If you’ve ever gone through a bad storm and lost power, you may want to purchase a portable generator. What a lot of people don’t think about at first, however, is that since these generators must always be used outside at least five feet from your home or structure, they will need a shelter of their own. You will need some kind of covering for your generator that will not only give it great storage, but also keep it accessible for safe operation when it is needed.
You will first want to think about where your generator will be stored. If you keep it stored inside a building when not in use, for instance, you might not need a sturdy shelter for it, but just a simple cover. However, if you store the generator outside, you will want to look at an enclosure that is a bit sturdier. Rain and snow can leak into the generator can cause corrosion, plus it could get damaged from tree sap and dust, the sun, and birds as well. A shelter for a portable generator should cover the unit on all sides for the most protection, with accessible openings/doors and the right amount of ventilation.
An outdoor, permanent enclosure winds up being the best option for a lot of people. It is much more convenient when you already have the generator set up and ready to go inside an outdoor shelter. These shelters can range in price from very cheap of about $250, up to $1000 or more. It will all depend upon your budget and if aesthetic value matters to you or not. They can be constructed of a variety of materials, but the easiest to assemble and more recent shelters look like a smaller version of a garden shed. Shelters which are enclosed need to have a ventilations system and fan set up for the exhaust and to prevent fires. A shelter that is built properly will have all the safety features ready, with through instructions on use.
If an expensive shelter is not in your budget currently, you could try something that is do-it-yourself while you save up some money. This could work out well if you are a handy person or have someone who can help you, but making a shelter for a portable generator without the right ventilation is a big fire hazard. There also have been cases where people try using the plastic pup tents to cover their units from rain, however this inevitable leads them to being melted near the exhaust, or even catching on fire. It could be better just to place it underneath a carport for a time, or make use metal sheeting as a roof to make a simple box (while leaving the exhaust to the outside and of course a lot of ventilation). You could also just get a large, old plastic barrel and cut it in half. Just make sure as always to leave the right openings for ventilation and exhaust.
Whether you are going to spend plenty of money for a shelter that is attractive or not, the main thing is that you have some kind of shelter, since operating a generator during a storm can wreck your generator and leave you with no power. Consider all of your options and remember that purchasing the right shelter the first time could save you from your generator being damaged.