Best Portable Home Generators 2021

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Home Maker Guide created for informational purposes only. Thus, we neither endorse you in any way to buy specific products in our reviews, nor making you act like it’s written in our guides. We are reserving the rights for you to make your personal decision. Editor-in-Chief of the Home Maker Guide. It is not easy to come across a home generator that is efficient to the hilt as well as provides ample choices to the users. Topping our list is DuroMax with its powerful DuroMax engine featuring 7 HP, 212 cc, and dual-fuel technology that can run on propane as well as gasoline. The freedom to choose between the fuels is completely in your hands! DuroMax MX2 technology enables it to generate a lot of power and can handle very heavy loads from sensitive appliances too.

Any list that collates the best generator for a home power outage is incomplete without a mention of DuroMax. It is EPA and CARB approved in 50 US states. Powerful 7HP engine. Camping as well as RV ready. This portable inverter generator is certified to be the quietest on the market. If you do not believe us, you could look up in the report by the US Department of Health and Human Services that confirms that the generator is capable of extremely quiet operation that can be likened to the sound of a normal conversation!

This EPA III and CARB compliant inverter runs on a 79.7 cc 4-stroke OHV engine generating high surge power of 200 watts.

It is a great addition to campsites, construction sites, and places of frequent outages. This one generates clean power and is exceptionally safe to operate. It also minimizes damage to sensitive electronic equipment. Durable and water-resistant. Lightweight and therefore very portable. Our reviewing list for the best inverters will be deemed incomplete if we will not talk about Generac. This popular brand is not simply famous for nothing!

The super quiet inverter generator with the help of its PowerRush technology delivers more than 50 percent of starting capacity off its 3000 watts.

Buyer’s Guide: All You Need to Know About The Best Home Generator

  • To put it in a nutshell, it allows you to stretch yourself and do as much as you can in the littlest.

It reduces noise pollution and gives out optimum performance.

  • The company is popular for generating cleaner energy.

  • It has USB outlets. You can easily connect two devices so that you can get double power (parallel-ready).

  • Lightweight and 60 pounds only.

  • We know for sure that customers around the world are lapping up on dual fuel generators because it gives them an immense amount of choice.

  • This CARB compliant portable generator has an electric start and is one of the most highly rated and reviewed products.

It has a 4-gallon propane fuel gauge to check on the quantity of the gas as well as auto shut off feature when the oil is low.

  • This is how it effectively stops potential damage to its machinery and saves lots of your hard-earned cash.

  • The tech support is exceptionally good.

  • It is easy to assemble, portable, compact, and priced just right.

Comes with electric start. VFT display that shows volt, frequency and lifetime hours reading.

  • Comes with 3 years limited warranty.

Best Home Generator FAQ

At 105 pounds, it may feel heavy for you. This inverter with a whopping starting wattage of 12000 and a running of 9500 watts is something that belongs to a different league altogether.

The stuff comes with the proprietary 18HP OHV engine with a huge capacity of 457 cc.

The inverter provides a world of choice between propane and natural gas and, in all probability, is one of the wisest investments that you will make.

It can take very heavy loads, in turn also being very sensitive to electronically fragile equipment. Features MX2 technology for maximum power.

Great value for investment. 24/7 helpful customer support. Looks handy and compact but cannot call it very portable. The wheels are a lifesaver.

This 3800 wattage dual-fuel powered RV ready portable inverter features a convenient electric start. It uses a proprietary 4 stroke powerful engine with a capacity of 224 cc.

The choice of fuel is between gasoline and propane. The starting wattage is 4750 watts, and when on propane, it is 3800 watts. The total run time with a full tank of gasoline is 9 hours, whereas it efficiently runs for a big part of 10.5 hours on a propane tank of 20lb capacity.

Once you use this, you are going to find it hard to find any other brand that comes even close to this.

Brand loyalists rate Champion excessively high on their review lists.

4 stroke powerful engine. Touch start with push-button electric start.

60-hertz frequency.

The electric start button will not work without a battery if you are connected to the gas pipeline. of generating 7500 rated watts and 9500 peak watts of power.

It is gasoline-powered and approved by the CARB.

