights and refrigerator to home air conditioner and high current power tools.”
- NB: DuroMax also sells a smaller generator for $604.
Dewalt 7000 watt gasoline generator
- price: $999
- details: DeWalt, a subsidiary of Generac Power Products, says this generator is designed to save fuel and reduce noise. It starts at 8750 watts and runs at 7000 watts.
Champion Portable Generator 3800W Dual Fuel RV Ready For Electric Start
- price: $681.33
- details: This is another powerful generator powered by propane or gasoline. The manufacturer says that this unit can operate for up to nine hours on a full gas tank.
4000W Champion Backup Generator
- price: $674.99
- details: The manufacturer says this generator is 50% quieter and 20% lighter than a standard 3,500-watt alternator, and has a special feature that saves fuel and extends engine life.
Westinghouse WGen7500 المحمول Portable Generator
- price: 925 dollars
- details: This generator can run for up to 16 hours on a full tank of gas and features two outlets with earth fault circuit breakers, along with other outlets, according to the manufacturer.
WEN 56200i 2000-Watt Portable Inverter Generator
- price: $432
- details: The manufacturer describes this generator as “very quiet” and says that it can be useful not only during a power outage at home, but for camping or working on construction sites.
Goal Zero Yeti 1400 Lithium Portable Power Station
- price: 1,899.95 USD
- details: This generator is quite expensive, but it has been rated as the best battery powered generator by Popular Mechanics. The manufacturer says it can power a refrigerator, blender, television, lights, electrical appliances, and medical devices and can also charge phones, tablets, laptops, cameras, drones, and other devices. (Goal Zero also sells a less expensive model for $700.)
Honda EU2200i Portable Inverter Generator 2200W
- price: $1049
- details: The manufacturer says this generator is “ultra-quiet”, lightweight (weighing less than 47 pounds), and can deliver up to 2,200 watts of power for more than eight hours on just under one gallon of gas.
- NB: Honda Sells More Expensive Model for $1149.00
Briggs & Stratton Portable Gasoline Generator With Carbon Dioxide Guard ,Storm Responder 6250W
- price: $849
- details: The manufacturer says this gas-powered generator is “storm ready” and ideal for emergencies. The fuel tank holds 7.5 gallons of gasoline and can run up to 11 hours with a 50% load. This generator also has a carbon monoxide shutdown feature.
RYOBI Bluetooth 2,300 Ultra Quiet Gasoline Digital Inverter Generator Starting
- price: $599
- details: This top-rated generator starts with 2,300 watts of power and runs at 1,800 watts, says the manufacturer. It also runs clean and quiet and has bluetooth capability to allow users to monitor the generator on their phones.
DuroMax XP4850EH 3580-Watt Portable Alternator
- price: $499
- details: The manufacturer says this generator “can handle heavy loads, from lights and refrigerator to home air conditioner and high current power tools.” It also runs on either gasoline or propane.
- NB: DuroMax sells other portable generators that range in value from $329 to $2,800.
smaller power plants
Here are some small portable power units that are designed more for campers than homeowners, but can be used to power small appliances such as phones, laptops, fans, car vacuums, and small coolers.
- 240 project of Jackery المحمولة Portable Power Station ($249.99)
- PAXCESS Portable Power Station ($299.99)
Jackery also sells a smaller generator for $149.99 and a high-capacity generator for $499.00.
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