Making the Choice Between Standby and Portable Generators

Honda generators can be divided into two categories; portable and standby. While both deliver reliable backup power, each category of generators has strengths and weaknesses that will determine which type will provide the best solution for each household’s set of circumstances.

Here is a brief summation of the two generator categories:

Portable Generators

Portable generators are lighter in weight and more versatile than the standby variety. Portability allows for uses ranging from providing power while camping outdoors to generating much needed backup power during a blackout. These generators are typically configured with multiple outlets to provide power to a variety of appliances and equipment. With this versatility, however, comes a few issues that should be considered prior to making a final decision:

• For use during a power outage, a portable may have to be moved into position to provide power to the home. While this may not be an issue for those that are physically able, moving a portable generator may require more strength than some people possess.
• Portable generators typically have lower output levels than standby generators. This can prove to be problematic if a portable cannot generate enough power to run all the appliances and equipment necessary for the safety of household members.
• Portable generators require refueling during extended outages. Considering that portables should never be run indoors, this refueling will normally take place outdoors, hopefully in a protective shelter. If the unit is not located in a shelter refueling can prove to be a daunting task during severe weather.

Standby Generators

While standby generators do not offer the versatility of portable generators, they do offer significant benefits:

• Standby generators are specifically built to deliver backup power during an outage. Permanently connected to a home’s circuitry, standby generators switch on automatically within seconds of a power interruption. These generators also power down once the primary source of power is restored.
• Power output levels are higher than portables, with the potential to run major appliances simultaneously and/or power the entire home.
• Standby generators can be connected to the home’s natural gas line, eliminating the need for refueling.

Honda generators can provide solutions to every type of backup power need. For more information, visit:


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