Verdict and Our Recommendation For 2021

It features a fuel gauge, key fob, an electrical recoil start button, and a whopping 16 hours of run time only on a stash of 6.6 gallons of fuel. It comes with 2 GFCI or Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters and a 120 V/240 V twist-lock receptacle.

The generator comes with an awesome 3 years limited warranty, it is easy to assemble, and a complete value for every dollar spent on it.

Power outlets have rubber covers for safety. 420 cc 4 -stroke engine. This one may not be out of the box ready, but there is only minimal assembly to be done.

The inverter features an electric start button and has one of a kind digital display that effectively displays the oil level and gently directs maintenance schedules.

The auto shut off feature is a great add-on when the oil level is too low. Then there is an automatic voltage regulator and overload protection for safety.

Both EPA III and CARB compliance does not come so easily unless the generator is something to be reckoned with. The gen is easy to install and is affordable.

It is lightweight and quiet – what more can anyone want! Foldable handles. Has a manual choke only. The dual-fuel DF475T from Wen is a popular model across all websites. We tried finding one in the physical stores but with no luck.

We are told the stocks do not last more than a few hours. The transfer ready switch is a great draw. It is practically compliant on all the counts with EPA III and CARB and can give out a surge power of 4750 watts.

There is a 120 V and 240 V quick twist transfer switching and an emergency backup too. Engine is 224 cc 4 stroke with a key fob.

4 gallons capacity of the tank gives 11 hours max.

Comes with 2 years limited warranty. The device is quiet except the gas function that is a bit noisier.

DS4000S is a gas-powered model of inverters and is RV and campsite ready. It comes in a very pleasing yellow and black color combination that looks smart and casual at the same time.

It gels into the background effortlessly.

The gen features a super powerful engine that is proprietary with 7 HP power and air-cooled OHV engine.

It also has an auto shut off button once it detects a low level of oil. The inverter is a power horse and can do multiple jobs in the sense that it can power all your high load appliances well looking after your sensitive ones too.

There are 2 120 volts household outlets and a single 120 V 30 amperes twist-lock outlet for all your generator needs.

Editor’s Choice: DuroMax XP12000EH Review

Well stocked power panel. EPA III and CARB compliance. Includes a tank with a capacity of 3.96 gallons. The stuff is extraordinarily good. No complaints really. Automatic home generators kick in automatically as soon as it detects a power outage.

A manual electricity generator for the home will need you to manually on and off it if your home goes out of the power grid.

The full home generators either work on natural gas or LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas). The best standby generator for home use needs to be connected to two things; first to the indoor home electrical wiring system and secondly to the fuel source.

The auto-transfer switch of the best home generator will start itself when it detects that there is a blackout. When the power is restored, it also senses and turns itself off.

The process of auto-switching on and off is so seamless that it takes less than half a minute for it to toggle.

A regular portable generator is designed with a motor to run 3600 Rpm (rotations per minute) to generate 120 volts and at a frequency of 60 Hertz.

The problem, however, is that not all whole house generators can maintain a steady output of 3600 rpm. This is the main reason why there is a lot of voltage fluctuations causing what is called harmonic distortion that can harm costly electronic devices such as PCs, camera and phone chargers, microwave ovens, etc.

the harmonic distortions are also one of the reasons why a regular portable generator is very noisy.

The Inverter generator, on the other hands, has slightly more complicated working than the regular one even though they are also capable of an output of 120 volts and 60 hertz only.

The whole house generator has more parts, and in addition to a fuel tank, they need to draw energy from a battery.

They also have an alternator and an inverter.

The high-frequency AC power from the engine first gets converted into DC by the alternator. This DC is again turned into AC by the inverter. These extra steps in the production of electricity help in producing more stable electricity without harmonic distortions that is on par with the main currents.

The best home generator 2021 produces cleaner electricity efficiently without being too noisy.

What Size Generator Do I Need For My Home

You may have often wondered how big of a generator do I need to make sure that power resumes seamlessly in case of an outage.

You want to invest in a generator that has enough wattage to power your whole house.

For instance, if you have a house that is 2900 to 3000 square-feet with a lot of devices and gadgets, you will surely need a power generator for home with a power turnout of minimum of 30 KW (kilowatts).

In the same breath, per our home generators reviews, if you are looking to minimum power a few equipment/gadgets only till the mains power resumes, 20 kilowatts should be enough.

