Determine what you want to power when the power is out. You won’t be able to power every item in the home or office with your portable generator, but you can power the essentials. Make a list of the items you want to power if the power fails and you need backup electricity. This could include a laptop, cell phone charger, lights, work tools, a heater, an A/C unit, medical equipment, fax machine, or other necessary devices you will need.
Once you have determined what items will need power you can determine how much power is required to run and start them. This information may be found online or for a more reliable source, you can contact your local portable generator dealer or electrician.
Make sure you have enough fuel stored safely. Your machine won’t get you far if you don’t have enough fuel to keep it running. The average recommendation for stored fuel volume is approximately sixteen gallons of fuel. The amount of fuel you will need, however, is determined by the fuel capacity of your unit. It is also recommended that you add fuel stabilizer to stored fuel to reduce the effects of ethanol so you can better protect the engine of your portable generator.
Have a transfer switch installed. A transfer switch is not required for all portable generators but they do make things safer. When a unit is hooked up to the transfer switch you can better count on a steady stream of power. The items hooked up to the portable generator will also be better protected when the unit is attached to a transfer switch. The reason for this is that your powered items do not get damaged from back-feed. Back-feed is the term used to describe the flow of electricity going in the opposite direction as usual.
Purchase appliances you will need that don’t require a lot of power. Unless you plan on purchasing a portable generator large enough to run all of your favorite devices during an outage, you may want to consider purchasing smaller sizes of the items you will need. For example, if you do not want a machine that will power your central heating unit, you may want to consider purchasing a portable heater that will require less wattage to run than your large unit. Consider purchasing items that require less power to run so you can more fully enjoy a variety of powered items instead of only a couple large ones.
Also purchase heavy-duty extension cords. Twelve to sixteen gauge cords are recommended for most portable generators. Keep the length of the cord below 100 feet for safety purposes and ease of use. It is also important to use heavy-duty…