10 Best Standby Generators for Home Use

Don’t be left in the dark during the next big disaster – Check out some of the best generators 

In the wake of the recent Texas freeze and the widespread blackouts that followed, the subject of storm preparation has taken on renewed importance.  In Texas (and states across the South), the rare single-digit temperatures that accompanied this weather event sent millions into the safety of their warm homes to wait out the storm. 

Then disaster struck!  The Texas went dark, cutting power to millions of customers. 

The majority of people under the freeze suffered badly during the Blackout of 2021, but there were at least some lucky people for whom managing this crisis was much easier and convenient.  These were the fortunate folks who had planned ahead for an eventuality just like this by purchasing a quality home generator.

To make sure you are not left out in the cold when the next disaster strikes, below we have reviewed 10 of the best generators for home use—generators that can help you keep the lights (and heater) on when you need them most. 

We have also included a Home Generator Buying Guide, in which we will outline and explain some of the key features to look for when picking out a generator to call your own.

Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 240

According to Digital Trends, the Explorer 240 version of the Jackery Portable Power Station is one of the best mobile generators on the market today.  The generator boasts a robust 240-watt-hour battery pack, multiple AC and DC power options, and two USB-A ports.  Although originally designed for outdoor use, the Jackery Portable Power Station is plenty powerful to get you and your family through the next storm.  It has an integrated MPPT controller for lightning-fast charging, and its eco-friendly, green design is guaranteed not to emit pollutants into the air.  The product comes with a great 5-year, no-questions-asked warranty, during which the company will service or replace the product for free.

DuroMax XP5500EH Electric Start Portable Generator

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you’re looking for a sturdy generator that can be operated via two distinct fuel sources—gasoline and propane—the DuroMax XP5500EH Electric Start Portable Generator might be just the product you seek.  Even better, with its ultra-visible, front-facing fuel interface, not only can you switch between fuel types in a matter of seconds, you can also continuously monitor your fuel levels to ensure no interruption in power.  And if safety is important to you, the generator’s patented CO Alert Technology will actually shut down the motor at the first inkling of carbon monoxide.

Champion Power Equipment 100692 2000-Watt Portable Inverter Generator

Weighing in at just under 40 pounds, the Champion Power Equipment 100692 2000-Watt Portable Inverter is one of the most transportable 2000-watt generators in existence.  The generator features a whisper-quiet engine, and the optional parallel kit, which can be easily clipped to the exterior, allows you to effortlessly connect another inverter as a way to instantly increase your power.  The environmentally-friendly unit is the perfect option when powering sensitive appliances and electronics; and the three-year limited warranty includes a lifetime of technical support from Champion’s expert team of agents.

NinjaBatt Portable Power Station

With a name like NinjaBatt, you know this portable power station is both strong and versatile.  When electrical emergencies strike, the NinjaBatt Portable Power Station will allow you to continue powering all your necessary devices in any kind of weather.  The myriad of flexible ports and different power options—including solar—will ensure that you are never left in the dark.  Safe to start and use and quiet as a mouse, this is the last portable outdoor generator you will ever need.

Westinghouse WGen7500 Portable Generator

The Westinghouse WGen7500 Portable Generator delivers a commanding 7500 watts of darkness-busting power with a peak performance of 9500 watts. The generator offers a state-of-the-art remote starting system with key fob, and up to 11 hours of operational time on a single 7-gallon tank.  This beast features a powerful 420-cubic inch 4-stroke OHV engine, fuel level gauge and a digital hour meter to let you know when it’s time to refill the tank.  Both EPA and CARB compliant, the unit also boasts a low-oil shutdown feature and a 3-year limited warranty for both parts and labor.

AZEUS Portable Power Station

Known for its ultra-high capacity and 250 watt-hour battery, the AZEUS Portable Power Station should be a standard in every American garage.  This portable generator includes a variety of interfaced ports as well as an LED flashlight with three very useful settings—lighting, SOS and strobe.  Its proprietary battery management system not only lengthens its usage on a single charge, it also protects the battery from overload and potential damage.  Weighing just 4.9 pounds, it is one of the lightest products in this category, and its easy-grip handle and sleek design make it incredibly portable.

WEN 56475 Portable Generator with Electric Start  

A gas/fuel-based generator with an easy-to-access electric start mechanism, the WEN 56475 Portable Generator is one of the more impressive alternate power sources you can buy.  Convenient to say the least, the unit has a bright digital readout that helps you manage its maintenance and oil level, and the automatic shut-off feature ensures its protection against low oil and overload events.  Its powerful 233-cc engine cranks out over 4500 surge watts; and the collapsible handles and wheel kit makes it very easy to transport and store.

