But can a single recreational generator provide power at home and keep the lights on after a storm? The answer depends on your energy needs and expectations. A portable generator is a convenient way to produce your own energy safely when the grid goes down, whether due to natural or man-made causes. But how does a generator work? Whether you're new to using a generator or have a lot of experience, there are a few things you need to know to operate it safely. We've been testing 16 portable power plants for 73 hours, and the Jackery Explorer 1000 is the best option for disconnecting from the grid or preparing for an emergency.
The trick is to understand the available power of the generator and know that you may need, for example, to unplug the microwave if you are going to operate a space heater, which generally has a much higher operating power. The best power strip for travel in North America is the inexpensive Accell Home or Away surge protector (also known as Tripp Lite's Protect It 3-outlet surge protector). You can power the refrigerator, power tools, and computers (for example) by connecting long extension cables to the generator. This is why very large generators and small power plants often have large cooling towers next to them.
Keep in mind that higher-priced recreational inverter generators cost as much as a portable generator, which can power many more devices. If your only option is a recreational generator, here's what you need to know to operate it safely and meet some of your energy needs. Both can be vulnerable to the poor quality of power produced by generators manufactured by companies that fly at night. Standby generators, an even larger stationary class that is normally installed right outside the home, connect directly to a home's electrical panel and usually turn on automatically when power goes out.
On the TV show “Consumer 101”, Consumer Reports expert Paul Hope shows host Jack Rico how to avoid being left in the dark during a power outage. Despite those flaws, the Ego is still an excellent source of energy, with an intuitive application that helps you extend your power supply. The Ego Power+ Nexus PST3042 portable power plant delivers power similar to that of the Honda EU2200i without any of the drawbacks of a gasoline engine. If you experience frequent and prolonged power outages, consider a large inverter or a home standby generator, also known as a whole-house generator.