Portable Generator or Standby Home Generator, What’s Best for You?


There is no doubt that it is not only expensive, but inconvenient to be without power in your home. The big question arises when we look at what type of home generator is best for in the long run and in the immediate.

There are two types of home generators on the market, one that is a portable unit and one that is a permanent unit. Which one is better for you?

In order to answer this question, we really need to spend some time explaining the difference between these two types of home generators.

A portable generator is exactly that – portable. When the electric goes out, a person must use the pull-cord to start the generator and manually plug the appliances through use of cords* and transfer switches* into the generator. Depending on the size, the model, and what is connected to it, an average portable home generator last approximately 8 hours on one tank of gas*.

In regards to powering a home in an electric outage, a portable home generator is great for people who are home a majority of the time and are physically capable of setting up, moving, and turning on the generator. They are useful if the homeowner is looking to plug* a lamp, sump pump, and minor appliances running during a short power outage. Predominantly, portable generators are designed to be used on work sites, camping excursions, tailgating, and a variety of other well-vented, similar situations.

home-generator-house-diagramA standby home generator is a permanent unit installed near the side of a home. It is connected to your fuel source or a fuel source of your choice. You have three options of what you would like to be powered during an outage; the whole house, partial house, or specific items. A transfer switch is installed and once installation is completed, a computer monitors and self-checks the system for power outages and/or maintenance. There are a variety of warranties available standard being four to five years and financing programs are available to make this investment reasonable for just about any homeowner.

A standby generator is a lifesaver during many of the weather events here in Northeastern Pennsylvania such as hurricanes, ice storms, snow storms or nor’easters that may knock out power for days, possibly weeks on end. The system automatically switches once a power outage is detected and switches back when the power is on again.

So when making this decision a homeowner really needs to take into consideration their needs, concerns, safety, and capabilities. Here at Rinker Generator, we are available to discuss any and all of your generator or electric needs. Call us today at 570-698-9696 for your free quote.


*Please note: there are dangers to running cords through windows, doors, windows, ceiling or any other opening. Also, all directions must be followed properly in order to avoid Carbon Monoxide hazards.