In light (heh) of the recent power outages I'm thinking of buying a generator for backup power at our new house. Does anyone have experience with these who can make a recommendation? Some questions:

- Do I want diesel or gasoline? I don't want to have to mix oil, so a two-stroke is out. How do I store the fuel? In the basement? There are some generators that run on natural gas, but then I'd have to connect to the gas somehow.

- What brands are good?

- How large of a model do I need? This will obviously depend on what I want to run. Computers and the fridge should be less than 2KW, but I'm sure we'll want some lights also. How much power do air conditioners use? I bet quite a lot.

- Should I wire the generator directly into the house electricity, or just use an extension cord when needed?

- I bet generators are loud, but I'd be afraid to put one very far from the house because it might get stolen. Our neighbors wouldn't want the thing near them either, but I don't think it would be safe to run the generator in the basement without a lot of ventilation.

- Anything else I'm forgetting?

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