emergency power newbie

9 months ago

I know almost nothing about emergency generators (gas or solar) so I thought I would present my situation to the forum folks in the hopes that someone can recommend a model that they have used and feel it will work for my application. Telling me I need 'this' type, with no models, will put me back into the rabbit hole I've been running in for awhile. :-)

I live in a house that has a natural gas furnace. I've lived here 30+ years with only one power outage more than a few hours - and that was only for a day. That tells me I shouldn't worry and do nothing. My friend, who has a generator, whom I would go to his house if need be - has moved out of state, so I feel my safety net that I only needed once needs a back-up plan. The other part of me says I really don't want to spend thousands of dollars on the one-off chance of a power outage lasting more than a few hours should occur in the winter (which is my only concern: I rarely use a/c in the summer, so the minor inconvenience in the summer wouldn't bother me much for a few days).

Should the power go out I would want the ability to power a space heater - even if just for one room - 24/7. Also, I would need to have my router working and have the ability to charge my smart phone a few times per day - and have access to a lamp during the evening hours. I'm pretty simple. Sure, I may loose some food in the fridge if the power goes out for more than a day - but I don't keep enough that I would fret about. As long as I, and my two dogs, were warm in one room - I'd do fine - living on the few non-perishables that I have set aside should this happen - and my phone would keep me connected to the outside world, along with being my source of entertainment.

Concerns: being a senior and not a strong person, my ability to pull-start something that is fine for a man may have its limitations. I do live in-town and perhaps a neighbor would pull start a gas powered unit for me - as long as it wasn't often where it would be an inconvenience. Although, I am guessing once it was running for several hours, restarting it would be something I could easily do myself - it's that first start that is always a killer for me. Whatever type you recommend, please provide the amount of gas it would require over the course of 24 hours for the above requirements - plus any other maintenance it would need to do (assuming a 3 day power outage - because anything more than that, I would plan to drive to my friend's house out of state, which I can do on a tank of gas - where he not only has a generator but a wood burning stove and is super mechanical, MacGyver-like - I'd want for nothing at his house :-). Hopefully, if a gas unit, it would be on the quiet side - I do live in-town so my neighbors are fairly close together. With it running 24/7 - well, if possible, a bit quieter would be ideal. The same thing for a solar unit: how long would it last over the course of 24 hour; charging, etc. I kind of understand the mechanics of a gas generator: keep it filled with gas and run an extension cord into the one room that I would be 'living in' - I'm guessing is all that I need to know. Solar is a bit more advanced, but I'd be willing to watch videos to understand how to operate them if a model was provided.

Again, since the odds of this ever happening is slim (but just my luck, now that my friend has moved) I would not want to spend much more than $500 for all that I would need.

Thanks all!!

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