Consumer Reports Whole House Generator

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The Best Whole House Generator Comparison

1DuroMax XP13000EH Dual Fuel Portable Generator 13000 Watt...
2A-iPower SUA12000ED 12000 Watt Portable Generator Heavy Duty...
3Generac Guardian 24kW Home Standby Generator with PWRview...
4Generac 70432 Home Standby Generator Guardian Series...
5Champion 8.5-kW Home Standby Generator with 50-Amp...


Best Whole House Generators Review

Please Note – We get commissions for purchases made through links in this post. If you’re looking for a simple way to get power when and where you need it, an inverter generator is a great way to start.

These generators really offer clean electricity and work great for sensitive electronic equipment like air conditioners, refrigerators, dishwashers and more. We have compiled a list of the 5 best whole house generators that offer tons of power with the ability to connect multiple devices operating at different voltages simultaneously.

Whole house generators may give an impression as if these devices are huge, bulky machines, but in reality, these generators are quite portable and very easy to use. Go through the reviews of the best whole house generators in the section below followed by a comprehensive buying guide to make an informed decision.

Reviews Of Top 5 Whole House GeneratorsHow To Buy The Best Whole House Generator?Final Verdict. If you are looking for a whole house generator that runs on two different types of fuels, then you can consider Westinghouse WGen9500DF Portable Generator, which runs on gasoline as well as propane.

In gasoline, the generator produces running power of 9,500 watts whereas the peak power goes up to 12,500 watts. While using propane, the running power is 8,500 watts whereas the peak power is 11,200 watts. You can turn on this generator in different ways, as it supports recoil and electric start.

Moreover, it supports remote start as well, and it features a key fob for it. The generator has a fuel tank of 6.6 gallons, which helps it deliver 12 hours of runtime.

There is a fuel gauge integrated into the generator that lets you know about the fuel level. The generator is equipped with multiple outlets, which include one RV ready 120/240 14-50R, Transfer Switch Ready 120 volts L14-30R, and a couple of GFCI 120 volts 5-20R Standard Household Receptacle.

How Much Power Do You Need?

  • All the outlets have rubber covers for added safety. The generator gets the power from its heavy-duty 457cc 4-stroke OHV engine that comes with a durable cast iron sleeve.
  • It also features a digital hour meter and automatic low oil shutdown features that make it a user-friendly product.
  • The generator incorporates a VFT display that provides you with real-time updates on the frequency, voltage output, and lifetime hours. You will get several things in the package that include oil, oil funnel, 12-volt battery charger, tool kit, remote start key fob, and user manual, thus letting you use the product just after taking it out of the box.
  • The best thing about this generator or any other model manufactured by Westinghouse is that they are functionally tested before being rolled out into the market. You will get minimum residual oil and fuel odor from this generator.
  • Moreover, the company offers 3-year limited service, part coverage, and labor on the product. DuroMax is another top-rated generator, which comes with a powerful 439cc OHV Engine that generates immense power to lighten up the entire house.
  • The peak wattage of this generator is 10,000 watts whereas the running wattage is around 8,000 watts.

Consumer Reports & Reviews for Westinghouse WPro8500 Super Duty Industrial Portable Generator

Such huge power allows it to handle heavy loads of refrigerators, lights, home conditioners, and high amperage power tools. This generator runs on gasoline, but is very quiet and also lasts long.

The generator features DuroMax MX2 technology, which gives maximum power from each of its 120-volt receptacles. You can also operate the generator at both 120 as well as 240 volts at once, or you can operate at 120 volts with full power.

The generator is CARB and EPA approved, which assures customers of its safety and reliability. This is a highly-efficient inverter generator from Champion Power, which sports Open Frame Inverter Design that allows it to be 50% quieter and 20% lighter than its traditional sibling.

Not just that, but this generator produces only clean power and it has an ‘Economy Mode’ which helps it save fuel without compromising on performance. The generator features a wireless remote key fob, which gives you the power to start and stop the unit from up to 80 feet away.

The electric push-button start features a battery, so you don’t need to buy one separately. This is a powerful generator that has 4000 starting watts and 3500 running watts. When it comes to runtime, then that is around 17 hours on gasoline. Despite being powerful, the generator doesn’t make too much noise, just 64dBa, which makes it ideal for tailgating, RVs, or home backup.

1. Champion Power Equipment 100294 Home Standby Generator

  • You will get a parallel kit in the package that further increases your power output, as you can connect a couple of 2800 watts or higher inverters or digital hybrids.
  • The company provides 3-year limited warranty on the product along with free lifetime technical support.
  • Here is another top-class portable generator, which comes from the house of Durostar. The generator features a 440cc OHV Durostar engine, which produces 18HP of power to handle multiple jobs efficiently.
  • The generator can do a wide range of tasks, from powering high voltage appliances to heavy-duty power tools.
  • When not in use, you can lower the RPMs of this generator to save fuel and reduce noise.

How to Pick the Best Whole House Generator for Your House

This feature makes this generator ideal for job sites where power is used intermittently. Equipped with multiple 120-volt receptacles, this generator delivers maximum power from each of those receptacles with the functionality to use both 120 and 240-volt receptacles simultaneously.

Or, you can use a 120-volt receptacle with full power. The generator is ideal for use in RVs. The generator features a full-featured power panel that consists of a broad range of outlets such as 1 120-volt 30A twist lock outlet, 2 120-volt household GFCI outlets, 1 240-volt 50A outlet.

You will also get 12-volt DC charging ports for charging external batteries. WEN brings to you a highly-capable generator that operates on both propane as well as gasoline. When working on gasoline, the generator produces 11,000 surge watts and 8,300 running watts, whereas, in propane, the generator produces 9,500 surge watts and 7,500 running watts.

