September 10, 2020: . Picking the right generator will have a lot to do with the amount of power you'll need in the event of a blackout, which can be affected by everything from the size of your home to the number of occupants.
But whether you're using a standby model or you plan to employ a portable generator, safety is always paramount. And with standby models, this becomes a particularly important point when it comes to installation.
We're talking about natural gas or propane being introduced to electricity in a confined space, which, even in the hands of an experienced pro, can be hazardous. We certainly recommend you have yours installed by a professional, and you don't try to save yourself the money by doing it yourself.
Keep an eye on noise ratings while you're pursuing our selection. These are often listed as dB (decibels) or dBA (A-weighted sound levels). The difference is subtle, but dBA measures sound as perceived by the human ear, not by unbiased instrumentation.
2. Best Standby Generator Review - Kohler 20RESAL-100LC16
So, a 100 dB source would have approximate perceived loudness of 80 dBA, even if a decibel meter says it's 100. That can be a tricky way that companies compare loudness, so be on the lookout for it. If noise is a serious concern for you, the Champion 12.5W Home Automatic is a fine choice, as it has special dampening features and a muffler designed to cut the sound as much as possible.
With more power often comes more noise, however, so don't get something that has a ton of kilowatts just to have them. One other important consideration would be the inclusion of a switch, which is essentially a circuit breaker for your generator.
The switch that comes with the Generac 6998 Guardian Series 7.5KW is a good example of an indoor option that you would install inside your home, while others, like the one that comes with that Briggs & Stratton model, can be installed outdoors.
November 30, 2018: . Generac and Briggs & Stratton appear to be the big names in this category, with subtle differences among each company's lineup at different kilowatt levels. For its size and output, the Briggs & Stratton 76180 is one of the best.
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.
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. Running watt: 13kW. Runtime: 24/7hrs . Castors wheels: No.
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.
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 .
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.
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.
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. 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. 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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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. However, inverter generators are quite expensive. Different types of generators have varying power output (measured in watts).
This refers to the amount of power the generator can deliver. The power rating of a generator determines the number and types of appliances it can run at the same time as well as the quality and consistency of the power generated.
- Thus, you must determine how much power you need before you set out to buy a generator.
- Home power requirement: A whole house generator with a power rating of about 25 to 20 kilowatts should be enough to power a 3000 sq.
- However, you may need more or less depending on the size of your home and the number and types of appliances you have.
- For instance, refrigerators use up to 600 watts while AC units require 1000 watts or more.
- Some portable heaters and sump pumps can use up to 1500 watts of electricity each.
- You will need to consider all of these before you decide on which unit to buy.
- Job site power requirement: When considering the power requirement for a generator to be used at a job site, you will need to calculate the power requirement for each tool you will be using at the site.
RV power requirement: Again, the power requirement for running a generator in your RV depends largely on the appliances you will be making use of. In most cases, the air conditioning unit requires the most power to run in an RV. If you have one, then you have to put its starting wattage into consideration.
For instance, a 13,500 BTU AC unit will need a 3000W generator to start. Hence, if you have an AC in your RV, this is the lowest wattage you can buy. Check for the other appliances you wish to run together with the AC in your RV home to find the correct power requirement.
While purchasing any generator, you should check the manufacturer’s information about the unit’s starting amperage and voltage. You can then use this information to calculate the expected wattage you will get from the unit using the formula .
Starting Amps x Volts = Watts (divide the answer by 1000 to get the kilowatts rating). You can then compare this figure to the expected wattage of your home based on your appliances.
After purchasing your generator, some important accessories go with your generator that you need t install as well.
Some of them are so important that without them the generator may not work as well as it should. Others are less vital but still it easier for you to use a generator.
- Here are some of the most useful generator accessories to get.
- Transfer Switch: A transfer switch helps to switch the load from the main power supply to the generator and vice-versa.
- A transfer switch is typically installed on the electrical panel of your home.
- When an outage occurs, the switch helps to transfer the load to the generator.
- Similarly, when the main power is restored, the load is transferred back to the mains.
- There are two types of transfer switches.
- They can be manual or automatic. Manual transfer switch: As the name implies, a manual transfer switch requires you to manually flip the switch when the mains line fails to transfer the load to the generator and switch it back when mains power is restored.
- Automatic transfer Switch: This type of switch automatically flips the load to the generator or mains power supply when needed.
A quiet muffler can be installed on your generator to reduce the noise output. Automatic voltage regulator: You need an AVR if you intend to use your generator to power appliances that are susceptible to fluctuating power supply.
An Automatic Voltage Regulator will help keep the voltage of the generator stable so that such sensitive appliances are not affected by fluctuation and power surges. A Remote control: If you want the extra convenience of being able to start your generator without having to walk to its location physically, then buying a remote start makes perfect sense.
A remote control makes it possible to start your generator with the push of a button. They are of two types: wireless remote control or wired controls connected to the generator with a cable. Fuel stabilizer: A fuel stabilizer helps to keep the fuel fresh. It also prevents the build-up of gum in your generator.
