Portable vs. Standby Generators

December 25, 2011

Part of living in Florida means dealing with severe weather.

Whether it’s hurricanes, tropical storms, or something else, these events can leave our homes without power for hours or sometimes more. From not being able to run your air conditioner, or the food in your freezer and refrigerator beginning to spoil, even just a short bit of time without power can leave a big impact.

Thankfully, backup generators offer a reliable alternative power source that can help you stay comfortable and protect your home when the need arises.

What is a Generator?

Generators are devices that can supply electricity to your home in the event of a power outage. They can power many appliances and devices including heating and/or air conditioning, refrigerators, lighting, the septic system, medical equipment, Internet, and more. Generally, the size of the generator will determine the amount of power it can supply.

Portable vs. Permanent Generators


There are two main types of generators: portable and permanent – also known as standby. Portable generators, like the name implies, can be moved from location to location based on the appliances or fixtures that require power.

Portable generators are best for homeowners who do not want to spend a great deal on an emergency backup, but this gasoline powered alternatives do require a manual start, so if you are not home when the power goes out, important items like your refrigerator or freezer won’t be protected. Additionally, they can be rather heavy and difficult to move around, as well as noisy to operate.

Standby Generators

Standby generators, unlike the portable kind, are installed outside your home and connected directly to your home’s electrical system. These units traditionally run on propane or natural gas and automatically start as soon as a power outage is detected– which is ideal for times when you’re not at home and the power goes out. When the power outage is over, the unit will shut itself off.

While standby generators can cost more upfront, they are quieter and supply more reliable backup power, capable of powering beyond what is possible with a portable unit. Unlike portable generators, standby generators do need to be installed by a qualified and licensed electrician to assure safe and reliable operation.

Do you want to know more about backup generators and what kind is right for your home? Contact your Energy Today expert electrician online or schedule a free in-home estimate for a standby generator today.

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