Since the 1970s, electricity consumption’s increased dramatically. From stoves and coffee machines to computers and lights, we rely heavily on electricity to get us through the day.
Technology’s made leaps and bounds in the last few decades to bring us reliable flows of electricity. Unfortunately, there are still instances where we’re left without, and it can be very detrimental.
If you want to avoid being left in the dark, then you should consider getting an outdoor generator. This can help you out in a pinch, especially if there’s a significant lapse in your electricity.
In this article, we’ll discuss the basics of an outdoor generator and 7 times you may need one.
The Basics of Outdoor Generators
As you can guess, generators are machines that can provide electricity for you when the local power grid is down or if you aren’t able to get an outlet to plug your appliances into.
There are two main types of generators: permanent and portable.
Permanent generators are installed in your home or business. Should the power go out, the generator will automatically turn on so there’s no lapse in power. This is very beneficial for things like keeping food or medications cool.
Portable generators can be taken anywhere and used anywhere you wish. Should the power go out, you’ll have to fill up and start up the generator yourself. Also, you need to make sure it’s at least 10 feet away from the building or else risk carbon monoxide poisoning.
Generally, permanent generators are much more expensive than portable ones. Of course, you get peace of mind with the permanent option since it’ll always turn on automatically when there’s a power outage.
But if you’re not too worried about having power 24/7 and are on a budget, then a portable generator can work just fine as well.
There are four ways to power generators: diesel, natural gas, propane, and bi-fuel. Currently, the most popular type for industrial needs is diesel. For residential needs, you’d usually use natural gas or propane.
If you want to avoid using any type of fuel, you can find some solar-powered portable generators on the market. This also eliminates the need for a power cord to connect your generator to a transfer switch.
Now that you know a little bit about how outdoor generators work, let’s explore 7 situations where they’d come in handy.
Sure, camping means going back to basics. But truth be told, we’d all love a few modern-day conveniences while out in the woods. It’s already tough enough spending the night in a lumpy tent and going to the bathroom in a dugout hole.
Bring along a portable outdoor generator to make life easier. You can plug in lights and other electronics for entertainment, such as radios, or even laptops and TVs if you can be bothered to lug these out.
It’ll make cooking a cinch as well. Just bring a portable electric stove or hot plate and plug it in to get cooking!
If your generator is powerful enough, you can even bring a mini-fridge and plug that in so you can keep your beers cool and your food fresh.
2. Outdoor Events
You’re having your wedding reception, throwing a small fundraising event, or holding an intimate outdoor concert. You’ve found the perfect outdoor venue, but the problem is, there’s no way to get power out there.
You shouldn’t have to compromise on an ideal location just because the logistics for electricity aren’t there. You can solve all your problems by purchasing an outdoor generator and bringing it to wherever you need it.
With one or two generators by your side, you’ll be able to power the entire event. Hook up lights, speakers, microphones, and whatever else you’ll need for your event to go off without a hitch.
3. Prevent Flooding
If you’re in the midst of a severe thunderstorm and rain’s coming down uncontrollably, you may be worried about flooding. Most homes in flood zones have sump pumps in the basements, which will remove any water that accumulates.
But what happens if the power goes out?
Even if you have insurance that covers flood damage, this still doesn’t change the fact that your home is sopping wet. You’ll have to have extensive work done to replace your flooring and remove any mold that’s developed. Reimbursement from your insurance company doesn’t make up for the inconvenience this causes.
You can prevent this situation from happening by having an outdoor generator on hand. As soon as the power goes out, just power it up and connect it to your sump pump. You and your family will stay nice and dry.
4. Keep Food From Spoiling
Perhaps you’ve just done a major grocery shopping trip, and both your refrigerator and freezer are stocked to the brim. Then, the power goes out!
While food won’t spoil for hours (if you keep the doors closed and sealed), with a long enough power outage, your groceries may go bad. That’s potentially hundreds of dollars down the drain. Plus, you won’t have anything to eat; this can be problematic if the outage is a lengthy one.
You can ensure all of your food stays nice and cold by turning on an outdoor generator as soon as the power goes out. You’ll be able to pull things out of the fridge without the worry of everything else spoiling. Not only that, but you’ll also have the power to cook, so you won’t have to resort to eating canned foods for dinner.
5. Keep Important Medical Equipment Running
If someone in your household has a severe medical condition that requires equipment working round-the-clock, it’s important you have a backup for power in case of emergencies. Without it, it may literally mean the difference between life or death.
When you have an outdoor generator, you can hook it up at the first sign of trouble so your loved ones’ health won’t be compromised. This can also keep any chilled medications at the optimal temperature in your refrigerator.
Generator load sharing can be an excellent backup to your backup plan. This is because you have two generators running at once, and if one fails, the other picks up the slack. That way, you’re extra prepared in case of emergencies.
The backup power can help keep everyone in the house calm and collected. This can keep the person who’s ill in a better state of mind and not risk more frailness due to anxiety or worry.
6. Keep Your Business Running
Sometimes, the power goes out for just one part of town, and unfortunately, your business may be part of the section that loses power. This can be extremely frustrating if you have customers in the store when you experience the blackout.
While it’s certainly not your fault, your customers will get annoyed and may even leave the store to go to your competitor, who’s located in an area that still has power. Unlucky, but it happens.
Keep your customers happy and in your store by having a backup generator on hand. As soon as the lights go out, just plug in the generator and it’ll be business as usual.
This gives you a chance to show your customers that you’re well-prepared and leave a good impression. It can also save your appliances from being damaged from an outage.
7. Work Anywhere You Go
Are you a contractor who gets requests to work in all sorts of work sites? Then you’ll need an outdoor generator.
While the client should be accommodating of your tools and equipment, it’s not always possible. Or they lack the foresight to arrange for power.
Either way, you want to arrive on the job prepared and ready to go. A portable generator is easy to carry around and can provide you with power no matter where you are.
Plugin your lights, nail guns, spray gun system, or any of your equipment and finish the job in record time when you have an outdoor generator.
Stay Safe With an Outdoor Generator
While it requires a decent initial investment, having an outdoor generator can prove invaluable when you’re in dire situations. Or, it can open the door to opportunities that weren’t possible before, such as more conveniences while camping or the ability to hold outdoor events.
Whatever the case may be for you, it’s most likely a good idea to get an outdoor generator. That way, you’ll never suffer inconveniences or even dangerous when the power goes out.
For more interesting reads, please check out our other blog articles.