10 Great Uses for a Portable Generator: When Should You Buy a Generator?

Last Updated on July 23, 2022 by Manager Access

Portable generators use cases

Wondering what a portable generator is used for and whether or not you should buy one? First of all, if you have to think about the uses of a portable generator, you’re probably lucky enough to live in an area where you rarely experience a power failure.

Generators are used to provide power to your home appliances in case of a power outage during any emergency.

Portable generators, as the name suggests, can be moved around easily. The generators can be powered by different kinds of fuel like gasoline, propane, or both. 

Generally, the more power a generator packs, the more outlets you can see in the portable generator. The outlets can be used to connect to extension cords or can be directly used to power home appliances through the portable generator.

Today, we’ll discuss some great uses for portable generators and, if some of these apply to you, then you already know what to do.

10 Reasons You (Might) Need a Portable Generator

A generator provides power in the form of electrical energy, which means it comes in very handy during emergencies when the power goes out.

To give you an idea, here are 10 great uses for a portable generator can be a life-saver:

1. It prevents food from spoiling in the fridge

Infographic on how to save food by having a generator

If you have a refrigerator stuffed with food and the power is out, you have a very good reason to worry. According to the USDA, throwing out foods in refrigerators that don’t have power for over four hours is recommended

A portable generator is handy in a situation like this because it lets you power your refrigerator, saving you hundreds of dollars worth of food – not to mention the effort of having to clean out and restock your fridge. 

2. It keeps the heater/cooler running

Infographic about keeping heaters and coolers running with a generator

Unfortunately, in some parts of the USA, the weather is freezing, and people there have to rely on heaters to keep the temperature regular.

On the other hand, some areas are so hot that it’s hard to function without air conditioning.

Now, imagine a power failure in those areas.

A portable generator is essential if you want better living conditions in case of emergencies. Not only that, it might even save you from an extreme situation. This is normally how generators are used in everyday life.

3. It can power your home business during outages

Infographic about how generators can keep your home business running

Having a portable generator is a necessary investment if you are a home business owner. Not having it would mean that your computer, WiFi, and printer will all be useless until the power comes back again. 

You can avoid a complete work shutdown by keeping portable generators as a backup for situations like this. Meeting the deadlines, keeping the workflow flawless, or maintaining communication with your prospects – all is possible when you have a generator on standby. 

4. It provides power in construction sites

Infographic about generators being used in construction sites

Apart from construction sites that need massive diesel-powered generators to get the job done, you might want to use portable generators for reconstructing your house too. Especially if you are constructing in places far beyond the reach of your extension cords, avoid recharging the batteries repeatedly and get the job done faster by using a portable generator.    

5. It provides power when you’re camping

Infographic about how to use generators when camping

You don’t have to rely solely on nature if you love camping, thanks to portable generators. You can use lights, fans, a stove, a mini-refrigerator, and charge your mobile or laptops. For both RV and open camping with tents, portable generators can add the touch of comfort from modern life. 

6. It provides power to outdoor parties.

Infographic about using generators in outdoor parties

Portable generators are the best choice when it comes to hosting outdoor parties. Whether it is the DJ setup, refrigerators, food warmers, or coffee makers, all of them can be powered by a portable generator.

Using extension cords to get a power source from indoors is not a safe choice and can also risk overloading. 

7. It keeps the water running in areas that use well water.

Infographic with an icon of an electric water pump on the right

Most people who live in rural areas have to rely on well water instead of municipal water systems. Unlike municipal water systems, pumping out water from wells needs electric motors to get the water to the home for usage. In this case, a portable generator is necessary to keep the water running in the event of a power outage.

8. It’s an essential backup power source in fire-risk zones.

Infographic about why it's important to have generators in fire-risk zones

Areas that are heavily wooded and are drought-stricken falls under the category of the fire-risk zone. It is very common for utility companies to turn off the power when it is very windy to avoid downed power lines, which is a leading cause of fire.

If you live in one of those areas, a portable generator is a much-needed secondary power source for your home. 

9. It provides power during outdoor sporting events

Infographic on why to have a generator in sporting events

Scoreboards, lights, sound systems, and other electronic equipment required in sporting events are powered by a portable generator.

If the event is small, a portable generator is sufficient, but more powerful or multiple portable generators are required for more grand events.

10. It provides essential backup power to vital medical equipment

Infographic about power backups for medical equipments

If you have someone in your family who relies on a medical device like a heart monitor or an oxygen tank, it is vital to be prepared for a power outage. In this case, it can be life-threatening not to have a portable generator in your home in case of an emergency.

3 Portable Generators to Choose From

1. Westinghouse WGen5500

Blue Westinghouse WGen5500 seen from three different angles

Packed with a 420cc Westinghouse OHV Engine has running watts of 5500. It is EPA, CARB, and CSA Compliant, making it very safe for use. It is very light, making it easy to move around, yet still providing a runtime of 13 hours on 50% load. It has everything that you would want in a portable generator.


  • Easy to move around
  • Safe to use: EPA, Carb and CSA compliant
  • Comes with easy to use toolkit


  • Complaints of Low Runtime by some customers
  • Some complaints of missing parts

2. Honda EU2200I

Red Honda EU2200I in three different angles

It is one of the best-selling generators on Amazon, and it is very light. It is very quiet and is a perfect choice for campers. It is very fuel-efficient and has an excellent runtime containing a one-gallon gas tank. 

It is perfect for camping, tailgating, or RVs as it is very compact, making it easily moveable. One of the downsides to it is no fuel indicator which forces you to rely on the sound indicating it is nearly out.


  • Compact and lightweight
  • Fuel efficient and reliable
  • 3 years warranty
  • Excellent reviews by customers


  • No Fuel Indicator
  • Costly

3. Yamaha EF2000iSv2

Blue and black Yamaha image from three different angles

It is the most stylish portable generator of the three. It is lightweight and has an extra handle that makes it very easy to relocate. With a 1.1 gallon tank and amazing fuel efficiency, it provides a very decent runtime. It won’t disturb your neighbors producing 51.5 dBA at 1/4 load.


  • EPA and Carb Compliant
  • Quiet and easy to move around
  • Comes with a 3-years warranty from Yamaha


  • Expensive
  • Complaints of problems when operating at high altitudes

Wrapping Up 

Knowing the great uses for a portable generator would help you understand if you need a generator. Use our generator size calculator to find out what kind of generator you need depending on the number of electrical appliances you want to power using a portable generator. 

You can also check out these comprehensive guides on generator maintenance and portable generator safety tips to keep you and your family safe while using backup generators.

Do you think we missed any other important uses for a portable generator? Feel free to mention them in the comments. 

If you found this article helpful, share it with your friends so they can also know some of the great uses for a portable generator.

If you’re thinking on getting a portable generator, check our top buying guides:

GeneratorGrid.com is an independent review business. I am not affiliated with any manufacturers and do not accept paid reviews. When you buy through my links, I may earn a commission which helps me purchase more generators for testing. - Scott Krager

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