Wednesday, July 6

Buyer’s Guide: What Generator Should I Buy in SA?

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Winter is officially here, and loadshedding is likely to follow hot on its heels. South Africans at the mercy of Eskom know all too well that with our intermittent electricity supply comes fewer productive working hours, more takeaways, and cold showers. When that dreaded time comes for loadshedding, most of us consider buying a generator as a loadshedding solution, but few of us follow through with the purchase.

Johan Kruger, National Sales Manager for Husqvarna South Africa, believes that often people opt to stay in the dark,or choose alternative solutions to loadshedding, because of the perceived costs or just find the thought of choosing and installing a generator too overwhelming.

But Kruger explains that a buying a generator is more affordable than one would think and relatively simple to install if you choose the right brand and supplier. “The reality is that with the work-from-home and hybrid working models becoming the way of the future, our home has become our office and needs to be equipped accordingly. This will ensure that we can earn an income regardless of whether our national electricity supply is available.”

Also read: Top 3: Best Generators for Every Budget

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Still not sure which generator to choose? Here is a quick, simple guide to help you choose the right generator for your needs and budget. Finding the best price on generators in South Africa can be tricky, but once you know what your needs and wants are when buying a generator, then choosing the best generator for your needs will be a lot easier.

Getting technical – which generator is right for you?

Not all generators and created equal, and it’s important to choose the generator that is right for your household and your needs. Here’s how to decide which generator suits your needs:

1. Make a list of all the appliances and tools you’d like to be able to use when there’s no power.
2. Use a site like Draft Logic to get a rough idea of how much power each item on your list draws.
3. Add up the power for each appliance you want to run during loadshedding to find your power requirement.
4. Decide how much you’re prepared to spend on a generator.
5. Choose a generator that hits the sweet spot between power and your budget.

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Installation and maintenance

Another common reservation when buying a generator is installation and maintenance. You have to consider where to put it, how to connect it and turn it on. There are basically two types of generators and choosing the right type for your needs is important.

Standby Generators: These require professional installation and are connected to your electricity system. They work by closely monitoring your home’s voltage supply. Whenever a problem is detected, the generator will automatically turn on to ensure no lost power but, this is a relatively expensive option.

Portable Generators: portable generators work by turning an onboard alternator (fuelled by a petrol motor) into electricity that is then used to power your appliances or tools. It is fitted with outlets into which an extension cord can be plugged directly and will feed electricity to the items you need to be powered. A portable generator requires a manual start when electricity is required, but there are no installation costs and the unit is mobile, affordable and versatile.

When choosing a loadshedding solution, a generator is actually a very simple purchase once you know what your needs are. If you’re not sure, there are many guides online that will be helpful to you when you’re making the decision on buying a generator to light up your winter. Considering the unstable electricity supply and the pressure to maximise earning potential, a generator really is an essential tool in South Africa today.

PriceCheck tip: Loadshedding can be frustrating, but having a gas braai can ensure that meal-time isn’t interrupted at all. Check out the best deals and prices on gas braais on PriceCheck.

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