Most power outages that occur are relatively short in duration. In fact, power is often restored within a matter of hours, allowing people to get back to their everyday lives. In some cases, however, power outages can last much longer. This is particularly true during weather-related emergencies. In some cases, the power can go out for weeks at a time, leaving people unable to perform basic actions like heating or cooling their homes or storing perishable food.

Buying the best portable generator is a good way to protect yourself and your loved ones if a long-term power outage occurs. Below are some helpful tips on how to choose an emergency generator for your home.

The first thing that you need to decide is what type of generator you want to buy. Portable generators are the most affordable option. They typically are powered by gas. In most cases, they need to be started by hand rather than starting up automatically when the power goes out.

Standby generators, on the other hand, are designed to automatically turn on when a power outage is detected. In most cases, they run on propane or natural gas. They are quite a bit more expensive than portable generators, often costing thousands of dollars to purchase and install. Despite that, they still may be a good option if you have certain devices that absolutely have to run at all times. For instance, if you have a sump pump that keeps your basement from flooding, you may want to invest in a standby generator that will automatically turn on if you aren’t at home when the power outage occurs.

You also need to make sure that the generator is sized appropriately for your home. If you choose a small generator, you probably will only get enough power to operate essential appliances like your refrigerator or sump pump. Larger generators, on the other hand, will keep you a lot more comfortable during a power outage by making it possible to power far more devices and appliances. In fact, many large portable generators can be used to power a number of the circuits on your electrical panel, allowing you to use at least a portion of your home as you normally would.

When choosing an emergency generator for your home, you need to think about the type of generator that is right for your situation. From there, you then need to consider your average energy consumption to determine the generator size that is appropriate for your home and your lifestyle.