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Portable vs. Standby Generators: What’s the Difference?

Written on: July 6, 2021

choosing a generator pennsylvaniaDid you know that major power outages occur 10 TIMES more frequently today than they did in the 1980s, and more than twice as often as they did less than 20 years ago?

Those are some scary statistics – and with many states (including Pennsylvania) pushing for increased electric use for home eating (something that will cost you in a big way – more on that in a future blog), those outage numbers are sure to rise even more in the coming years.

The problem with power outages, of course, is that they are more than an inconvenience – they can be costly or even dangerous for a homeowner in PA. Without power, your sump pump and even home emergency medical equipment won’t work – not to mention your heating system, refrigerator, and other critical appliances.

The good news is that a backup generator can help keep the power on and keep your family safe during an outage. But not all power generators are created equal: when shopping for a generator, you need to choose one with a wattage output equal to what you need to power.

Let’s take a closer look at generator choices for your Pennsylvania home.

Portable vs. Standby Generators: Pros and Cons

Portable Generators

Portable generators are standalone units that are typically powered by gasoline – although they can also be powered by diesel or propane. They connect manually to your circuit breaker, and you have to start them yourself.



Standby Generators

Standby generators (also called backup or whole-house generators) are permanently-installed units that can be powered by gasoline, diesel or propane. They must be professionally installed and integrated with your home HVAC and electrical systems. A generator unit is about the size of your air conditioner’s outdoor condenser unit.



Whatever You Choose, Power It With Propane

Whether you choose a portable or stationary standby whole house generator, be sure to power it with propane gas. Propane provides consistent, clean-burning power that works reliably in any weather, including the low temperatures we often see in Pennsylvania in January and February. It’s also cheaper per gallon than gasoline or diesel, which can really add up during a lengthy outage.

Considering installing a propane standby generator? We can help! Contact Ace-Robbins today to learn more about propane generator installations in Wyoming County, PA. Need a propane delivery for your current generator? We can help there, too – contact us today for propane deliveries in eastern Pennsylvania!