Generac 70432 Home Generator

When trouble is in the sky, you’ll be happy to have the Generac 70432 Home Generator standing by.  This impressive generator offers whole-house protection thanks to its authoritative system of batteries, which together crank out 200 Amps of lighting and heating power.  The remarkable machine is equipped with the very latest electronic controls; and its (included) aluminum outdoor enclosure means it won’t crowd up your garage.

A-iPower SUA Portable Generator

The grandaddy of all home power systems is the A-iPower SUA Portable Generator.  This massive generator is able to produce 12,000 watts of starting power and an unmatched 9,000 watts of continuous operation.  Its enormous seven gallon tank provides a whopping 9 hours of power (7 hours at top-load); and the electric start means you will never again have to pull another rope crank.  The machine offers a variety of easy-access ports for charging necessary devices; and an automatic shutdown feature that constantly monitors both carbon monoxide and oil level.

Champion 8.5-kW Home Standby Generator

One of only a few dual-fuel units on our list, the Champion 8.5-kW Home Standby Generator can be operated using gas or propane, with a highly visible switch system to alternate between the two fuel types.  It offers a three-position electric ignition switch and a quick-touch panel that gives you access to all of its monitoring features.  While enormously powerful, the generator emits just 59 decibels of noise and is rated for both home and RV use.  As with all Champion products, this unit also comes with a lifetime of dedicated support.

Home Generator Buying Guide

When a blackout hits due to wind, rain or snow, essentially leaving your family freezing in the dark, you’ll definitely want a generator on which you can depend.  To assist you in purchasing just the right type of home generator—one that meets all your power, safety and convenience needs—below we have compiled this brief Buying Guide outlining just some of the features to consider when shopping.

Dual-Fuel Power

As the blackout problems spread throughout Texas in February of 2021, thousands of people scrambled to find gasoline in order to run their single-fuel generators.  This turned out to be a major headache, depleting gasoline supplies in some areas of the state.  However, with a dual-fuel unit, this problem can be totally averted.  Dual-fuel units can operate on both gasoline and propane, giving you another solid option during power emergencies.

Automatic Start

When the temperatures drop into the single digits or lower, the last thing you will want to do is start endlessly tugging at a pull-rope to start your generator.  Automatic, electric start mechanisms allow you to quickly fire up your generator, saving precious seconds when they are needed most.

Automatic Shutoff System

An automatic shutoff system not only allows you to protect your generator when the oil level is running low, it can also save your life.  Some of the better generators have the ability to shut themselves down when the oil is running low or when they detect even a whiff of carbon monoxide—a deadly gas that can kill in a matter of minutes in an enclosed space. Therefore, if you opt to go with a fuel-based generator—rather than one that operates solely on battery power—be sure to select one with a low-oil and carbon monoxide detector and an automatic shutoff for both of these instances.

Environmentally Friendly

Battery power has come a long way in recent years.  There are now lithium-ion battery packs that can power whole-home generators for many hours on a single charge.  Although very powerful and super convenient, the real advantage to owning one of these DC-powered marvels is the lack of carbon emissions produced, making them great for the environment and safe for your home.

Highly Visible Fuel and Oil Gauges

When using your generator to power important systems and appliances—like heaters and refrigerators—you will need to keep track of the unit’s fuel consumption and reserves to ensured preparedness and continuity of service.  This is exactly the benefit of having front-facing and LED-lighted fuel and oil gauges.  These gauges allow you to stay on top of your fuel usage, even in low-light environments.

Multiple Ports

Last but certainly not least, a high-quality whole-house generator should be equipped with multiple ports and outlets for powering your various needs—needs ranging from lighting systems to laptops to mobile smart phones.  While most generators boast electrical outlets, the newer and more versatile units also have the different types of USB connections that are so very necessary in today’s changing world.

Frequently Asked Questions 

What size generator do I need to power my house?

You will need a generator with a minimum of 1000 to 2000 watts. Written out formulaically it’s: (Running wattage x 3) + Starting wattage = Total wattage needed. Tip: For best results, always use a generator that can comfortably handle all your power needs while using no more than 90 percent of its capacity.

How long can a standby generator run continuously?

As long as there is sufficient fuel supply of natural gas or propane, a well-maintained backup generator will keep running. If the Generac generator is running on propane, with a 500-gallon tank, it should run 24 hours a day for over a week.

How many watts does Central AC use?

An average central ac will use 3000 to 5000 watts of power for around 9 hours a day during the hotter months. Click calculate to find the energy consumption of a central air conditioner using 3500 Watts for 3 hours a day @ $0.10 per kWh.

Can you use a standby generator full time?

In theory, standby generators will run indefinitely or for however long fuel is supplied to the generator. Most standby generators are fueled by natural gas (NG) and, thus, there is no need for a fuel tank since there is an endless supply of NG from your utility company.

