Generators come in two general varieties: the standby kind, and the portable. However, within those two categories are many, many different kinds of generators, all with varying power outputs and functions. This article is brief overview of some of the things you should consider when buying or renting a generator.

How Much Power Do You Need?

Whether you're looking for a portable generator or a standby unit, there is a wide array of options when it comes to power output. In your home, you need to consider the power consumption of standard appliances like washers and dryers, microwaves, and even your air conditioning or heating system. If you rely on a well pump for your water supply, you need to factor that in as well.

If you're looking for a generator for business purposes, than other equipment will factor into your power needs. For restaurants, you have to consider things like ovens, stoves, and lighting in the dining area. If you work in the corporate sector, you'll need to determine out how many computers and copy machines are running at any given time.

The average daily power consumption for a home in Calgary was 7,200 kWh, which equates to roughly 19.7 kWh per day, or about 19,700 watts. When you consider that a central air conditioner utilizes around 5,000 watts, it is easy to assume that your home might need a 20,000 watt generator. But keep in mind that it is unlikely you will run all your appliances concurrently. On the other hand, businesses may need multiple high output generators to stay productive.

Automatic Power

Not only should you consider the amount of power your home or business consumes, but also whether or not you want, or need, a transfer switch mechanism. During power outages, a transfer switch effectively cuts off the power from the local utility lines and opens up a line from the generator.

When power has been restored, the switch reverses this action as well. Generators outfitted with transfer switches engage automatically, so there is no need to manually hook it up to your home or business's power lines. This can be a real benefit to those who aren't exactly mechanically inclined.

Noise Reduction

You might also want a generator that is relatively quiet, especially if it's used for business purposes, or if the noise from loud machinery might deter clients. This feature may cost a little extra, but it is well worth the anonymity it provides when the power is out.

Ultimately, the scope of your power needs will determine the type of generator that's best. However, whether or not you want a turnkey solution when the power is out, or you want something quieter so as not to detract would-be customers, will also factor into your decision. Talk to a professional like Southern Rewind Ltd pumps in Lethbridge for more information.