HomeEnergy & PowerThe Best Whole House Generator by Consumer Reports: Top 7. Blackouts can occur for several reasons and may leave you without power for days. When such happens, the next best alternative to keep on getting a constant power supply is a generator set. The best whole house generator can be helpful, especially if you live in areas where tropical storms happen frequently.
To choose the best generator for a home, these are factors to consider. We have reviewed 7 of the best whole house generators you can purchase for home use in 2020. This article also contains a whole-house generator sizing guide, which will help you choose the ideal product for your needs.
To continue with this discussion is the comparison table of the various generator for unbiased selection.
- Running watt: 14kw. Runtime: 24/7hrs . Castors wheels: No.
The Best Whole House Generator Comparison
Types of Generator and Fuel Source
Tank size: Not specified . Dimension: 50 x 30.1 x 40.2inches. Running watt: 8,500. Runtime: 17.5hrs . Castors wheels: Yes. Tank size: 6.6 gallons . Dimension: 50 x 30.1 x 40.2inches. Running watt: 20,000. Runtime: 24/7hrs . Castors wheels: No. Tank size: Not specified . Dimension: 48 x 26.2 x 29 inches. Running watt: 13kW.
Runtime: 24/7hrs . Castors wheels: No. Tank size: Not specified . Â• Dimension: 48 x 25 x 29 inches. Running watt: 6,500. Runtime: 10.5hrs. Castors wheels: Yes. Tank size: Not specified . Dimension: Not specified. Running watt: 9,500. Runtime: 10.5hrs.
Castors wheels: Yes.
- Tank size: Not specified. Dimension: 40 x 29 x 27.5 inches. Running watt: 6,500.
- Runtime: 14hrs. Castors wheels: Yes. Tank size: 5 gallons.
- Dimension:25.5 x 21.1 x 21.4 inches. The Champion Power Equipment 100294 home standby generator comes with 14-kilowatt power to provide 14,000 watts of electricity on propane and 12,500 watts on natural gas.
- It also has a 24-volt starting system that is capable of operating in extreme or sub-zero heat even without a warming kit.
Besides, this unit performs self-diagnostic tests. As a result, you can ascertain for sure when there is something wrong with the unit in advance before a breakdown.
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There is a low-tune muffler that dampens the sound of the generator for quiet performance. This way, you can enjoy an uninterrupted power supply at 63 dba noise level. Since it is a standby generator, it does not require manual operations and extension cord.
Our plus for this. 10-year limited warranty . Weekly self-diagnostic tests . Low-tone muffler . Our minus for this. Costly plumbing and electrical contracting. Unlike many large generators, the Westinghouse WPro8500 Super Duty Industrial Portable Generator comes in a small size.
Despite its size, the machine is designed for industrial-grade use with 8500 running watts and 11500 peak watts.
- This plus an automatic low oil shutdown, a full panel GFCI, and overload protection are some of the most impressive features of this powerful whole house generator.
- An electric start feature permits effortless starting as the key fob allows you to start it from a distance.
- The engine runs for about 17.5 hours on a large 6.6-gallon gas tank.
- Smart idle control and a built-in fuel gauge help oil measurement.
For easy mobility, the generator comes built-in foam grip handle and heavy-duty wheels.
7 Best Whole House Generator Reviews for Homes
There is also a lift bracket for better handling. Our plus for this. Electric start . Full panel GFCI. Smart idle controls . Our minus for this. Loud and heavy. The Kohler 20RESCL-100LC16 Air-Cooled Standby Generator stands out with a sleek appearance that could easily be mistaken for an air conditioner.
Like an AC unit, the generator is installed outside the home and is wired into the fuel system and electrical panel. This way, it is automatically engaged after an outage. With a response time of about 10 seconds, the generator offers premium power quality with less than 5% harmonic distortion.
This protects your electronics from damage from power fluctuations.
- Measuring 48 by 26.2 by 29-inches, the machine comes with a 100% corrosion-proof enclosure that protects it from harsh climatic conditions.
- It also features a 100 amp 16-circuit automatic transfer switch for 20000 Watt.
- This plus 5-years warranty coverage make the product one of the best whole house generator.
- Our plus for this. 100% corrosion-resistant enclosure .
How to Pick the Best Whole House Generator for Your House
10 seconds response time . 5-years warranty coverage . Designed by Generac, the 7175 Guardian 13kW Home Backup Generator enough power for the entire household with its 200 amp and NEMA 3R aluminum outdoor enclosure smart switch.
Engineered with true power technology, the unit delivers premium power quality with less than 5% harmonic distortion.
This promotes the smooth and clean operation of appliances and electronics.
- Plus, the machine is engineered and built in the USA with foreign and domestic machine parts.
- There is also a pressure-lubricated G-Force engine that aids heavy unit operations.
- This cuts down on maintenance time for reliable performance.
- The automatic generator comes with a 5-year limited warranty, a removable door panel, and a base pad that minimizes ground preparation.
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Our plus for this. 5-year limited warranty . G-Force engine . Our minus for this. No wheels or carrying handle . Another product from Generac, the Generac 7682 GP6500E – 6500 Watt Portable Generator like its counterpart delivers smooth and easy operation with its OHV engine.
