Texarkana, Arkansas
610 Division Ave
Texarkana, AR 71854
(870) 775-1035

Standby vs. Portable Generators: Which One Is Best? July 19, 2019

Texarkana, Miller
Standby vs. Portable Generators: Which One Is Best? , Texarkana, Arkansas

Losing power, even for a short period, is inconvenient to say the least. Not only can your home become uncomfortably hot or cold but all the food in your refrigerator and freezer may spoil without electricity. Standby or portable generators can power your home while you wait for electricity to be restored. Use this guide to help you decide which generator type is best for you.

What Are Generators? 

Generators are machines that turn mechanical energy into electricity. The size of a generator determines how much power you can access. Smaller generators produce enough electricity to keep the lights on and your refrigerator running. Other larger generators can produce enough electricity to power everything in your home, ensuring you have heat, air conditioning, and septic service in addition to lights and appliances during an outage. 

Pros & Cons of Portable Generators 

generatorsPortable generators, as the name implies, can be moved around to power any appliances you want. Ideal for short-term outages, portable generators are affordable and don't require professional installation by an electrician. They are gasoline-powered machines, and you need to be home to use one. You have to start them and plug your appliances and extension cords into them manually. If you aren't home when your power goes out, it could be too late to save the food in your refrigerator by the time you return. Portable generators, also, are very noisy and expel carbon monoxide, so keep them outside. Despite these shortcomings, portable generators are a viable option for backup power, especially if outages are infrequent and don’t last long. 

Pros & Cons of Standby Generators

Sometimes storms or other natural disasters cause power outages that last for days or even weeks. During extended outages, standby generators can provide enough electricity to power an entire household. A standby generator is a permanent fixture that’s connected to your home’s electrical system. Call on an electrician to install one. A standby connects directly to a fuel source and automatically kicks on whenever it senses a decrease in power. Once power is restored, the unit shuts itself off. Standbys are more expensive than portable models and require yard space, but they are quiet and reliable, especially when properly maintained and regularly inspected by a licensed electrician.


If you need help deciding the best backup electricity option for your home, Service First Electrical and Plumbing can help. For more than 40 years they have served residents of Texarkana, in AK and TX, filling all of their plumbing and electrical needs. They offer a full range of home generators and will help you select the perfect portable device or standby system. To learn more about home generators, visit their website, or call them at (870) 775-1035 if you have questions