9 Reasons Every Household Should Have a Portable Generator

Power outages are often the result of harsh weather, such as high winds, lightning strikes, or ice buildup that causes overhead power lines to break. Though utility crews work around the clock to restore service, in some instances it can be days before the electricity is back on. That's why every household should have a portable generator on hand to run appliances, tools, or heaters during a power outage. It's not just a matter of convenience, but also of safety and security. Do you need more convincing? Read on!

  1. Portable Power

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    Portable Power Generators

    Portable generators provide power to tools and appliances when you need supplemental electricity. They run on gasoline, diesel, or propane and typically include two electrical outlets. Because their combustion engines emit fumes, portable generators should be kept outdoors during operation, although extension cords can be used to carry the power indoors.

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  2. Food Can Go Bad Quickly

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    Food spoilage power outage

    If your fridge is fully stocked, you could lose hundreds of dollars in refrigerated and frozen items if the power stays out more than a few hours. The USDA recommends throwing out perishable foods just four hours after a refrigerator loses power. If, however, you can connect the fridge to a portable generator, you won’t have to worry about the expense of restocking.

    Related: 13 Problems a Power Outage Can Cause at Home

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  3. You Drive an Electric Car

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    Electric car and portable generator

    While a power outage keeps most people in the dark, it can completely strand electric car owners. If you depend on an electric car, having a portable generator will ensure that you can drive to work, go to the grocery store, pick up the babysitter, rush to the emergency room, or travel wherever else you need to go, even during an extended blackout. 

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  4. You’re a Remote DIYer

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    Power tools with portable generator

    Power tools make home projects faster and simpler. But what if you're working where an extension cord won't reach? If you're installing a new fence on the back forty or building a she-shed at the end of long lot, you need another solution. A portable generator will let you plug in your power tools and get your project done quickly instead of having to switch out batteries on your cordless tools, or head home to recharge them. 

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  5. Your House Uses Well Water

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    Well water powered by generator

    Municipal water systems are pressurized, so water will come out of the faucet whether or not there’s a power outage. Not so for rural dwellers who depend on electric pumps to pump the water out of their wells and into their homes. But if you have a portable generator, you can plug the well pump into it and keep the water flowing during a power outage.

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  6. You Have a Sump Pump in the Basement

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    Sump Pump Portable Generator

    In areas where flooding is an issue, basements often have sump pumps that pump away unwanted water before it can accumulate and cause damage. Heavy rains are the worst possible times for sump pumps to stop working, and unfortunately, power outages often occur during thunderstorms. When you plug the sump pump into a portable generator, you gain the peace of mind of knowing your basement will stay dry even though the power is out.

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  7. You Live in a Fire-Risk Zone

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    Fire risk zone portable generator

    Utility companies have been known to shut off power to customers in heavily wooded and drought-stricken areas if there’s a high risk of fire. The shutoff is often in conjunction with the prediction of high winds that pose a risk of downed power lines—a leading cause of fires. But with a portable generator handy, you’ll always have a source of electricity during those utility shutdowns.

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  8. You Love Camping

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    Camping with portable generator

    If your family enjoys sleeping under the stars, they’ll enjoy it even more when they have the ability to charge their phones, keep drinks cold in a mini-fridge, and check email on their laptops. With a portable generator, you can enjoy all your modern conveniences while you're camping in the great outdoors.

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  9. You Have a Home Business

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    Home business portable generator

    When you run a home business, a simple power outage could mean a complete work shutdown—unless you have a generator. With the growing gig economy, millions of Americans work from home. It's essential for them to have a portable generator on hand to keep the Wi-Fi, PC, printers, and internet running, even in the middle of a widespread power outage.

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  10. You Rely on an Electric Medical Device

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    Electric medical device portable generator

    If you or a family member is dependent on a medical device, such as a heart monitor, an oxygen tank, or a rechargeable power chair, advance planning is vital. When a life is on the line, it's especially important to be prepared. You not only need a portable generator, but you also must have extension cords and the fuel for your generator so you can switch to your alternate power source at a moment’s notice.

    Related: 11 Ways to Prep for a Winter Power Outage

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