Home generators are the best and safe way to keep a majority of your home appliances running on sudden power outages. While some areas experience a rare power failure, there are some regions where power cut is frequent. It is needless to say we cannot survive long hours without electricity. And if your area experiences frequent or long hours of power cut then you need a reliable standby generator for the whole house.
Standby generators are the top pick when it comes to power whole house with a generator. Though these outdoor generators are heavy but powerful enough to keep all major appliances of your home running. Also, you can connect them to the main wiring of your home and let the machine handle the rest. It will detect power failure and turn it on automatically to provide you with continuous electricity.
Then there are portable generators that provide power similar to that of a standby unit but are easy to move. Equipped with wheels on the bottom, you can shift a portable home generator in the garage when not in use. Apart from standby and portable, you get a lot of options to power your home. But the question is, which generator is best for your home?
To remove the confusion and help you select the best model for your home, we’ve thoroughly analyzed several products. And after long hours of research, we’ve shortlisted the following units. Below listed are the best home generators to buy in 2022. Go through the detailed reviews once to decide which type of generator is perfect for powering your whole house.
Best Whole-house Generator for Power Backups
Here are some great choices that people have loved to use as their house backup generators.
1) Generac 70432 Home Standby Generator Guardian Series 22kW/19.5kW Air Cooled
Be always prepared for sudden power failures with the Generac home standby generator. Generac is a household name now and is one of the top-selling backup generators for the whole house. All thanks to its practical design and user-friendly features that make it popular among buyers. In fact, Generac 70432 is one of the most powerful air-cooled generators on the market today that can run for hours without heating the internal components at dangerous levels.
Generac’s Mobile Link™ remote monitoring system is bliss for people who hate going outdoors to check the status or change settings of their outdoor generator. Also, who wishes to step out during a storm or harsh weather anyways? So thanks to its Mobile Link system that allows you to monitor the status of your standby generator from anywhere in the world. Connect the large outdoor unit with your smartphone, tablet, or PC and you can easily check current operating status, maintenance alerts, etc conveniently.
In addition to a highly thoughtful design, Generac 70432 is equipped with a powerful and reliable engine. This G-Force engine is pressure-lubricated for a flawless start. This powerful engine is combined with True Power™ technology that delivers best-in-class power with less than 5% total harmonic distortion. This results in a smooth start with fewer vibrations. Plus, it also runs the engine quietly which is one of the top priorities of many homeowners.
2) Champion Power Equipment 100111 15,000/12,000-Watt Portable Generator
Hurricanes are uncalled for and we must always remain prepared for such harsh conditions, especially if hurricanes hit your city. And these are the times where power is gone for days. And what you need during those tough times is a reliable and portable generator like Champion Power 100111. Designed with safety and convenience in mind, this magnificent beast delivers 12000 watts of running power. Thus, enough to keep the majority of your appliances running for up to 9 hours without voltage fluctuations.
Champion’s V-Twin engine features an electric start which further eases usage. Instead of pulling cords in stormy weather, all you need to do is press a switch to power your home. Plus, its built-in Cold Start technology ensures the engine starts smoothly when the temperature drops outside. This affordable home generator features various outlets to power multiple appliances at a time. These include 1x 120V 30A locking, 1x 120/240V 30A locking, 1x 120/240V 50A and 4x 120V GFCI outlets.
While GFCI outlets are essential to keep important appliances like smartphones and radio charged in case of emergency, the rest of the ports are essential to use a toaster, small electric cooker, etc. Also, no need to worry about any of your appliances getting damaged due to voltage fluctuations as Champion gasoline home backup generator features a Volt Guard system. This built-in surge protector prevents overloads and protects your sensitive appliances.
3) DuroMax XP15000E Gas Powered Portable Generator -15000 Watt Electric Start-Home Back-Up
While small generators are ideal to charge mini electronics and appliances, you need a reliable unit to keep large appliances like a deep freezer, refrigerator, etc running. Also, you must keep such appliances running to avoid spoilage of both fresh and frozen foods. So we’ve picked DuroMax gas-powered portable generator with an electric start that is perfect for home and RV use. Offering a starting surge of 15000 watts, the engine maintains a constant output of 12000 watts for powering various appliances.
From low-watt lights to heavy loads of home air conditioners, this portable gas generator can handle them all. All thank to its 713-cc V-Twin engine that is a true workhorse. You can plug several appliances at once without worrying about overlead damage. The unit provides a total of 8 outlets that include 4x 120V 20A GFCI ports, 1x 120V 30A twist lock, 1x 120/240V 30A twist lock, and 1x 120/240V 50A heavy-duty outlet. In short, there’s a provision to charge your small essential electronics as well as heavy appliances like an air conditioner or heater for a better night’s sleep.