The durable engine comes with a lubrication feature to prolong the engine’s life. It also comes with a large-capacity steel fuel tank that is incorporated with a fuel gauge for stable and reliable performance. At full capacity, the generator can run for up to 10.5 hours at 50% load.
For smooth operation, the unit comes with an electric start feature and a battery.
- This reduces the strain and pressure needed to activate the machine.
- With Generac’s PowerRush advanced technology, the product delivers up to 40% more starting capacity.
- Two heavy-duty wheels and handles also aid movement.
- Our plus for this. Large-capacity fuel tank. Electric start and battery .
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Our minus for this. No warranty information. Propane, Gas, and electric start features among others make the DuroMax XP12000EH Dual Fuel Portable Generator one of the best whole house generators. Designed by DuroMax, the XP12000EH unit runs on a DuroMax 18HP, 457cc OHV engine.
It also features a dual-fuel technology that allows it to run on either gasoline or propane. This way, with enough flexibility, you can determine your fuel choice. Propane for one has a longer shelf life and supports cleaner burning that won’t harm the engine internals.
It is also less expensive and makes a good source of power.
- The generator offers 9500 running watts and 12000 starting watts.
- Hence it can handle heavy loads and high amperage tools.
- As a plus, the machine is CARB and EPA certified for use in all the states of America.
- Our plus for this. EPA and CARB approved . Dual fuel technology .
What Are the Common Features of These Types of Generators?
Powerful engine . Our minus fir this. The wheels are plastic. The Briggs & Stratton 30675 Q6500 Inverter Generator combines stylish design and functionality into a quiet backup power for homes. Rated 60% quieter than standard generators, the unit features an efficient integrated engine and alternator that provides up to 14hrs runtime at a 25% load.
The machine is also 30% more fuel-efficient at 25% load. Its design is also 30% lighter than standard generators and 45% more compact.
There is also a telescoping luggage-style handle feature paired with 8-inches solid wheels.
- This makes it easy to move around your home. Besides quiet performance features, the inverter features a steel-frame enclosure shell that protects internal components and minimizes noise.
- Our plus for this. Compact design.
- Our minus for this. The access panel doesn’t fit well. Since natural gas is a common and abundant fuel, gas generators are fairly common.
- They are considered cleaner (with minimal emissions) and possibly cheaper alternative to traditional fueling options like gasoline or diesel.
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Natural gas-powered generators are also not susceptible to cold. Usually, they are installed directly into gas lines. This means fuel is readily available with no need to be re-filled. The downside of this, however, is that such a generator is not portable.
The generator is more affordable as well but the cost of installation can be quite high since expert services are required to connect to gas lines. They are also high maintenance (a gas leak can be very dangerous) and they are less durable. Diesel generators are quite common and the durability of diesel engines is well known.
Hence, they are suitable for longer and heavier use compared to most of the other types of generators with less maintenance required.
- Diesel is considered the least flammable of all fuel sources.
- However, it has high emission rates. Because of this, some areas place a limit on the number of house diesel generators can be run per day.
- Diesel fuel doesn’t store well too. Large quantities cannot be stored for more than 24 months.
- Diesel generators are generally affected by to wet stacking (I.e.
6. DuroMax XP12000EH Dual Fuel Portable Generator
moisture ruins the fuel). Hence they are least suited for a wet environment. A close alternative that is resistant to wet stacking is emulsified diesel. Emulsified diesel has lower emissions and offers almost the same shelf-life as regular diesel.
This can be in the form of propane liquid or vapor. Propane overs several advantages over diesel or gasoline fuel. It is a much cleaner alternative with very low emissions.
It also has a longer shelf life compared to gasoline and diesel.
- It works well and powers up faster even in cold weather. Generators powered with propane are generally considered to be more affordable and last longer.
- But while the generator is cheaper and durable, the fuel isn’t.
- it burns 3 times faster than diesel. Propane is a complex fuel that requires a complex system to use.
- Hence, the cost of installation of a propane generator is typically higher since it must be installed into gas lines.
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Also, the fact that propane is kept under pressure means they are highly flammable and can cause a highly explosive fire if an accident occurs. Solar generators are powered by solar energy. The make use of solar panels, lithium batteries, and inverters to harness and store solar energy.
Ultimately, solar generators are greener and safer for the environment than conventional generators with no emissions. Most units are portable and more suited for outdoor camping trips or use in RVs.
However, if you are looking for solar generators to power an entire house, then the larger units with a wattage of between 1000 to 10,000 watts will be recommended.
- Such units will be able to power the larger appliances in a home for a longer period.
- You should find many commercial and residential options in this range.
- Inverter generators convert and stores high voltage AC power as DC voltage then coverts it back to clean AC power when needed.
- While they generally are more complex and more expensive, inverter generators are becoming quite popular these days for several reasons.
They are quieter than conventional options thanks to their complex exhaust system that helps to keep the noise level down.
Inverter generators are also more affordable to run. The generator does not run at full power at all times as it regulates itself to match power needs. This improves the efficiency of the generator and helps to keep emissions low.