Is it okay to leave a generator running all night?

The short answer is Yes. You can leave a generator running all night as long as you have enough fuel.  In fact, most generators have a run time of about 8 hours, and some can run up to 12 hours. Depending on the size,, and others even more, which indeed allows them  to keep running overnight.

What is the life expectancy of a generator?

25 to 30 years

The life of a natural gas standby generator is the same as a diesel. Typical life span for standby generators is 25 to 30 years. For applications operating outside of standby, engine life is dependent on run hours, maintenance cycles, and the quality of installation.

 

Kitchen Design Trends To Look Out for in 2021

Kitchen Design Trends To Look Out for in 2021

As the new year approaches, new trends will begin to emerge. Kitchen design trends change constantly; our kitchens are continually evolving to become a better space for gathering and cooking. The style is always shifting due to technology advancements, different color schemes, and storage needs. Here are some kitchen design trends to look out for …

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Three of The Best Chairs for Sewing Plus Buying Guide

woman sitting at sewing machine

Our Top Three Choices of Sewing Chairs

Stitching your favorite patterns, clothes and even costumes can be a very rewarding pursuit, especially when the final product comes together exactly as planned.  However, sewing can also be a long, arduous and often uncomfortable pursuit, particularly when working with the wrong type of equipment and accessories, such as your sewing chair; the chair upon which you may sit for hours when applying your craft. 

Fortunately, this article, in which we will discuss some of the best chairs for sewing, could very well lead to a more comfortable and productive experience. 

Here we will list and review some of the best types of chairs for sewing on the market today, and highlight some of the benefits and disadvantages associated with each chair. 

We have also included a Sewing Chair Buying Guide, in which we will discuss and illuminate some of the most prominent features and functions you should look for in a high-quality sewing chair.

Arrow Adjustable Height Hydraulic Sewing and Craft Chair

The absolutely ideal seating solution for any sewing room or craft area, the Arrow Adjustable Height Hydraulic Sewing and Craft Chair is a must have for the seamstress or craft aficionado in your home. 

Featuring a bright and colorful pattern with a sewing motif, the durable Riley Blake fabric that covers the chair really stands out against the black painted background that covers the chair’s frame.  Aesthetically, it is one of the most beautiful sewing chairs on the market—a chair that will instantly brighten any room.

The adjustable height features on the Arrow Adjustable Height Hydraulic Sewing and Craft Chair allow you to find your ideal sitting position and the one-push controls and heavily padded cushions are guaranteed to increase your sewing productivity. 

The seat-back cushions provide excellent lumbar support and an increased level of comfort to get you through even the most problematic and complex projects. 

Highly mobile, the Arrow Sewing Chair boasts 5 casters on a star-shaped base for the very best in movement, allowing you to retrieve items from your sewing cabinet and return to your machine without ever leaving the chair.  The frame is very tough and sturdy, made from the finest materials; and the rugged wheels work well on a variety of surfaces. 

Perhaps the most unique feature of the Arrow Adjustable Height Hydraulic Sewing and Craft Chair is its storage capability.  Under the seat cushions is a well hidden storage compartment that is perfect for storing patterns and other accessories.

Pros

  • Great mobility.  Thanks to the 5 caster wheels on the star-shaped base, the Arrow Adjustable Height Hydraulic Sewing and Craft Chair is very mobile indeed.
  • Hidden storage compartment.  The hidden storage compartment, located under the seat cushion of the chair, is perfect for stowing away items you will always need.

Cons

  • Loud fabric color.  Although the fabric on the Arrow Adjustable Height Hydraulic Sewing and Craft Chair is quite striking, the colors may be too bright and vivid for some people.

Reliable SewErgo Ergonomic Task Chair with Adjustable Back 

Made in Canada by the Reliable Corporation, the SewErgo Ergonomic Task Chair with Adjustable Back is one of the most comfortable chairs you will ever sit upon.  Equipped with much-needed ergonomic features and functionality, these sewing chairs are certain to support your whole body as you tackle all of your sewing needs and crafts. 

The backrest provides excellent lumbar support and comfort, and the entire chair is covered with a durable fabric you have to feel to believe.

You can glide without a care in the world thanks to the glides that are attached to the base of the chair.  The great things about these glides is that they move effortlessly with very little effort from the user.

Pros

  • Fully adjustable.  With three adjustable features, the Reliable SewErgo Ergonomic Task Chair with Adjustable Back enables sewing enthusiasts to complete their work while being comfortably supported.
  • High backrest.  The backrest on this chair is higher than on other like products.