Maintaining oil level is important for the flawless working of the engine. However, there are times where you can forget about adding oil to the tank. But you need to have to worry about engine damage due to low oil levels as the 4-stroke engine of Duramax is designed to automatically shut off when the oil reaches a certain low. This prevents potential engine damage, replacement of which can cost you half the price of the whole generator.
4) Westinghouse WGen12000DF Ultra Duty Portable Generator
There are times when it gets difficult to step out from the home to buy gasoline. These generally happen during hurricanes or bad weather. And the purpose of having a generator fails if you cannot use it due to lack of fuel. So it is better to go for a reliable dual-fuel generator like Westinghouse WGen12000DF that accepts both gasoline and propane as fuel. Equipped with a fuel selection switch, the portable generator easily switches fuel sources from gasoline to propane even while the engine is still on.
In addition to a fuel selection switch, the Westinghouse power backup generator features a transfer-ready switch. This switch allows you to tie the WGen generator conveniently to 120/240V 14-50R and twist-lock L14-30R outlets. Therefore, you do not need to step outdoors to connect essential appliances separately.
Start the engine easily with the push of a button. Besides, WGen 12000DF comes with a key fob that further eases engine start. Use this key fob to start the generator conveniently from a distance of up to 260 ft away. Thus, this quality is most needed during hurricanes or heavy rain, where it is risky to step out from your home.
5) A-iPower SUA15000EC SUA15000E 15000 Watt Ultra Heavy Duty Generator
California CARB compliant follows strict regulations and allows the use of only CARB compliant generators. However, it is tough to find a unit that is both powerful and CARB compliant but luckily we managed to find one. This heavy-duty home generator by A-iPower is EPA/CARB complied and is eligible for shipment in all 50 states of the US. Equipped with OHV, twin-cylinder, air-cooled, 4-stroke engine, the unit delivers enough power to keep your appliances running for hours without interruption.
Speaking of power, A-iPower’s 8-gallon tank provides up to 7 hours of runtime at 50% load. While its running time is great for home use, we are not impressed by its operational volume. It produces 85dbA which is quite loud and audible from the room next to the generator. Besides that, GFCI protected outlets are best for outdoor use. They provide added protection and safety under damp conditions.
Other safety features include low-oil shutoff. This system automatically shuts down the engine as soon as it senses low oil levels. Not only does it prevent voltage fluctuations but also protects the engine from potential damage. Other than that, the home backup generator comes with a built-in DC adapter plug. This port is perfect for charging sensitive electronics like iPhone, tablet, PC, laptop, etc.
6) Durostar DS12000EH Portable Generator, Red/Black
The ability of a generator to run on dual fuels gives you the flexibility to use it on various sites. For example, you can connect the duel-fuel generator with a propane tank and it becomes a reliable camping generator. Or add gasoline and use it as a home/office backup unit. The Durostar DS12000EH portable generator gives you the same flexibility. It features dual-fuel technology that gives you the freedom to run the engine either on gasoline or propane.
Just like fuel flexibility, the Durostar DS12000EH RV generator provides you the flexibility in choosing power. Equipped with Durostar MX2 technology, you can either operate the generator at both 120V and 240V at the same time or 120V only with full power. The wide power panel allows you to use multiple appliances at a time. Speaking of ports, the panel comprises 2x 120V household outlets, 1x 120V 30A twist-lock outlet, 1x 120/240V 30A twist-lock outlet, and 1x 120/240V 50A heavy-duty outlet. In addition to all these, it also includes a voltmeter and 12V DC charging ports for charging external batteries.
7) DuroMax Gas Powered Portable 12000 Watt-Electric Start-Home Back Up
Certain appliances at home need to be running continuously. These appliances are a fridge, deep freezer, toaster, small electric oven for emergency use. And thanks to 12000-watt starting power and 9500-watt running power of Duramax portable gas generator that can handle a variety of applications well. This includes light bulbs, a refrigerator, a home air conditioner, to high amperage power tools. So in short, the unit is perfect for emergency as well as job site use.
Lubrication of the engine is important for its optimal performance. However, this is maintained by keeping oil levels in check. So Duramax outdoor generator features a low-oil shut-off. This system helps to improve engine efficiency and performance by automatically shutting it off as soon as the oil go minimal. In short, it eliminates the hassle of maintaining high oil levels all time.
Just like a majority of portable outdoor generators, Duramax XP12000E also offers multiple ports. But it is unlikely that you plug into every port while at the job site. And that’s when Duramax’s idle control comes into action. This system generates only the required amount of RPMs. As a result, it saves fuel as well as reduces noise.
