Some people will just sit in the dark, others will huddle by a solitary candle, while those who have planned ahead will go on like nothing happened. When the grid goes down, will you choose to just survive… or thrive?
The power is out.
For some, electricity is a modern convenience, for others it can be the difference between life and death. Those who rely on CPAP machines, Oxygen concentrators, or have heart conditions know all-to-well how a power down situation can drastically affect their life. We have assembled some basic tips on how to make a power down situation merely a momentary inconvenience!
• What is a power inverter?A Power Inverter is a device that converts DC electricity into AC electricity. DC electricity is what comes from your car’s battery or out of the cigarette lighter/accessory socket in your car. AC power is what comes out of the wall outlet at your home or work.
• Is it complicated to use or install? Can you plug your electronics into the wall outlet? If you can, then using a power inverter is just as simple to use. For small applications (< 180 watts), you can use plug-and-play power inverters. “Installing” a larger inverter (> 180 watts) requires connecting two color-coded cables… it’s really simple!
• What devices do you need to power? Let’s be practical here, most people don’t need a hairdryer, electric skillet, or your central AC unit in a power down situation. Think of the necessary items that you will need to power (refrigerator, radio, TV, phone charger, etc.) and find the wattage of each item (most devices will have the wattage printed directly on it).
• What are the device(s) combined wattages (W)? For example, if your TV is 65 watts, the radio is 15 watts, and the refrigerator is 450 watts, add up all the wattages. In this case, 65W + 15W + 450W= 530 watts. We recommend adding 20% to give a buffer, so 530W + 20% = 636 watts required at minimum. It’s always better to go bigger than you need when it comes to inverters. In this scenario, I’d recommend a 700-800W Inverter like our SlimLine 800 Watt Inverter.
• Are you powering sensitive electronics or medical devices? If you need access to a computer, printer, variable speed devices, CPAP, fluorescent lights, Oxygen Concentrator, portable heater, or battery chargers (for power tools), you’ll want a Pure Sine Wave (PSW) Inverter. For all other applications, a Modified Sine Wave (MSW) Inverter will be a great choice.
Now that you have selected an inverter for your needs, lets install it! If your wattage needs are less than 180 watts, you can simply plug the inverter into your car’s cigarette/accessory socket. If your needs are greater than 180 watts, simply plug the inverter’s red cable to the red (+) positive side of your car’s battery connection, then connect the black cable from the inverter to the black (-) negative battery pole.
Now that you've seen how easy it is to set up and find the perfect inverter for you, don't drag your feet on getting it done: PREPARE NOW. Preemptively purchase, install, and familiarize yourself with your new system BEFORE you need it!
• Are Inverters only for emergency use? No way! Power Inverters are robust devices that are meant to be used. We have General contractors, Civil engineers, Construction crews, Builders, and Electric/Gas Companies that use our power inverters daily. You can use yours while tail-gating, camping, on road-trips, while commuting, or anywhere you need AC power!
Find what's right for your needs and get everything planned out to make your installation and set-up as easy as possible by calling us at 1.800.231.5806. You can email us too!
Blog: What is the difference between Modified Sine Wave and Pure Sine Wave?
Blog: Understanding Inverters and How-to Select the one that is right for you
Blog: Understanding Battery Specifications and How They Apply to your Inverter
Blog: How to Connect a Large or Small Inverter to a Battery