Cons

  • Narrow seat cushion.  According to just a few reviewers, the seat cushion on the Reliable SewErgo Ergonomic Task Chair with Adjustable Back is a little too narrow.

HON ValuTask Low Back Task Chair

With a very breathable contoured sandwich mesh on the seat back of this chair, your days of perspiring and sticking to the seat back will be gone if your purchase the HON ValuTask Low Back Task Chair.  Add to that the two layers of padding on the seat cushion and you have a chair that is comfortable and supportive enough to sit on all day.

The HON ValuTask Low Back Task Chair has a lot of great adjustment features, such as height adjustment and the ability to rock and swivel.  This allows seamstresses to effortlessly move from one station to the next smoothly.

The low back chair has center tilt control with both lock and tension control features; and the waterfall-shaped front end of the seat provides support that is ergonomically tailored for stability.

Pros

  • Breathable.  With its sandwich mesh seat back, the HON ValuTask Low Back Task Chair is extremely breathable.
  • Loaded with functions.  From its center tilt control to tension adjusting functionality, this sewing chair offers more functions than most other chairs in this class.

Cons

  • Armless.  Those looking for armrests on their sewing chair will probably pass on the HON ValuTask Low Back Task Chair.

Sewing Chair Buying Guide

If you have decided that a purposed sewing chair would be the perfect addition to your sewing or craft room, there are some considerations you should take into account before making that purchase.  Not all sewing chairs are alike, and each tends to has its own unique set of features and functions. 

To help guide you through the selection and purchasing process, below we have listed and explained some of these vital aspects.

The Style of Chair

Sewing chairs come in a variety of different styles, from those with squared off seats and stationary legs, to those that resemble the traditional office chair to those that rock, swivel and even tilt. 

Each of these styles has its advantages and drawbacks, but what is really important in the “style” of a chair is whether or not “you” like it.  We recommend that you take your time when shopping for a sewing or craft chair. 

Go ahead and try out a number of different chairs for their comfort and functionality.  After all, it is the chair in which you feel the most comfortable that you will be the most productive.

While we are speaking about the style of the chair, it’s important to note that some sewing chairs are equipped with arms, while others are not.  Some even have removable arms allowing you to switch back and forth if you so desire. 

Having arms or no arms on your new sewing chair is really a matter of preference.  Some seamstresses and craft fanatics prefer a chair without arms because those arms can get in the way and limit their freedom of movement.  Others prefer a chair with arms for support. 

Try it both ways and see which style of chair suits you best.

Chair Size

When we speak about the size of the sewing chair we are talking about its height and width.  You need a chair that comfortably fits your bottom and has enough padding to keep you comfortable during the day. 

When it comes to height, you will definitely want an adjustable sewing chair, one that can be moved up and down according to the project on which you are working. 

As for the seat back itself, some people prefer a very high back chair with an ergonomic neck rest, while others prefer a chair that comes to about the middle of their back. 

Keep in mind, that while the size of your new chair is purely a matter of preference, you should always consider the breadth of projects on which you will be working and thus the chair’s functionality as it relates to its size.

Adjustability

While some sewing chairs are completely stationary, there are sewing and craft chairs that can be adjusted.  Personally, we recommend the latter variety.  With a fully adjustable chair you can amend the height to suit you, change your seat back position for comfort and function, and even tilt the seat back in to get a better look at projects. 

Just be sure the adjustment hardware on the chair is sound and durable, or you could quickly lose those adjustment functions.

Ergonomics

When shopping for a sewing chair we recommend that you choose one that has been ergonomically designed.  Ergonomically designed chairs will help support your body and prevent repetitive motion injuries. 

Try and select a chair that provides lumbar support for your lower back, and one with an ergonomic seat that helps improve your posture.  In an ergonomic chair you will be able to work much longer without getting tired. 

Most of them allow you to adjust the tilt angle of the seat when working on different projects, and some even have padded seat extensions for resting your neck.

Durability

Last but not least we need to talk about the durability of your new sewing chair. Frankly, it can often be difficult to know which sewing chair will be durable and which will not. 

However, there are several things you can check before making your purchase.  First, the frame should be made of a very durable material. 

If you elect to choose a stationary flat-backed chair, make sure the base is made from a durable wood or metal material, such as oak and steel, respectively.  Check the stitching on the seats as well; and read plenty of reviews. 

Try to choose a chair whose manufacturer is a recognized and renowned name in the industry. If you elect to go with an adjustable sewing chair, the frame should be made of a tough metal material and the adjustment devices should also be strong and sturdy. 

Many of the low quality sewing chairs use plastic adjustment mechanisms that can break over time, and have frames that are anything but durable.

If you have tried any of the above mentioned chairs, please let us know your thoughts on the brand, especially in terms of comfort and durability.

Happy Stitching !