This is particularly important if you intend to keep your generator in storage for a long time with fuel in it. Protective Weather Cover Kit: A weather kit is particularly important if you live in an area where the weather gets really cold.
Essentially the kit includes a battery warmer which helps to heat up the battery when the temperature is low and an oil heater that keeps the oil from freezing up in the cold.
- Wheel Kit: If you own a generator that does not have wheels, installing a wheel kit will help increase the mobility of your generator.
- We recommend a non-flat wheel as they are easier to maintain compared to other types of generator wheels.
- The cost of purchasing a whole house generator varies widely depending on the wattage, type of generator, fuel source and additional features of the unit.
- Various brands also offer generators at different price ranges.
- Hence, it is almost impossible to state an exact figure.
Gasoline and diesel generators also don’t perform very well when the weather is too cold. In such cases, propane or natural gas options will be best. Whole House Generator Sizing. Choosing the right size of the generator is perhaps the most crucial step of all.
This requires detailed and complete knowledge of the load requirements of the electrical appliances you have in your home. Choose a generator with an output rating that is about 20 to 25% higher than the peak load you are expecting in your home.
For instance, if the expected load is 22 kilowatts, then a generator with a power rating of at least 27 kW is recommended. Additional factors to consider: .
Noise level: choose a quiet generator or opt for an inverter generator if noise is a concern. Warranty: manufacturer warranty levels vary from one manufacturer to the other. You should check for this before you make a purchase. Extra features such as an electric start, automatic low-oil shutoff and so on are not compulsory but will make your life easier.
Installing a whole-house generator is a relatively simple procedure. In many cases, you may not even require the services of a professional. However, for more technical setups like connecting to a gas line and wiring your home for the generator, you may need technical or professional assistance.
- Here is a simple step by step guideline for generator installation.
- Step 1: The first step is to install an electrical sub-panel as well as a transfer switch next to your mains electrical power panel.
- This can be manual or automatic for switching to alternative power when the mains are down and switching back when power is restored.
- The main panel and the newly installed subpanel will have to be connected.
- This step of the process is best handled by a professional.
- Step 2: Choose a location for your generator: the next step will be to choose an appropriate location for your generator.
- There are plenty of factors to consider here.
Step 4: Finally, connect the generator to the sub-panel installed in your house. After the installation has been done this way, you may need to enclose the generator in a way that keeps it weather-proof based on your climate.
Buying a whole house generator is not as easy as you might have thought to be. Not to talk about the very best model. Hence, with all of the various assistant as requested by different people for us to help in recommending the best whole house generator for home use, has made us too picked and reviewed the various product as seen in this article.
We hope you can find your way of choosing the one that best meets your home demands and needs. Top Related Posts. 7 Best Portable Generator Recommendation In 2020.
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The best standby generator units are a particularly compelling power backup solution for homes, designed as they are to kick in automatically in the event of power outages & disruptions that an occur during weather events and other natural crises.
- These smart and efficient units, manufactured by some of the leading names in power generation such as Briggs & Stratton, Generac and Kohler are ready 24-7 to automatically supply power to your home within seconds of a power loss being detected.
- Home standby generators offer you and your family complete peace of mind, particularly if you live in an isolated area that may be prone to extreme weather conditioners.
- They are expensive, but the reassurance that they give householders of guaranteed power regardless of weather conditions makes them an ideal long-term investment.
- A step up from the best portable generator units, our team look across the power generator market and identified the following units as the best standby generator systems available.
- The Generac 7043, at 22kW, is the largest air-cooled generator currently available.
- It also boasts all of the features and capacities that one would expect from a market-leading manufacturer of the best standby generator units.
8. Best Standby Generator Review - Generac 7042
This air-cooled unit, cheaper than many of the best liquid cooled generators, has Generac's innovative combined engine and alternator, using powertrain technology to attain the 22kw output.
Generac's standout 7043 model runs at 1,950rpm, and so consumes less fuel as well as being quieter than many of the other generators in this class. The Kohler 20RESAL-100LC16 will kick in automatically when there is a bad storm or a power outage of any kind, meaning that you will be connected regardless of whether you are in the house or not.
Installed outside the home, in a similar fashion to air-conditioning, the Kohler 20RESAL-100LC16 is wired into the electrics and fuel system of your home.
Types of Generator and Fuel Source
Its motor-starting power and efficiency is unsurpassed, and other attractive features of this unit include its swift, 10-second response time, while the quality of its construction, with corrosion-proof covers, protects the unit against the most severe elemental conditions.
A great generator from a brand that is trusted by hospitals, airports and weather services for their power and reliability. Briggs & Stratton's model is a 10000-watt home standby generator system with a 200-amp automatic transfer switch that can not only power all of your appliances in the home, but is an effective managed whole-house power system that offers permanent protection and backup from power cuts.
This generator swiftly kicks in after sensing a power outage, automatically powering your home within seconds, and turning off again when it is not needed.
The transfer switch enables you to treat the unit as a ‘plug and play’ appliance that will work when you want it to. Powered by the trusted Briggs & Stratton engine power, this generator has a five-year limited parts and labour warranty. Another entry for Generac, the 7037 Guardian Series standby generator is a widely available update of the extremely popular Generac 6462 Guardian Series, which can be difficult to come by in some places.
