My Personal Experience with Generators For Home Use

by Editorial Staff Member

The chief benefit of owning generators for home use is that one always has the power capacity should the need arise.

There is an exhaustive list of manufacturers, models to choose from and it's not always easy to separate quality from the chaff.

Additionally, one has the option of a generator which is permanently located at home and interacts with the conventional electric system (these are aptly named whole house generators); or, by utilizing a capable, portable model which can also facilitate camping/road-trips.

In the event you select a portable model, it must be recalled that these generators are manually turned on whenever needed.

This is the polar opposite of fixed/whole house/standby generators for home use whereby the equipment automatically restores power whenever there's an issue with your utility provider.

Furthermore, power interruption can be the result of inclement weather conditions, pole fires, or if one forgets to pay the bill for the month.

In terms of preference, our family employs a 5500W Kohler Generator which has served us well for about five years now.

This is a standby generator which means, again, it's always at our home—ready to pick up the slack for the local electric company.

Even though we've had considerable return-on-investment with Kohler, we have been in situations while camping that made me wish I'd bought a portable generator that could have accompanied us on our trip.

And, since my family knows that I take great pride in being a machinery buff, by-no-means would they allow me to live-down the fact that I hadn't prepared us with a portable generator for home use—that is, a generator that can be utilized both at home and abroad.

Fairly knowledgeable themselves, my sons reminded me that being portable, the generator could serve us while on trips in addition to covering our home needs as well.

My eldest son, now 11, is fascinated with the idea of portable propane generators as he says its "cool" how they aren't as "yucky" for the environment as the others.

Moreover, while still at the campsite, we continued our 'discussion' about portable generators for home use & my (presumed) lack of forethought in regards.

The more we talked, I became encouraged to probe & see exactly how much my sons had absorbed from their 'old-man'.

About 30 minutes into it (as I'm not one to concede a good debate), I reminded them that our generator would cover us even if we were not home; thus, our alarm system, fish tanks, refrigerator, freezers, and climate control would remain active and fully functional because of my decision to purchase a standby generator for home use.

Then, naturally, my youngest son (who just turned 6) mentioned that I shouldn't worry because once we return home I can just buy a portable that we can take on our next trip.

I simply grinned and said, "wow, son, that's a great observation—I'll have to think about that."

To be honest, I actually agree with my sons that both portable and standby generators for home use are necessary in order to sustain complete comfort and convenience of family life.

The only concern with this scenario is:  when it's not economical (or even impossible) for one to purchase both a standby & a portable, we have to make decisions that will best overall suit our familial interests/obligations.

In my case, having three children under the age of 12, I chose to ensure that we undoubtedly maintain home essentials and all capabilities thereof; thus, fixed generators for home use were my primary choice.

In addition, I elected a slightly larger model than required for our living space.

The Kohler 5500W model, made by Kohler Generators, of course, is able to consistently power a large, side-by-side refrigerator, our home entertainment center, and two desktop PCs—imperative since both my wife and I routinely complete large amounts of work at home.

It is also gasoline powered and that is, perhaps, the most regrettable decision with respect to buying this particular model.

All things considered, it's acceptably efficient for a gas build, but if I could do it all over again, I would definitely seek a liquid propane type by Generac Generators.

If I didn't go with Generac, then I would've looked at one of Kohler's or Briggs & Stratton's natural gas generators for home use.

Either of these breeds (propane/natural gas) wouldn't demand refueling as often as the gas powered counterparts.

Nevertheless, I'm content with my decision—extremely satisfied with Kohler's workmanship—and can't imagine not knowing about generators for home use; given the invariable steadiness, constancy, and predictability that it has afforded my family for all of these years!

In conclusion, as I remain happy with our standby generator, I have begun to investigate decent portable makes as well…

Based on preliminary research and further consultation with my studious colleagues here at G&D (even got some advice from the editor himself), I've decided to go with a mid-grade model from Champion Generators.

Now, I'm still a few months out from making the purchase so I've yet to pin-point the exact one we'll select; however, I believe the Medium-Duty Series would be more than sufficient for my family of 5's on-the-go demands…

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