The weather can be unpredictable in Northeast Ohio. When it comes to protecting your home, business and family during emergencies, you must have all your bases covered when you need backup power. If rain, thunderstorms, snowstorms, high winds or vehicle accidents cause temporary power outages in your area, a home standby generator can keep your electrics up and running. 

For businesses, no power often equals no income. For homeowners and families, without power output, it can bring school, work and leisure to a grinding halt. Generac standby generators provide the most robust and reliable backup power solution.

While a portable generator is useful for people who rarely require backup electricity, it can’t provide power for an entire residential or commercial property. Portable backup generators typically need regular refills and won’t power your entire house in your absence, but they’re a cost-effective short-term fix for a small outage. Unlike portable generators, the standby generator is more of an investment. It offers complete protection, a return on your investment in the long run, and protects you against losses.

How Does a Standby Generator Work?

A stationary standby generator is permanently installed on your property, usually with its own weatherproof covering. Once you’ve had one installed, it usually lasts for around 30 years — although it does require regular maintenance. They tend to run on gas, propane or natural gas.

Generac standby generators turn on automatically, usually within 30 seconds of an outage. This means the transition is almost seamless, which can prevent lost income if you’re running a business. If you work or attend school from home, this standby generator can give you peace of mind that you have constant access to electricity.

Stationary standby generators are handy when you’re on vacation, as the automatic transfer switch is self-acting and can alert you or your generator provider of issues 24/7. All your perishables would go to waste if you had a portable backup generator because it wouldn’t switch on in your absence. Upon resale of your property, you can expect a 75%-100% ROI with an emergency standby generator.

whole home generator

How Does a Portable Generator Work?

Portable generators tend to run on gas, propane, a natural gas line, or diesel fuel, making them less eco-friendly than stationary standby generators. Portable generators produce less power and make more noise than standby generators, but they’re a lower upfront cost. A portable generator requires careful storage, and you must bring it outside when needed. You’ll need a canopy or cover to protect it from the rain.

Once you’ve turned on your generator with the transfer switch, you’ll need to choose what you use it for. It’s unlikely it’ll be able to power everything in your home or business. To keep your portable generator operating, you must store a significant amount of fuel.

image of a Portable Generac Generator in an Ohio backyard while a man wood works.

Portable Generators vs. Standby Generators


  • Portable: These generators are usually heavy, and they’re almost always fueled by gasoline, propane, or diesel fuel. You’ll have to take it out of storage and set it up when you need to use it. It’s easy to install — just assemble it, fill it up with fuel and turn the transfer switch on. You can’t use it indoors, and you’ll need to cover it in case of rain.
  • Standby: A stationary standby generator needs to be installed by a professional. In most cases, you might also require a plumber to fit it so it’s hooked up to your fuel source. Once the job is complete, an inspector must ensure it’s installed safely. You don’t need to do anything; it should switch on automatically.


  • Portable: You need to be present to use a portable generator. So, if you go on vacation and there’s a power outage, all perishables will spoil, the sump pump may fail, and your home’s security may be compromised.
  • Standby: These generators turn on automatically when they detect a drop in power. They’re connected to a reliable energy source. Also, Generac generators can be monitored 24/7 by WIFI or cellular LTE monitoring options so that you can rely on them during an extended power outage, and you won’t need to store fuel.


  • Portable: The amount of power you get from portable generators depends on the unit size you choose. You may be able to get one large enough to power kitchen appliances, but you might need to turn off the lights.
  • Standby: Standby generators also come in various sizes, but they can usually power much more than a portable one.


  • Portable: Portable generators can be very noisy — generally more than standby generators.
  • Standby: A standby generator usually runs tests once a week for a short amount of time. They’re generally quieter than portable generators.


  • Portable: Even though you will be sure the fuel tank is empty each time you return it to its storage place, it still needs regular maintenance to ensure fluids and fuel are in good condition.
  • Standby: Most stationary generators give you some kind of signal when they require maintenance, but you should also get them routinely checked once a year.


  • Portable: The unit is affordable, but you should install a manual transfer switch to ensure safe operation, eliminating the chance of electrical mishaps.
  • Standby: A standby generator costs more than a portable model, but you’ll save money in case of a power outage, plus you’ll get added ROI on your property if you decide to sell

Don’t Be Left In The Dark, Contact Us Today

Don’t forget that we offer a no-obligation on-site generator assessment for your residential, commercial or industrial needs. Generator One currently serves Cleveland, Akron, and all of NE Ohio.

What Makes Generac Standby Generators Stand Out?

Generac’s standby generators typically last as long as 30 years. If they’re carefully maintained, they could last even longer. The company is committed to minimizing its environmental impact by making sure it can run using eco-friendly fuel, which is ideal for people who are conscious of their carbon footprint. A wide range of standby generators is available, including models serving residential, commercial and industrial clients.

Defending Northeast Ohio from the Elements

At Generator One, we provide the protection you can rely on against power outages. If you’d like more information about our portable and standby generators or advice about which to choose, call us today at 440-942-8449.