Protip: It is a good idea to make a list of all the appliances that you want to back up with the in-home generator; For instance, fridge, heaters, cold storage, and the electric furnace, etc.

After checking on the prices, we are sure you are asking yourself this. Consider having your home in the epicenter of a natural disaster, such as a hurricane or a particularly strong cyclone that can put your entire neighborhood out of the power grid.

This could mean a sudden rupture of your normal life, along with spoiled food, busted home pipelines, and no form of communication through phones or the internet.

All this is not as serious as medical emergencies that you could face if you had seniors and children living with you.

Statistics point to the fact that in any given week in America, 3 to 3.5 million people temporarily abandon their home to live in hotels.

In this scenario, the best portable generator makes it a proposition worth considering.

It may drill a small hole in your pocket, but the benefits will soon outweigh the expenses.

There are four sizes of generators:.

Small that can be plugged to any device individually. Medium that can run some of the main appliances efficiently. Large that can power one or two rooms and some appliances.

Extra-large that can power the entire home.

The Most Quiet Home Generator: WEN 56200i Review

Small that is capable of generating 2000 to 7000 watts. Medium that can generate 1000 to 5000 watts. Large will be able to give you 6000 to 8000 watts. Extra-large has a neat range of 10000 to 25000 watts.

Otherwise called LPG, it is one of the cleanest burning fuels today with an unending shelf life.

It can be stored in barrels. It is more energy-efficient than a gas generator for home and lesser than the best diesel generator for home use.

It is a stable fuel and less volatile. It carries a lot of energy. It is reliable and cost-effective too.

Diesel generators are easier to maintain because there is no spark plug. Is one of the cost-effective and widely available fuels, but it carries lesser energy.

Natural gas generators for homes are very popular nevertheless because users do not need to store it in tanks and barrels.

They can use it conveniently from the pipelines. Dual Fuel Generator. These generators are called hybrid, and with a simple addition of a conversion kit, you can choose to change the fuel type that they run on.

Click here to know the best dual fuel generator today. Whole house generators consume natural gas or Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG).

Certain models of standby generators can also be connected to your area line of natural gas fitted with propane tanks.

If you are an expert in electrical installation, you may go ahead and DIY your generator.

But it is always suggested that you call in a professional installation or contact the company to install it for you.

Installation charges are always extra, but you could talk to the retailer and see if he can do it for free.

If you are looking for a quiet home generator, we highly recommend that you go in for the inverter generator which has lesser harmonic disruptions and consequently less noisy.

Read the manufacturer’s instructions and manual closely before attempting self-installation.

Good Power Panel: DuroStar DS4000S Review

Hire a professional if your knowledge is limited. Leave five to fifteen feet space around the generator for proper air supply and keep the unit outdoors always. Make sure there are no open flames near it. Install it on a flat, leveled surface.

Make sure it is grounded well. Clean and maintain it routinely keeping dirt, moisture and vapor away.

Steer away from overfilling fuel as it may expand and start a fire. Do not exceed its maximum load capacity.

Some of the desired features are:. Automatic start when the outage happens. Electrical start as opposed to pull-start. Wheels under it for easy portability.

Fuel gauge to know the remaining fuel. Noise-free operation. Removable console to add more connections. Ability to add extra power outlets.

Addition of conversion kits or using other/combination of fuels. Most of the built-in home generators on the market today comes with a comprehensive limited warranty spanning anywhere between 3 and 5 years.

They cover faulty generator parts, labor, and traveling without any questions asked as long as you can furnish them with the retail bill with the date of purchase and the dealer’s stamp and signature.

As a rule, remember that the bigger the generator’s capacity, the costlier it will be. A small portable gen-set will cost you around $200.

A mid-sized will set you behind by $400. A large one will start at $800 and.

Extra-large ones will begin at $2000 only and can go up to $20,000. This is considered to be the best generator for home power outage.

They are enclosed permanent generators for homes that need outdoor installation. It connects directly to the electrical system in your house, and you can elect if it needs to power some or all of the appliances.

It mostly runs on natural gas or LPG. The liquid-cooled model is more preferable than the air-cooled one because the former generates more power.

It can generate between 10000 and 25000 watts and can cost in the range of $2000 to $20,000.

