A generator is an expensive investment. To install a backup generator in your house, you have to consider its price tag, installation cost, and the cost of maintenance and repairs. For many, buying a generator for backup power or powering outdoor activities such as hiking and tailgating takes considerable financial planning.
Before purchasing a generator, one of the most important factors to consider is the price point. Since generators are not created equal, they have different price tags. There are generators for every budget, from expensive name brands to cheap generic generators. You will want to get the best deal and save as much as possible. As with other tools, generators with high price points are generally more reliable and durable than cheaper ones. Cheap generators are typically made of cheap parts that are likely to malfunction or perform sub-optimally.
Before you purchase the cheapest generator you can find, you should conduct adequate research to validate your choice. Purchasing a low-cost unit may cost you a lot more money in the long run. Cheaper is not always better. Here are reasons why you should never go for the cheapest generator in 2021:
When purchasing a backup generator for your business or home, you should consider its lifespan. Generators are supposed to run optimally for several years. You want a generator that can last long enough to provide true value. A high-quality generator used for residential emergency power has an average lifespan of around 3,000 hours. If it has an operating time of about 100 hours per year, it can last for up to 30 years. Stationary generators typically last longer than portable ones.
The lifespan of a generator depends on several factors, including usage, maintenance, and storage. However, the most important factor is its quality. As such, guaranteeing the longevity of your generator starts with choosing the right brand and dealer. A high-quality, brand name generator has a long useful lifetime.
Purchasing a cheap generator might save you money in the short term, but it is more expensive in the long run. Cheaper generators are generally made of low-quality parts that do not last long. They will start developing engine problems after only a few years of use, and the unit may even fail altogether.
It is more cost-effective to buy a high-quality generator that will last for up to 30 years than three or four cheap generators during that period.
Cheaper generators are not as efficient as the more expensive ones. They are built with lower quality parts and have inferior designs hence their low price tags. Having low-quality parts means that they will need frequent replacements, and the cost of maintenance will run high.
Cheap generators have a lower compression ratio than their more expensive counterparts making them less efficient. They also typically burn motor oil necessitating regular top-ups to prevent engine damage. When using a cheap generator, you have to spend more on fuel and oil. Cheap generators, therefore, have higher running costs.
Before buying the cheapest generator on offer, you should consider its efficiency and running cost and balance that with the unit’s cost.
All generators running on an internal combustion engine give off some level of noise and emissions. For this reason, they should not be run indoors. Generators should be positioned in a well-ventilated area at least 15 feet from the house with protection from the rain.
When built with high-quality components and state of the art designs, the emissions and noise output can be reduced significantly. Generators with sound-dampening features and low emissions are more expensive. Cheap generators feature inefficient carburetors and have low compression ratios, which decreases efficiency and increases emissions. They also lack noise-dampening features making their noise levels a nuisance in residential areas and for outdoor activities.
Leading brands are constantly experimenting with designs and technological features that offer reduced emissions, low overall decibel level, and high efficiency. Such advancements produce generators that produce less pollution and are more pleasant to use. It is very unlikely for the cheapest generator on the market to have such features.
4.Damage to Appliances
Many electronic appliances today are very susceptible to overloading. Sensitive electronics can only be safely powered by generators that produce clean, steady electricity. If a generator cannot regulate the amount of current it sends to the appliances it is powering, it can easily destroy them.
High-quality inverter generators produce a clean sine wave with minimal Total Harmonic Distortion (THD) and can safely power sensitive electronics such as laptops and TVs. It is unlikely that the cheapest generator can have such safety measures.
Cheap generators are prone to failure and malfunctions. A failing generator can create a power surge that destroys appliances it is powering. It may also provide less power than needed putting stress on motors and other mechanical components of the appliances it is powering, resulting in damage.
Before you purchase a cheap generator, you should also consider the cost of replacing all your electronic appliances in the event it fails catastrophically and destroys them all.
Nobody hopes for a power outage. Homeowners purchase backup generators hoping they will not have to use them. A standby generator is supposed to provide reliable power when the grid power proves unreliable. In the event of a power outage, it is comforting to know that you have a generator on standby to power sensitive appliances in your house, such as the refrigerator.
Having a generator, you cannot rely on defeats the purpose of having a backup power source. Such a unit cannot give you peace of mind since you will always be holding your breath, waiting for it to fail every time it powers on. You need a powerful, high-quality model that can guarantee a consistent, on-demand performance that you can rely on when there is a power outage.
When considering the generator’s price, you should read some reviews to find out how reliable it is. A cheap generator that fails you when you need it the most is not worth it.
Warranty is an important consideration when making a generator purchase. You can always trust a generator with a good warranty. High-quality models tend to have a two or 3-year warranty. Such a lengthy warranty gives you peace of mind since you know that the unit will be repaired or replaced free of charge if something goes wrong. The warranty also shows the manufacturer’s confidence in the quality and durability of the product.
Cheap generators typically have a limited one-year warranty. If the unit malfunctions, you cannot get any help from the manufacturer. Purchasing such a unit is a huge gamble considering its low-quality parts are prone to damage. You should avoid investing in a cheap generator with a limited or non-existent warranty. The extra cost for a quality warranty is worth it.
Operating and maintaining a generator is somewhat technical, and it may prove challenging for many owners. Before purchasing a unit, you should make sure that it has all the necessary information you need to operate it effectively. Such information includes an accurate user’s manual with exhaustive instructions for operation and maintenance.
Reputable name brands have excellent customer support. They are always on standby, ready to answer questions about warranty, maintenance, and any other user information. Responsive customer support is invaluable. They can help you tackle some challenges with your unit as they arise without involving a technician.
It is unlikely that a cheap generator will have reliable documentation or will be supported by a responsive customer support team. Shelling out extra dollars for a generator with good customer support is worth it.
Buying a Generator on a Budget
You don’t have to purchase the most expensive generator on the market to guarantee value. It’s also not advisable to scoop up the cheapest unit on offer. Price generally determines the quality, power output, longevity, efficiency, and other generator features, but this is not always the case.
You can get a good generator that will meet your power needs for years to come at an affordable price. You can also purchase a generator with an inflated price tag and end up disappointed by its performance. Consider your energy needs before choosing the generator to purchase. With the right financial planning, you can invest in a generator that ensures the safety and well-being of your family without causing a strain on your finances.
There are advantages to purchasing a cheap generator, with the main one being its price. Some offer excellent performance and reliability that rivals many highly-priced models. If you do not need the innovative features that an expensively priced model offers, you do not have to incur the additional cost.
However, while the cheapest generator will save you money, it is important to consider other important factors such as the ones discussed in the article. If you do your homework, you should find a reasonably priced model that meets all your needs, including power, safety, and efficiency.