Standby Or Portable Generators – Let’s Explore The Differences

By Steven Harrisson, November 17, 2014

In a case of electrical defects, people immediately go in stores and look for a generator as a quick solution. The generators are machines which have the ability to deliver a back up power that can be used for powering different electrical appliances. There are two types of generators on the market: standby and portable generators. But which one is better? Read the following text in order to determine which generator is better for you.

Both generators are designed to provide electrical power temporarily for your home or office, but there is a lot more to consider before buying a generator. The standby generators are usually installed outside your home or business office and look like a central air conditioning unit. They are fixed permanently and cannot be moved from one location to another. On the other hand, the portable generators are much smaller units which can be easily moved.


The standby generator has a transfer switch that automatically detects a power outage and turns on immediately, which means it can power your house even if you are not home. Powered by propane or natural gas, a standby generator can create power in less than 10 seconds. The portable generator is not designed to start automatically, which means you must be home during a power outage to turn it on.

When it comes to the capacity, the portable generators feature a large fuel tank with varying capacity which needs to be refilled on few hours, while the standby generators can provide immediate and long-term emergency power. Also, the standby generators create a cleaner and more stable power than the portable generators, which is vital for some sophisticated electronics. Usually, the cheap portable generators supply a power with poor quality which can damage your electronics.


However, the main advantage of the portable generators is their mobility. They are lightweight and compact machines, which means that they can be installed and stored anywhere you want. As stated above, the standby generators are fixed units.

Some parts of the portable generators are exposed outside, while the standby generators are fully enclosed. However, the portable generators create less noise than the standby generators because they are designed with less powerful engines.

Depending on your needs and requirements, it is up to you to decide which generator is ideal for your home or business office.