Many people have questions regarding the difference between these two generator types and want to know what will be their best option. Actually, they are quite different and their capacity to operate is quite different as well. The source of backup power you ultimately choose will be determined by many factors, including your power requirements.
Portable Generators: Portable generators are versatile. They are great for emergency power at home, for power in remote locations where utility power is unavailable, or for recreational purposes, like boating or camping. Many contractors use them as way to get power when they are at a job-site.
Portable generators run on gasoline or propane and have built-in outlets ranging between 120 to 240 volts. They require someone to start them up manually when there is a power outage and can only power appliances with cords. They are also not designed to power up sensitive electronics.While they do have their benefits they are not designed to run for long periods of time like a standby generator can.
Standby Generators: Standby Generators are great for backing up appliances and circuits wired into your homes electrical panel. They are permanently wired into your electrical panel and sense a power outage within seconds. They are designed to run either part of home or the entire house and are safe for sensitive electronic equipment. They do not require any action from the homeowner when the power goes out. They start up automatically, safely isolate utility power and generator power to allow safe clean power and transfer the power to generator power by means of a transfer switch. They are piped into your homes natural gas or propane supply, which means you dont have to go outside to refuel during a storm. When power returns they switch back over to utilty power automatically and get ready for the next outage. They startup and run for 12 minutes every week at a time and day of your choice to ensure that your home is always protected.
For More information see our video where we discuss the differences between portable and standby at the New Jersey Home Show.