Generators 9/19/14

Andrea Colao purchased her first generator after losing power for about a week, three times in a row!

“It was so cold, the house was down to 50 degrees. I had no water, no electricity, no heat, no way to cook, and I said, ‘We’re getting a generator,” Colao said.

Consumer Reports tests portable generators and says you want one with about 5,000 to 7,000 watts of power.

Mike DiLauro of Consumer Reports said,”That will give you enough to power your essentials – like a refrigerator, a well or sump pump, a furnace, as well as a computer, a microwave, and some lights.”

Testers check to see how much power is actually delivered and the quality of the power.

“You want a generator that can deliver the power it claims, maintain voltage, and handle power surges from appliances that cycle on and off like a refrigerator or an air conditioner,” DiLauro said.

It’s also better for computer and other electronic devices. For $4,000, a top-rated Honda delivers the smoothest and the quietest power.

But Consumer Reports found plenty of less expensive generators that – while not as quiet -handle surges in power even better. Among them –  1 $900-Troy-Bilt. Also for $900 this Generac, which testers say is very easy to start. .

And remember, whichever generator you choose, you’ll need anywhere from 8 to 20 gallons of gasoline to keep it running 24 hours a day.

And because gasoline can go bad, be sure to add fuel stabilizer to your gas. 

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