Shopping for a generator? Here are some tips to think about before buying.
- Ask the dealer how many watts it will put out and for how long and how big a load it can handle.
- You could spend around $350 for a 2,400 watts model, $600 for an industrial-strength model. A television uses 300 watts; a freezer, 330; a water heater 3,000.
- Compare brands and models. Get manufacturer's toll-free numbers for technical questions.
- Make sure you have the right cords and connectors or the generator will be useless. Consider an auxiliary fuel tank.
- Don't fill fuel tanks until right before the storm. Stored fuel will grow stale and is unsafe in a hot garage.
- Most starters use rope pulls. If your use a battery, make sure it's kept charged.
- Buy now, not after the storm. You'll pay a lot less.