When bad weather or any other type of disaster hits, one of the first things to go is your power supply. During an outage, you’ll often wish you had invested in a home generator to provide emergency power. It’s never too late, however, and with the end of the hurricane season in sight there’s every chance that you can look for a generator sale in your area and get a good deal.
Choosing a Generator
The first step is to determine what generator is right for your home. Choosing between portable generators and whole-home units sounds simple, especially when you consider the price, but there’s more to it than that. So before you rush off to the nearest generator sale and buy the cheapest equipment you can find, do some research to find out what you actually need.
What Size Generator Do I Need?
Generator size is based on the number of circuits you need to keep going during a power outage. This varies between households depending on:
- size of the home
- number of family members
- time of year when you’re most likely to need it
- special needs such as healthcare
Generator sizes range from small portable units that can support only a couple of appliances or some lights, to large pieces of equipment that can run the home as well as the outbuildings on a large property.
Find a Generator Sale
Once you know what size you need, you can start looking around for the right-priced unit. Begin with your local generator dealer, because chances are he can give you a pretty good price based on your location and the distance the equipment has to be transported. If your installer doesn’t currently have a generator sale, ask when the next one is likely to be. You may find he gives you a good deal without you having to wait for a sale to come up.
Buy a Used Unit
It may be possible to purchase a pre-owned or low-hour used generator, if you know where to look for one. Here again your local installer may be able to advise you, because he is likely to be one of the first people homeowners turn to if they want to sell a used generator when they upgrade. You’ll need to ask some of the following questions before becoming involved in a private generator sale:
- What are the age, hours and usage of the unit?
- Who is the manufacturer and what is their reputation?
- How well has the unit been maintained?
- Are there signs of physical wear and tear on the unit?
- How does it perform in a Load Test?
- Who you are buying it from (broker vs distributor)?
When you have the answers to these issues, ask your installer to examine it the generator before committing yourself, to protect you against unforeseen circumstances. As long as it has been looked after and maintained regularly, it could be in excellent condition.