Have you seen those yellow and red generators that they use at fairs and fetes?

That is what we are referring to as the best home emergency generators. They are not enclosed fully, and they are smaller than standby. They are portable too.

The smaller ones can be lifted, and slightly larger ones have wheels underneath them.

Versatile & Convenient: WEN DF475T Review

The propane generator for home has to be sheltered from nature and placed at least 15 feet away from home. They are capable of generating 3000 to 10000 watt and can cost from $400 to $2000. These are the silent generators for home use. Designed to be lightweight as well as compact, they are easily portable and ideal for retreats and camping.

They generate clean energy without harmonic distortions and are therefore good for running sensitive appliances.

You can even hook it up with your car’s batteries! Expect power in the range of 2000 to 7000 watts and be set back by $300 to $3000 only.

A standby generator can be connected to the mains switch via an automatic or a manual transfer switch. To connect your generator to the power home, you will need first to isolate the generator power from the electrical grid and then connect it to the transfer switch.

One of the lines will be needed to connect to the source of fuel too.

It is a good idea to hire professionals to install the generator unless you are a confident electrician and plumber, and you want to go the DIY way.

There are three case scenarios in which you may claim partial or total tax deductions:.

Scenario 1: if you purchase the best whole-home generator for medical needs such as a dialysis machine or a cpap device, you may have tax deductions if you will furnish a letter from the doctor saying that.

Scenario 2: you can recover a part of your capital gains tax when you resell your house, and the installation of top rated home generators boosts your sale value.

Scenario 3: if you have insulated your home in a bid to make it environmentally friendly, you will automatically be up for grants, subsidies, and other non-taxable deductions under the State’s environment projects.

Yes, you can run your generator all night. Most natural gas power generators for homes are designed to run continuously up to 10 to 12 hours without a break, provided there is enough fuel to last that long.

Home generators are never designed to run continuously and unendingly. Some models can run for 8 hours, 10 hours, 12 hours, and even some days efficiently.

In no scenario should you let them run for days on end and in weeks.

Most of the home generators will automatically shut off when the fuel tank dries up.

Our best pick is DuroMax XP4850EH for the freedom it affords its user to choose between propane and gasoline.

It is EPA and CARB approved for installation in 50 states and is out of the box ready to be used at campsites and RVs.

It is capable of generating a huge amount of power, which lets it handle a huge load.

How To Install A Standby Generator At Home

Users can choose between its 120 V and 240 V power receptacles simultaneously or can opt to use 120V full power exclusively.

With this, we come to the end of the best home generator 2021. Is there a best home generator that you have loved?

Tell us about it on homemakerguide. Lots of early bird hampers to be won every month. 1 TOP 10 Best Home Generator: Comparison Chart.

2 Buyer’s Guide: All You Need to Know About The Best Home Generator2.5 How To Choose The Best Home Generator2.6 Best Home Generator Types. 2.5 How To Choose The Best Home Generator.

2.6 Best Home Generator Types.

3 Best Home Generator FAQ.

Noise Level: It operates at 64 to 69 dB (A).

Warranty: It is backed by a 5-year limited warranty.

Construction: Its solid construction with a durable corrosion-proof enclosure keeps the unit free from wear and tear.

Response Time: It has a fast response time. Your standby generator will take only 10 seconds to power all your essentials.

Safety Features: Overload protection and low-oil shutoff

My Opinion:

Pros: Its fast 10-second response time, quality power, and quiet operation make it ideal for big homes. It is also easy to install and maintain.

Cons: Its rotors may lock before the due time.

Is A Whole House Generator Tax Deductible?

Transfer Switch: This Champion Power Equipment standby generator comes with a 100 amp automatic transfer switch that features 12 available circuits.

Warranty: It has a 10-year limited warranty. Also, there is a lifetime free technical support available.

Fuel Source: The generator uses both liquid propane and natural gas.

Noise Level: It operates at 63 dB (A) noise level. Low-tone muffler and an advanced sound dampening system keep the noise levels low.

Engine: The unit comes with a 717cc 4-stroke V-twin engine. It is powered by a 24V starting system that operates in any extreme condition.

Power Output: It generates 11,000 and 12,500 rated watts on natural gas and propane, respectively.

