Consumer Reports Top Generator Picks

6:39 PM, Aug 30, 2012   |    comments
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A portable generator can make life considerably more bearable during a power outage.   

Consumer Reports recently rated 14 different generator models.
Top Rated was the Troy-Bilt XP 7000 at $900, followed by the Generac GP5500 at $670, the Troy-Bilt 6000 aft $700 and the Honda EM6 at $2800.  The organization rated the Generac GP5500 model the Best Buy.

All those models range in wattage from 5000 to 7500 watts but Jeff Lindenmeyer at Home Depot said even a 3500 watt generator would keep several household appliances running. "That would power your lights, your refrigerator, freezer, tv, computers, fans, but not air conditioning," he said.

Most portable generators are powered by gasoline and should only be used outside.

Home improvement stores also rent generators but they have a limited supply and generators often get snapped up quickly during power outages.

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