The Key Differences Between Standby And Portable Generators 

Living where storms are frequent and power outages are many can prove to be a challenge physically, mentally, and exhausting on the wallet. Many rely on standby or portable generators to prevent the headache that comes with power outages to ensure their family’s safety and comfort for however long they might be without power. But what type of generator meets your family’s needs? This article will discuss the difference between standby and portable generators so you can be prepared before the storm and not be in the dark.  

Standby Generators

As indicated in the name, standby generators are there, ready to go whenever you need them. After installation, they come on automatically, not requiring any extension cords or pull to start. A standby generator is permanently mounted to the outside of your home connected to your electrical system. With this conveyance comes more cost. Is the price worth it? Here are some more points why many think so.

  • Fuel: Use Propane or Natural Gas. Getting gas can be a challenge during a power outage, but standby can use propane. Standy by also has larger fuel reserves requiring fewer refills that can last for days or weeks. 
  • Noise: Much quieter than portable. 
  • Start: Automatic start. If minors or the elderly are at home alone when the power goes out, they will be safe and warm. They will not have the trouble of pulling to start generators, extension cords, lifting heavy generators out of storage, and filling with gas which can be difficult and hazardous. 
  • Safety: The permanent mount to the outside of your home creates higher protection for friends and family. There is no need to worry about fumes or electrical shocks that can come with extension cords or electrical surges when power returns. 

For more information on the benefits of owning a residential standby generator, you can visit our page Residential Backup Generators Indiana.

Portable Generators 

Portable generators require storage, gas or propane refills, and hookups with each power outage. Due to the size of portable generators, they generally do not give out as much power as standby. With less convenience comes less cost. Another feature people enjoy with portable generators is their ability to use them in multiple locations.

  • Fuel: Commonly uses gas, but some models can take propane. According to Customer Reviews, all the portable generators within their ratings use 12-20 gallons of gas per day, depending on the power needed. Separate storage of gas  would be needed to keep your generator running for multiple days.
  • Noise: Generally louder. 
  • Start: Requires pull to start or electric start. 
  • Safety: Due to the need to pore gas and connect hookups with power cords, there is more hazard. Surges can also occur in electronics in between power connections requiring repairs or new electronics. Due to the amount of CO poisoning that happens with portable generators, many new models have built-in sensors to detect dangerous CO build-up in enclosed areas. If possible, it is always best to use portable generators outdoors to reduce risk. 


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