You never know what life is going to throw your way. Whether your property runs on solar power, wind power, water power, the power company grid, or a combination you should expect something to happen regardless of how well you design your power system or how well the power company has provided power in the past.
That is why you need a backup power system. You don’t want to be without power whether your loss of power is due to strong storms that came through the area or as the result of a major long-term disaster or complete collapse TEOTWAWKI type collapse. Just look at it as another insurance policy.
What should you use? A backup generator provides peace of mind when living off-grid and during emergencies. And today’s generators are lighter, quieter and more efficient than ever.
Why you need a generator
We’ve all seen the stories of people rushing to hardware stores the moment a hurricane or some other natural disaster is on the radar. For many who never pictured a life off-grid, that quickly becomes a reality and they are scrambling.
That is not what you want. When you are homesteading and when you are living off-grid, everything should be outlined, and you should have preparations in place. Preparations in place for ‘what if.’
By purchasing a generator now, it will be ready when you do need it.
How do you choose the right generator
We’ve established that it is in your best interest to have a backup generator. But before you simply go to the store to buy the first generator you see, there are several questions you should ask to make sure you have the right generator for your property. Especially if you are purchasing a generator for the first time.
This is a significant investment, so let’s make sure it’s the right decision.
- Does it provide the power you need?
If you have already constructed your off-grid power system, you should have a pretty good idea of how much power you use. If you haven’t done that yet, this is a great time to start.
But for your generators, you can determine what you need, rather than just want, to keep running. This means the wattage will likely be less than what you are used to with your power system. Go through your house, look at the labels detailing wattage for each item you want to keep running (if they have it). If you can’t locate that information, here is a good chart to help you get started.
When you’ve calculated the wattages, multiply it by 1.5 and that’s what you need. With that information, you can begin looking for a generator that can provide the necessary wattage.
- Is it easy to operate?
I will always prefer easy over hard. And that certainly includes generators. So what makes something easy to use? I would look into how easy it is to maintain with prior knowledge. Is it easy to start with little force? Is it fairly automated? That can be something as simple as a fuel shutoff valve when the engine is low on fuel? it portable and easy to move if necessary?
These are just a few of the questions I would ask in determining how easy (or difficult) a generator is to operate.
- Is it durable?
While we want something that is easy to operate, we can’t sacrifice performance.
The quality of a generator can vary greatly. It often has to do with price, but there are just certain engines you know you can trust. You aren’t just buying a generator to last a few months or maybe a year or two. You want it to last.
Look for a generator that has a strong engine and is built using high-quality materials. Because you don’t want to be wondering if your generator will be there when you need it.
I chose the Honda EU2200i
If you are ready to purchase your generator, I recommend the Honda EU2200i (check current price and availability at Amazon.com) And here’s why.
First, the quality. I want something that I know I can count on. You can trust Honda. The EU2200i is a generator that was introduced in early 2018 and replaced the legendary EU2000i. That’s not always an easy thing to do, but Honda’s generators are better than ever. Between the engine and the build, the quality of this generator is tough to beat.
The engine is 2200 watts, about 10 percent more than the previous model. And one great feature is that you can pair this generator with another EU2200i or the EU2000i model for more power when necessary. At the same time, you also get Honda’s noise reduction. I know many people think generators are just going to be obnoxiously loud. The EU2200i has a maximum of 57 decibels at full power which is about the normal noise level for conversational speech. So you get the power without the noise.
You will also enjoy great fuel efficiency. It can run for up to nine hours on less than one gallon of fuel.
It has the performance you need and it’s built to last. It has other great qualities that make it easy to use: It is lightweight, weighing less than 47 lbs. so moving it won’t be difficult, and it is pretty small at 20” x 11.4” x 16.7.” These are little things you need to keep in mind.
When you are living off-grid, you need to be prepared for life to happen. For the unexpected. But with the right backup generator, you will be ready and what could have been a disaster will just be a small inconvenience at worse…