You can change the wattage with a simple turn of the selection dial. You can easily switch voltage from 120 volts to 240 volts, which makes it ideal for transfer switches and emergency backup. The generator boasts a powerful design that features a 457cc, 4-stroke OHV engine along with an electric start.

The engine starts with the turn of a key, thus making it easier for you to operate. Equipped with a 6.6-gallon tank, this generator offers 8.5 hours of half-load run time.

6. DuroMax XP12000EH Dual Fuel Portable Generator

  • As far as the outlets are concerned, then the generator features 4 120-volt GFCI outlets, 120/240-volt 50A outlet, 120-volt 30A twist-lock outlet, a 47-inch LP connection hose, a bottle of oil, and a 12-volt DC cigarette-lighter style plug.
  • The company provides a 2-year warranty on the product that covers all manufacturing defects. The size will have an impact on where it is possible to save your device and the precise distance it will take when you keep it turned off.
  • If you are looking for something small that you leave in your car or truck, you will need something quite small. If you are looking for something that will suit your RV, you might have a little more space available.
  • Make sure you understand exactly what you have the space for and start there (but you will also need to check the energy you need). The overall size of this unit will directly interact with the amount of energy it provides.
  • The larger the unit, the more electricity, the more ability you’ll have to escape it and they range from streamlined to moderate, with over 2000 watts of electricity, enough to power an air conditioner, and more specifically at the same time.

Types of Generator and Fuel Source

The compact models will give you 800 watts, enough to keep some of your devices moving at exactly the same time. So, choose something that matches your height and energy needs. While not required, it could be a great alternative as you can actually start the device without needing to be next to it. If you understand that your power is off or you try to start this kettle on vacation, you can plug it in all the time and turn the device on when you want, and turn it off when you don’t.

Just like that, it is possible to save the energy that it has on your own, but still, keep it ready and wait until the next time you want to use it. Parallel Operation. Another big advantage of these types of generators (or most of them) is that you will have the option of connecting them together to find a little more power.

3. Kohler 20RESCL-100LC16 Air-Cooled Standby Generator

  • Keep in mind that you will likely only have two connected together at a time and that they will provide you with a small amount in addition to additional power.
  • This means that you are going to power everything you need and you won’t have to give up the distance you seek to receive it.
  • Check if the generator you are buying is CARB compliant or not, where CARB stands for California Air Resources Board.
  • A CARB-compliant generator will create a few pollutants, but the air pollutants will be considerably lower and this is definitely great for you and your loved ones besides being great for your surroundings.

7 Best Whole House Generator Reviews for Homes

If you are interested in something that is going to help you under all circumstances, but you weren’t sure to use that designation, then make sure that the generator is at least EPA compliant. Having a whole house generator is very crucial to keep your home appliances up and running whenever there is a power outage.

These generators provide stable voltage to prevent any damage to your sophisticated electronic appliances. Now that you have read the reviews of the best whole house generators consumer ratings & reports, you can choose the right product at the right price.

So, don’t delay your decision and place your order right away! You'll pay a premium, but a whole-house generator can provide endless power for anything under your roof. When you shop through retailer links on our site, we may earn affiliate commissions.

100% of the fees we collect are used to support our nonprofit mission. When the power goes out, a generator is the best tool to help you keep the lights on—and your fridge running and your phone charged.

[Top Pick] Westinghouse WPro8500 Super Duty Industrial Portable Generator

  • A home standby generator—also known as a stationary generator, a home generator, or a whole-house generator—is the gold standard in backup power. The luxury of uninterrupted power doesn’t come cheap.
  • The home standby generators in our ratings range from $2,000 to $4,400, and you could easily spend that much or more on installation. "A home standby generator is the single best tool available to use as a source of backup power," says Misha Kollontai, CR's test engineer who oversees generator testing.
  • "But because of the costs, including installation, it's also important to get a model that delivers steady, reliable power." Our tests find crucial differences between models, even within a single brand.
  • Start with our generator buying guide to zero in on the style that’s right for you. And browse our generator ratings, which includes portable and inverter models in addition to home standby generators.

7. Briggs & Stratton 30675 Q6500 Inverter Generator

To test how a generator will perform when you need it most, our engineers load up every model with a variety of essentials you might want to power during an outage, including a space heater, refrigerator, or window air conditioner.

We make sure the generator can handle the load it promises and also determine what happens when a sudden spike in voltage hits, like if your fridge's compressor kicked on when the generator was already close to capacity. The best models take that in stride, while others bog down or even stall.

We also look at how efficiently a generator uses fuel and how long it runs on a single tank of propane gas. CR members can read on for ratings and reviews of the best home standby generators in our ratings. Damaging storms can happen at any time.

On the "Consumer 101" TV show, host Jack Rico learns from Consumer Reports’ expert Paul Hope how to avoid being left in the dark during a power outage. 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. 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.

2. Westinghouse WPro8500 Super Duty Industrial Portable Generator

  • Running watt: 13kW. Runtime: 24/7hrs . Castors wheels: No. Tank size: Not specified . • 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.

The Whole House Generator Installation Procedure & Guide

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. 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. 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.

4. Generac 7175 Guardian 13kW Home Backup Generator

  • 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 . 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.

Useful Generator Accessories

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.

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.

5. Generac 7682 GP6500E – 6500 Watt Portable Generator

  • 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 . 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.

9. Generac 70432 Home Standby Generator Guardian Series

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 . 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.

What is a Whole House Generator?

  • 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.

10. Generac 7043 Home Standby Generator

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.

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.

Best Whole House Generators Consumer Ratings & Reports

  • 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.
  • 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.