Almost regardless (there are of course differences in the models in this series), the Guardian Series is probably the best selling home generator marque for a reason, reliably providing the automatic backup power that you need, when you need it, and swiftly, during power outages in your home.
How to Pick the Best Whole House Generator for Your House
It will provide power and keep you and your family safe until normality is restored. The generator is connected to your house's power or gas supply, and will automatically kick into gear and begin providing the necessary safe backup for all electric units and devices in your home, and run for as long as it takes the electricity mains power is restored.
The Briggs & Stratton 40445 is another of the best standby generators, an 8kW standby unit that wlll affordably cover your home's basic circuits, providing backup power to your lights, refrigerator, television and other small appliances.
6. Best Standby Generator Review - Briggs & Stratton 40346
Designed to fit any property, its flexible placement options and compact size make backup power a reality for many homeowners. This has already been acclaimed as one of the most powerful units of its kW class.
It's been tested against the NFPA 37 standard, and can be placed as close to your property as 18", which makes it a great option for the home, particularly if space is tight.
1. Best Standby Generator Review - Generac 7043
There is also a 50-amp transfer switch that will allow you to cover the basics by powering limited circuits. This is a typical Briggs & Stratton product, quality operation, reliability, user-friendliness, and easy to transport to where you need it. Yet another entry for Briggs & Stratton in this review of the best standby generator units, the 40346 model is a 20kw standby generator that comes with a 100-amp transfer switch, featuring the manufacturer's patented Symphony II Power Management system that can manage the load of up to two air conditioners while also powering household appliances.
The unit has an automotive-style exhaust system and sound dampening technology for quieter operation, making it an ideal power backup source in a residential area. Briggs & Stratton estimate that its unique airflow technology enables its 20kw standby generators to run up to 50% quieter than most portable generator units.
Compliant with the robust National Fire Protection Agency 37 standard, this generator can be installed as close as 18" from your property, while the Briggs & Stratton limited warranty is reputed to be one of the most comprehensive available, offering five-year parts, labour and travel limited warranty.
The Generac 6438 is an amazingly powerful and efficient backup power source, particularly if you live in areas prone to extreme weather events, such as hurricanes and tornadoes. Generac's 6438 is an 11kW standby source that can automatically kick in within seconds of an outage to provide power for essential appliances such as air conditioners, water heaters, appliances in most of the rooms in your home.
7. Best Standby Generator Review - Generac 6438
This generator, a gas-powered air-cooled system in a steel enclosure, provides 11,000 Watts of power and has a 200-amp transfer switch that automatically disconnects your home from the mains when it detects a disruption in service, and then supplies its own power to your home.
Generac's 6438 model packs sufficient power to run a three-ton air conditioner along side the devices and equipment in the main rooms of your home. This unit will also keep your family safe during unexpected power outages, surges and other incidents, and is well worth considering as a long-term investment for your home.
3. Best Standby Generator Review - Briggs & Stratton 40450
Generac round off our reviews of the best standby generator appliances with the 7042, another 22kW generator from the manufacturer's acclaimed Guardian Series.
The air-coooled 7042 has no transfer switch but remains one of the best air-cooled home standby 22kW/19.5kW generators on the market. The 7042, as a generator-only proposition, is most suitable for someone who already has an automatic transfer switch installed on their property, although it would be recommended that you consult a Generac dealer on whether your existing automatic transfer switch can be used with Generac generators.
The good thing about such situations is that the installation process is much simpler than other brands, including removable door panels, a base pad requiring only minimal ground preparation, and efficient wiring techniques.
Another point in favour of Generac's units is that they are backed by 24/7/365 customer support, in addition to a 5,000plus-strong network of dealers across the nation.
Regardless of the run time, it’s not wise to keep the generator running nonstop for days. You need to shut it off periodically to let the engine cool off.
Q: Are Standby Generators Worth it?
A: There’s no definitive answer to this question. People have different needs and view things differently. How often do you experience power outage? How long can you stay without electricity? Are you preparing for an upcoming hurricane/ storm? Can you keep up with the inconveniences of portable generators? Answers to these questions can help you figure it out.
However, standby generators are undeniably the safest and most convenient solution for a power outage.
Q: Does Installing a Standby Generator Increase Home Value?
A: If installed legally and properly, a standby generator can increase your home resale value. In fact, it can even increase by 3 to 5 percent according to consumer reports. In short, it’s a worthy investment.
The Best Whole House Generator Comparison
There is no doubt that generators as a whole have made our lives a little bit more convenient. By turning automatically when the power goes out, a standby generator means you can continue to bake or watch a movie as if nothing happened. Besides the convenience, these units are very scalable depending on your needs.
If you want whole house protection, the Briggs & Stratton 76180 with its 25 kW power and reliable performance can be up to the task. If you want a generator to power only essential equipment, units like Champion Power can serve you well.
However, we feel Generac 70432 is the best standby generator thanks to its lowest cost per kilowatt MSRP of residential units, massive 22000 -watts power rating, 24/7 customer support, and many innovative features.