Those April showers that make the grass grow and flowers bloom also have a potential downside – power outages. Those power outages can result in flooded basements, not to mention spoiled food and lost data, among other things.

That’s why smart homeowners invest in a generator. But which type of generator is right for you – a standby or portable generator?

Here are some of the key differences and other things to know.



Portable Generator

Standby Generator

Basic use

Selected items, such as a refrigerator, freezer, etc.

Entire house.


Approximate range: $500 – $2,000

Approximate range: $2,000 – $20,000


Can be plugged into appliances or wired into electric panel. But it must be manually turned on to use.

Automatically turns on when there is a power outage to power the entire house.


Gasoline. Burns about 12-20 gallons a day.

Natural gas or liquid propane – whatever powers the home. Burns about 13-48 gallons per day.





Must be wheeled out of storage to use.

Permanently installed.


Can be done by the homeowner.

Professional installation.


Contact Ravinia Plumbing, Sewer, Heating & Electric About Standby Generators

The electrical professionals at Ravinia Plumbing can help you select and install a standby generator to protect your whole home from power outages. We’ve been in business since 1928, and we’ve made a name for ourselves as one of the most trusted and reliable plumbing, sewer, heating and air conditioning, and electrical companies in Chicagoland. Visit Ravinia Plumbing today to learn more, and check out our careers page to view our current openings.