Self-Test Mode: It performs a 15-minute self-diagnostic test on a weekly basis.

Construction: Its steel enclosure keeps the generator safe from the elements.

Fuel Consumption: It consumes 1.6 gallons of propane per hour at 50% load and 122 cubic feet of natural gas per hour at a 50% load.

THD Rating: With less than a 5% THD rating, the unit is safe for the most sensitive electronics.

Controller: It has a simple and user-friendly control panel.

Safety Features: Low-oil shutoff and air-cooled cooling system

My Opinion:

Pros: The generator is well built, operates quietly, and offers easy installation and maintenance.

Cons: There is no load management feature.

Best Overall: DuroMax DuroMax XP4850EH Review

Warranty: This Briggs and Stratton unit comes with a 5-year limited warranty.

Transfer Switch: It includes a 200 amp automatic transfer switch.

Fuel Source: It also uses both natural gas and propane. The generator also features a remote monitor option that allows you to change the fuel temperature when the weather gets too cold.

Power Output: It generates 20,000 watts of power output on propane and 18,000 watts on natural gas. The Symphony II Power Management system ensures both of your high-demand and lower-demand appliances work together.

Construction: Its corrosion-resistant steel enclosure adds durability.

Engine: It is powered by a 993cc V-Twin 4-cycle OHV engine.

Fuel Consumption: If we talk about the fuel consumption of this generator, then it consumes 2.31 gallons of liquid propane per hour at 50% load and 187 cubic feet of natural gas per hour at 50% load.

Noise Level: Its operational volume is 70.8 dB (A) at 23 feet.

Self-Test Mode: The generator goes into the self-test mode every 7 days for 20 minutes.

Safety Features: Low-oil alert/shutdown and overload protection are included in the safety features.

Remote Monitoring: The unit also allows you to control and monitor it remotely.

My Opinion:

Pros: It has a smart power management system, produces a high output, and offers flexible and easy installation.

Cons: It is a louder unit. Also, to refill oil, you have to make some efforts.

How Long Can You Run A Generator Continuously?

Standby vs. Portable Whole House Generator

First of all, choose between a home standby and a portable generator. Both these generator types do the same thing, but there are some differences as well.

First, portable generators are easy to transport if not connected to the home’s circuit breaker panel with a transfer switch. On the other hand, home standby generators are stationary.

Second, portable generators produce less power and are louder as compared to most of the whole house standby generators.

Third, home standby generators feature insulated weatherproof housing that keeps them protected. Also, they start up automatically, whereas you have to turn portable generators on manually. Moreover, standby generators are expensive but can operate for days or weeks.

Output and Power Needs

The second most important thing to consider is the generator’s output and power needs. There is no point in buying a whole house generator if you have to make compromises while running your appliances. You must count your total power needs and then go for a generator. The best way to do this is to make a list of all the appliances you need to run on your generator. List the starting and running wattage of each appliance and calculate the total for both. Consider the table below for an example.

AppliancesStarting WattageRunning Wattage
Refrigerator (2)2400800
1 HP Furnace47001750
TV (2)800800
AC (2)36002400
1/2 HP Well Pump2000900
1/2 HP Sump Pump2000900
Security System800800

In the above example, the starting wattage needed to run all the appliances at one time is 17,100, and the running wattage needed to run all the appliances is 9150 watts. If your power needs are the same as the example above, you can go for a 10,000 watts generator. It is best to leave a cushion of 400-500 watts so that you can adjust any extra appliances during a power outage. There is no point in buying a generator with a 17,000 running wattage as you can adjust the load by turning the appliances on one by one. You can also calculate your power needs in the same way as listed above. To find out the starting and running wattage of an appliance, check the user manual, or consult the customer service.

Type of Fuel

When you select a whole house generator, you can go for a single fuel or a dual fuel generator. Among the single fuel generators, you have the option of going for gasoline, diesel, or propane. Dual fuel generators provide you the luxury of running your generator on two fuels. When one is not available, you can use the other one to run your generator.

Fuel Tank Capacity, Runtime, Fuel Consumption

If you find a portable whole house generator, you must focus on its fuel tank capacity and runtime. At least your generator has a 7-gallon fuel tank to get a reasonable runtime. But runtime not only depends on the fuel tank capacity, but it is also affected by the engine’s efficiency and the load applied.

