7 Tips To Get The Best Deal When Buying a Home Generator

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For people living in rural regions or areas prone to power loss due to storms, a generator can quite literally help to keep the lights on. However, a generator is a considerable investment; not only are many of them quite expensive, but the fact of the matter is that you will want to invest in a generator that you can be sure will work when you need it to, power the appliances and devices that are required, and be relatively painless to start. These seven factors can help make sure that you make the most intelligent decision possible when it is time to invest in a generator for your home.

Don’t Wait Until You Need One

Easily the most important tip that can be given when it is time to purchase a generator is that if you are trying to save money on your investment, do not wait until you need one. Beyond the obvious that paying hurry up costs for installation and delivery is not helpful to the bottom line, chances are that if you need a generator, so do plenty of other people around you. That means that retailers will be disinclined to offer deals on purchases or, worse yet, may not have any generators in stock. By purchasing your generator ahead of time, you can not only be assured that you are getting the best deal, but you can make sure that it is in place before storm or blizzard season arrives.

Know Your Budget

Equally crucial to being able to get the best possible deal on a generator is to make sure that you are aware of your budget. Generators can be found for as little as a few hundred dollars and can reach prices of well over several thousand. Needless to say, that can mean a substantial different when it is time to make a purchase. Also, having some knowledge about different brands can be helpful here. For example, a name brand model, like a Honda Generator, is likely to cost more than a generic, but will still be cheaper than premium versions.

Know Your Needs

Of course, it is difficult to effectively plan your budget if you do not know your needs. Different generators can handle different levels of use. Some consumers may only want a generator to keep the refrigerator and the lights on, and perhaps provide enough left over to run a heater or a few fans. That sort of power consumption is much less than someone who will need a generator to essentially replace most functions of a typical electric supply.

That said, not every generator is built with an emergency in mind. If you are looking for a generator that can handle weekend duty while camping or at a tailgate, chances are that you will be able to get by, and indeed may prefer, a much cheaper model.

Different Types of Generators

That brings us to our next point. There are many different types of generators, based on the needs of the individual purchasing it. For most people, the thought of a generator brings thoughts of a portable generator, which typically runs off of gasoline. These are portable enough to be moved by one or two people, but have a number of shortcomings. First of all, they require gasoline, which can require significant storage. Second, they are loud. Third, due to emissions, they have to be kept several yards away from any structure.

An intermediate step is an inverter generator, which can save on fuel compared to a portable generator, and can typically be quieter and marginally safer. However, they are much more expensive for the size.

The final offering is a standby generator. These generators typically are not portable and must be installed to use. Usually they run off of natural gas or propane, which makes fuel storage much less of an issue. Additionally, they tend to have enough output to be able to power an entire house.

Separate Features

No matter what type of generator you get, you will be paying for special features. Depending on the type of generator in question, some of these may come included. Typically, these are either convenience or safety features. Options like an automatic ignition or electric start can make sure that a generator comes on without a lot of fuss; pulling a starter rope in the snow or a thunderstorm does not appeal to many people. On the safety side of things, a generator that features a low oil warning can make sure that your generator does not overheat. Each of these added features can add significant costs to the bottom line, so it is best to establish which is most important to you.

Buy a Refurbished or Open Box Model

One surefire way to save money when purchasing a generator is to buy a refurbished model. Refurbished generators can be thought of as the scratch and dent models of the generator world; while the exterior may not be perfect, manufacturers typically take considerable pains to make sure that everything works perfectly internally. These used generators for sale almost always come with a comparable warranty that would be found on a newer model. Additionally, it may be worth asking your local retailer if they have any open box models. These are typically brand new generators that have only been used for display, and as such can be significantly discounted.

Buy Online

Finally, don’t be afraid to shop around for a generator, especially online. The internet has brought many things, but one of them is almost universally lower prices for consumers. While not every retailer is reputable, the best online retailers can offer the same models of generator, with the same warranties, at a significant savings. Best of all, depending on where you purchase from, many of these generators are shipped for free. Of course, with the increased competition that online retailers represent, many more traditional stores are willing to price match online competitors to help keep business off the internet. At any rate, looking online gives you plenty of opportunity to finalize exactly what it is that you want in a generator.

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