Generator Installation Costs
When purchasing a generator, the most important determination is the power requirements of your house and especially your large-draw electric appliances. Refrigerators, air conditioning, sump pumps, water heaters and space heaters will have some of the highest power draw in your house. Online wattage calculators will help you find what size generator is the best fit for powering your whole house. You can also calculate this yourself by finding the wattage rating label on each of your electrical appliances.
You should multiply the total watts of your appliances by at least 1.5 to create an adequate margin of safety. You can also check with your power company or on your electric bill to find your regular power needs. In general a small to medium size U.S. house averages a minimum of 5,000 to 7,000 watts so many standby generators are sold with a minimum of 8,500 to 10,000 watt outputs. NOTE: Some generators are listed by watt (W) and some by kilowatt (kW).
Portable Generator Costs
A kilowatt is 1000 watts. An air-cooled generator uses the surrounding air to cool the engine. This could be done passively by the surrounding air absorbing the heat and rising away from the generator, or this could be accomplished with “forced air cooling” which uses a fan to blow air across the generator’s engine.
Air-cooled generators will often not work as well for longer-run, whole house applications because the cooling is not as efficient—units are more likely to overheat and shut down automatically. A liquid-cooled generator pumps coolant through the engine block which absorbs heat from the engine before moving through a radiator where the coolant cools back off and then is cycled through again.
Whole House Generator Cost
The advantage of liquid-cooled generators is they can operate more efficiently, without the fear of overheating in climates that regularly get above 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Liquid-cooled generators are best for whole house applications because these units are less likely to overheat. Whole house generators are permanently installed at your home and connect to your house’s gas line, either liquid propane (LP) from a tank installed on your property or natural gas (NG) from a utility line or custom tank.
Propane is a more affordable fuel and burns “clean”, meaning it leaves much less contamination. Natural gas is advantageous because it doesn’t require refilling a tank, but a utility mainline can be a disadvantage for those who want to remain off-grid. Many whole house generators can burn either type of fuel with a simple conversion.
Make sure to purchase the correct generator for the type of fuel that you have available. Since these generators will likely be permanently stationed aside your house, the noise level is an important consideration when choosing a generator. Generally, the Generac brand whole house generators run on the quieter side—65 dbA or less—while other manufacturers’ models may run at 69 dbA or even higher.
Hiring A Generator Installer
For reference a vacuum cleaner runs at 75 dbA. Placement of your whole house generator is also important since you may not want that loud noise right next to a bedroom or office. Fueled by Natural Gas: $3.50/hour to $4.60/hour*. Fueled by Propane: $3.90/hour to $5.60/hour^. Fueled by Natural Gas: $4/hour to $7/hour*. Fueled by Propane: $6.50/hour to $11/hour^. Natural gas prices used are as of February 2019 and are averages of each state per U.S.
Energy Information Administration. Costs are calculated assuming the generator is running at full load. Please note that the cost will fluctuate depending upon your unique needs and application. *Based on current data for the state of Florida. ^Based on current data for the Gulf Coast. The Generator: Whole house generators from Cummins start at USD $3,040 for 13kW, and $4,200 for 20kW models.
Home Generator Cost Factors
Automatic Transfer Switch (ATS): When utility power fails, the ATS automatically connects your home generator to your home’s electrical system, enabling it to provide power to your home. ATS costs are usually $500 to $1,000. Professional Installation: Typically $2,000 to $4,000. Propane Tank: If your generator is powered by propane, you need a propane storage tank. 250-gallon tanks are $500 to $1,500.
500-gallon tanks are $1,000 to $2,500. Prices vary across regions, and underground tanks cost more. Natural gas generators are connected to your home’s gas feed, so there’s no need for a tank. Of the expenses associated with installing a home standby generator, the installation costs vary the most. Costs can differ depending on your location, since the process includes obtaining permits, preparing the site, mounting the generator, getting a licensed plumber to connect the fuel line, and getting a licensed electrician to connect the generator to your home.
A Cummins-authorized dealer takes care of these installation tasks on your behalf. An extended outage without a generator could cost $14,280* . If you’ve experienced an extended outage before, you’re familiar with the hassle of staying at a hotel, throwing away spoiled food from the fridge and freezer, repairing frozen and burst pipes, and having an unpowered sump pump lead to a flooded, moldy basement.
Generac Generator Costs
Those costs can be avoided if you have a whole-house generator. In fact, savings from a single outage can more than recoup your investment in a home standby generator. $3,000 – $5,000 Installation Only$6,000 – $11,000 Whole-House Generator + Install. Home generator installation costs $6,000 to $11,000 on average, including the whole-house generator.
Standby backup generators cost $2,000 to $6,000 alone, and portable generators cost $500 to $2,500. The cost to install a generator transfer switch is $400 to $2,000. Get free estimates from generator installers near you or view our cost guide below. Reviewed on September 9, 2020, by Tom Grupa and 5 Expert Generator Installers on HomeGuide. Whole house generators cost $6,000 to $11,000 on average, including installation.
Home generators cost $3,000 to $6,000 alone, and the cost to install a whole-house generator is $3,000 to $5,000. Generac generators cost $2,000 to $5,000 for a whole-house unit, without installation. Standby generators can power select circuits or a whole home, depending on the generator's size in kilowatts (kW) and circuits in the transfer switch.
DIY Home Generator Installation
Home standby generators, also called backup or whole-house generators, are permanently wired into the electric panel and automatically turn on during a power outage. Whole-home generators cost $50 to $150 per day to run and provide a power source for up to 500 hours continuously or three weeks. Standby generators last 15 to 30 years or 10,000 to 30,000 hours. Portable generators cost $500 to $2,500 for a 5 to 10 kW unit, must be turned on manually, and can only power critical appliances and ten lights.
Whole House Generator Cost. Generator Costs By Type. Generac Generator Costs. Generator Installation Costs. Portable Generator Costs. Home Generator Cost Factors. How Much Do Generators Cost To Run? Generator prices range from $2,000 to $6,000 for a 7 to 22 kW natural gas or liquid propane system, without installation. Whole house diesel generators cost $5,000 to $18,000.
How Much Do Generators Cost To Run?
Portable gasoline generators cost $500 to $2,500 for a 3 to 10 kW backup unit. Portable gasoline generators cost $500 to $2,500 for a 3 to 10 kW unit. Gasoline generators have lower upfront costs and can power essential appliances during brief outages. However, they are noisy and require storage space for the generator and gas, which has a shorter shelf-life than other fuels.
Always run a gasoline generator outdoors at least 20 feet from the home to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Natural gas generators cost $2,000 to $6,000 for a whole house, depending on size. They can be installed to a home’s existing gas line and require no fuel storage.
Natural gas is cheaper than diesel or propane, but relies on pipelines that may be shut off or damaged during severe storms. Liquid propane generators cost $250 to $4,000 for portable models or $2,000 to $6,000 for permanent backup units, depending on size. Liquid propane lasts longer and burns cleaner than other fuels but is more expensive and requires a large storage tank, which increases installation costs.
Portable diesel generators cost $3,300 to $6,700 and whole-house diesel generators cost $5,000 to $18,000. Diesel generators are more efficient, reliable, and require less upkeep than natural gas or propane generators.