In the whole house standby generator, the most important thing to look at is how much fuel it consumes per hour.

Control Panel

A whole house generator must have a full-option control panel. Most of the standby whole house generators come with an advanced control panel that gives you maximum control over the unit. It will give you various readings such as voltage drawn, oil level, fuel level, total running hours, and indicate the time for oil, oil filter/air filter replacement. The control panel must have electric outlets, AC circuit controllers, on/off buttons, and other features for portable units.

Transfer Switch

The transfer switch is also equally important to focus on. You can install a manual transfer switch to use it with your portable generator. If you are going for a standby generator, you will have an automatic switch that will automatically detect the power outage and turn on the generator automatically.

A 200-amp transfer switch is ideal for an average home. But the standby generators mentioned in the list come with both 100 and 200-amp transfer switches. So, before the selection, never miss matching the transfer switch amps with your home’s main breaker amps to get a perfect generator according to your needs.

Starting Mechanism

If you are going for a portable generator, look for a unit that has an electric starting. It is challenging to pull-start a large unit as compared to small units. Standby generators start automatically when the power goes out.


A whole house generator must have some safety measures installed to keep it safe. It must come with surge voltage protection, grounding, and protection from overloading and overheating. The generator must also offer auto shutdown when the oil or fuel level is low.

Noise Level: Standby generators make less noise, so you don’t have to worry about their noise levels. But when selecting a portable generator, never miss checking its decibel rating.

Warranty and Certifications

Warranty and certifications give you peace of mind when it comes to buying a whole house generator. You don’t want to spend on repairing your generator after a year or two. Hence, it is better to look for a generator with a warranty cover. Make sure you read all the terms and conditions of the warranty agreement before starting your unit. A generator with certifications from EPA will not pollute the air around you and thus keep the environment safe.


The last thing to consider is the price you have to pay for the generator. Standby generators are costly as compared to portable generators. When you pay more for a standby generator, you invest in your property and increase its worth. This investment will help you fetch a higher selling price for your home.


What appliances can I run on a whole house generator?

Ideally, a whole house generator will be able to power all the things in your home. However, there are always some limitations as far as the power needs are concerned. You will be able to run a microwave oven, furnace, heat pump, well pump, AC units, tools, lighting, and many other appliances in your home.

Should I buy a dual fuel or single fuel generator?

A dual fuel generator is a versatile option when buying a whole house generator. It gives you the freedom to run your generator on 2 different fuels, such as gas or propane. On the contrary, a single fuel generator will run only on one type of fuel. It limits the usage of a generator during emergencies. If you have the freedom to run your generator on propane and gas, you can use stored propane when gasoline is not available. Propane’s shelf life (5-10 years) is more than gas (10-12 months).

How long does a whole house generator last?

It depends on the build quality of your generator and the quality and frequency of maintenance. But if we talk about the average lifespan of a whole house generator, it is 15 years in normal standby conditions.

What safety measures one should take when using a whole house generator?

  • Avoid storing your generator in closed areas
  • Always maintain the distance from your house
  • Thoroughly read and follow the instruction manual
  • Always use dry hands when touching the generator, no matter whether it is in a working condition or not.
  • When refilling, always switch off the generator first and allow it to cool.

Is there a difference in the maintenance needs of a portable and standby generator?

Yes. There are a few differences as far as the maintenance of both units is concerned. A portable generator must be stored when it is not in use and must be kept away from rain, snow, and harsh sunlight. On the contrary, a standby generator comes in an enclosed box and is installed under a shade. The other maintenance needs, such as oil change, spark plug replacement, and oil/air filter replacement, are the same.

Is it essential to focus on the THD rating of the whole house generator?

Yes, it is equally important to consider the THD rating of your whole house generator so that you can power your most sensitive electronics without any fear. Make sure the THD rating of your selected generator is less than 5%.

What are the cons of a standby generator?

A standby generator is more expensive to buy and maintain. It needs a professional for maintenance and installation. Depending on the state laws, you may need to obtain a permit for installation and pay taxes for it.


We have explained all the things you need to know about a whole house generator. We hope that buying your next generator for your house has now been made easy for you. Buy one from the list above and forget the tension of staying in the dark during the multi-day power outages.