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Backup Power: Why Choose a Standby vs. Portable Generator


Backup Power: Why Choose a Standby vs. Portable Generator

Trying to find the right backup power solution for you? Generators can be a great way to gain automatic backup power during power loss, especially as severe weather and America’s aging infrastructure make power outages more frequent.  If power loss is affecting you, it might be time to consider buying a generator. 

When you’re choosing a generator, there are two main generator types: a portable generator or a home standby generator. Explore the difference between portable generators and standby generators and choose the best backup power solution for your needs.

All About Portable Generators

Portable generators are the most common kind of backup power solution. Versatile and easily moved, a portable generator can be used in multiple locations for several purposes, from tailgates to camping and combating power outages. Portable generators are gas powered and can last up to eight hours. Take a look at these safety tips to understand how to safely operate a portable generator.

The downside of a portable generator is that, in addition to having limited run-time and needing to be re-fueled, it only outputs enough power to keep some major appliances running. It also needs to be set up manually for each use. 

>> Learn more about portable generators

Benefits of a Standby Generator

A home generator is a permanent backup power solution installed by a licensed electrician or contractor. With the right size generator, you can manage-power to your whole house, including central air conditioners, refrigerators, sump pumps, and many other crucial appliances. Unlike portable generators, GE standby generators automatically detect the loss of utility power. They also feature the smart and innovative Symphony® II power management system, which allows you to manage and prioritize the use of up to 8 high wattage appliances, while keeping your essential appliances powered. This power management system is exclusive to GE Standby Generators. When the power goes out, your GE generator’s transfer switch moves your home onto backup power. 

>> Find out how GE Generators work

GE Standby Generator Quick Guide
• Generator installation required by licensed electrician or contractor
• No manual fueling necessary;  powered by your home’s natural gas or liquid propane gas supply
• Automatically starts and stops
• Can only be used for home/business where installed; not portable
• Powers your essential items and manages power to  8 high wattage appliances

>> Learn more about GE’s new line of home standby generators

Need More Help to Buy a Generator?

Still have questions about choosing between the types of generators? Popular Mechanics looks into the safety and affordability of portable generators versus home generators in this article. GE generator dealers are also backup power experts ready and willing to help you through your generator purchase decision. 

>> Find a GE generator dealer near you!