Every season there seems to be some extreme weather pattern that cause changes like extremely dry weather, droughts and extremely wet weather, flooding. Either instance is enough cause for investing in a portable generator. So the next extreme wind storm or hurricane that causes a blackout wont leave you down and out.
Not only can owning a generator be convenient for the occasional power outage, but it can help with home emergencies. For instance, imagine a house fire, consuming your home before the fire department can get there. That is what happened to me in March of 2006 in Montana.
Rebuilding took time, so from March to October we relied on the warm hearts of neighbors to prevent us from living out of our van. Then from October to the beginning of Spring, we relied on a heavy duty portable generator to supply us with enough power to keep selective appliances going. We researched and compiled a list of generators that would meet our needs and get us through a Montana winter in peace.
The following is a list of generators that caught our attention with more recent models included. These generators have customers as fully satisfied as we had been. Consumers that have been through tough situations as described previously as well as folks that know how to prepare for major power outages and post weather conditions.
Top Rated Portable Generator under $1000
The WH7500E Portable Generator courtesy of Westinghouse is a fully enclosed design to protect it from weather and debris with a pulse-flow muffler that allows it to operate quietly. It is designed for durability and power, with 9000 starting watts and 7500 running watts.
Like all Westinghouse generators, it comes with EZ start and starting controls that are color coded for user friendly access. The easy start is a one touch electric system with an LCD hour meter, features that are usually found on more expensive models.
Users who have purchased this particular generator love that after several years of utilizing the generator, they still have not had any leaks. They also like that it has a longer run time of 12 hours on a 50 percent load with an electrical overload protection system. Many folks were impressed that this unit was able to run without issue during the harshest of weather conditions.
Best 4-Stroke Gas Powered Portable Generator
The Power Equipment 46539 Portable Generator by Champion is a cast iron design for ultimate engine protection. Its a 4000 watt generator with a wireless remote control that can work up to 80‘ away. It can run on 50 percent load for 12 hours and has ‘intelligauge,’ giving you the volts, hertz and operating hours and has overload protection.
Users valued this generator over other choices because of its dependability after a storm. For instance, customers who purchased this generator to prepare for Hurricane Sandy were happy that the Champion was able to run for several hours a day, everyday for weeks without issue.
Others highlighted the RF remote starter, a remote that runs on radio frequency, so line of sight is not needed. Many recommended this generator for folks that are looking for something mid-size and under 150 pounds.
Best Portable Generator for the Money
The WEN 56682 Portable Generator is a gas powered unit with a surge of up to 7000 watts, running at 5500 watts. It has an electric start system with a 6.5 gallon fuel tank and provides up to 11 hours of power on half a load.
It also has a traditional recoil starter or you can use the convenient electric start button for ignition instead. It also has a digital hour counter, helping to better time when maintenance is needed because it accumulates and displays the total run time hours for you.
Consumers that were happy with this WEN said that they loved the self locking fasteners the unit came with, tough enough to stay locked after constant vibration during run times. They were also impressed with how quiet it ran, a plus when folks do not have to turn the volume up on their radio or TV to drown out louder generators. Customers also reported that they loved the easy ignition right of the bat after assembly. Also saying that after daily use, the start-up never gassed out, leaving them worry free.
Best Cheap Portable Generator for Home Emergencies
The DuroStar DS4000S is a 4 cycle gas powered portable generator with a 4 gallon gas tank allowing 8 hours of run time. It has a 4000 watt surge with 3300 continuous watts. It has an EZ pull recoil starter with an automatic low oil shut off. It is a heavy duty steel frame while still remaining portable with fully isolated motor mounts to ensure adept and low noise operation.
Some customers highlighted the fact that the power panel comes fully equipped with power outlets, circuit breaker, volt meter and the engine shutoff switch. This provided them with hassle free use, preventing them from having to search for all these functions on different sides of the unit. One user purchased this generator after Hurricane Irene hit and before Hurricane Sandy and was very impressed that it remained one of the quietest generators compared to their neighbors.
All in all, investing in the proper generator for your needs is a must. Especially with the unexpected event of a hurricane, snow storm or in the event of a house fire. They are especially convenient if you live in an area where power outages are frequent, like several areas in New Mexico, where residents experience above average power outages that are unrelated to the weather.
If so, any one of the aforementioned portable generators are just a few mouse clicks away from ownership. Whether you are seeking a generator for immediate use or as a precaution, many users considered their units insurance, because you never know when you might need one.