8) Generac 7676 GP8000E Portable Generator
Generac is undoubtedly one of the most powerful generators for whole-house backup. However, we cannot deny the fact that a majority of Generac standby home generators are expensive and not everyone has such a huge budget. But if you’re a Generac fan and wish to own a unit without spending a hefty amount then Generac 7676 GP8000E is a perfect pick. This affordable home backup unit is both powerful and lightweight. Weighing only 198 lbs it is also one of the lightweight portable generators on the market.
The impressive runtime of Generac 7676 is ideal for home and construction site use. The engine is capable of running continuously for up to 11 hours at 50% load. Also, the lightweight generator sits on heavy-duty wheels that will never go flat. Thus, you no longer need to keep a spare tire or air pump at the site. Besides 4 heavy-duty, never-flat wheels, Generac 7676 GP8000E features a fold-down handle that helps to maneuver the unit easily.
Needless to say but rough weather conditions sometimes fail ports. And this the last thing you want during a hurricane or stormy weather. However, you do not need to find any external cover as the Generac portable generator features covered outlets. Simply cover the unused ports to protect them from rain, dust, and debris. Other than that, the unit comprises an hour meter. This meter tracks maintenance intervals for the optimal performance of the engine.
9) A-iPower SUA12000EC 12000-Watt Gas Powered Generator W/Electric Start (CARB/EPA)
It is infeasible to run for a generator during a time of emergency. One must be well prepared for emergencies. It is good to have a reliable unit at home even if your area experiences infrequent power outages. And an A-iPower gas-powered generator under $1000 is perfect for emergency use. With a peak power of 12k watts and running power of 9k watts, the unit provides enough power to run multiple home appliances.
The ergonomically angled compact control panel is eases connecting wires to the ports. Speaking of ports, the A-iPower budget home generator offers a total of 4 outlets. These include 1x NEMA 120V 20A, 1x NEMA 120/240V 30A L14-30R, 1x NEMA 120/240V 50 A, and 1x 12V DC port. All the outlets are GFGI protected for hassle-free outdoor use. Cover the unused ports for maximum protection against dust, debris, and rain.
The tank capacity of this gas-powered home generator is relatively small than other models on the list. This A-iPower 12000-watt generator features a 7-gallon fuel tank. Although the fuel tank is small, it does not affect the engine’s runtime. With tank full, the engine provides a fully efficient 8.5 hours of runtime at 50% load. In addition to that, a high-performance alternator produces over 25% more surge wattage to start motor-driven appliances.
10) Pulsar G12KBN Heavy Duty Portable Dual Fuel Generator
Never sit in the dark again during a sudden power outage with Pulsar heavy-duty portable dual fuel generator. You can rely on Pulsar’s single-cylinder, 4-stroke, air-cooled OHV engine during the toughest conditions. Protected by a durable powder-coated frame, Pulsar is all good to use outdoors. Equipped with two large 10-inch never-flat wheels and a drop-down handle, the unit is easy to shift.
The large fuel tank of the Pulsar dual fuel home backup generator is perfect for long hours of continuous use. It features an 8-gallon tank that allows up to 12 hours of continuous use on a single tank when running on gasoline. In case you run out of gas than not worry as the Pulsar gives you the option to connect it to a reliable propane tank. It already comes with a propane hose that lets you connect the generator to a propane tank easily.
Standby Generators Vs. Portable Generators
A long-running debate while buying any new model is whether to buy a standby generator or a portable one(1). Well, the debate will go on but the following points will help you decide the right model for your home.
- Provides enough power to run all major appliances at home.
- Runs quietly than portable ones.
- They are often expensive.
- You can connect them to the main wiring of your house to turn the power on automatically as soon as the main supply goes off.
- Standby generators are safer than portable ones as you do not have to do anything once installed properly.
- The installation cost of a standby generator is higher than that of a portable model.
- The durability and lifetime of stand generators are double of portable units.
- As the name says, you can move such generators from place to place due to the presence of wheels.
- They are affordable as compared to standby models. You can get a good quality portable home generator for under $1500 easily.
- Many of them are dual-fuel models which accept both gasoline and propane as fuel.
- Limited ports. You cannot power all the appliances of the home at once.
- Requires proper storage when not in use.
- Portability makes them an excellent choice for RV and camping use.
Types of Generators Used for Home
Every home has a different power requirement. So one model that is perfect for a large home might not be the best for a smaller house. Also, what type of generator should you buy for your home hugely depends on your lifestyle. The below points will help understand the difference between various generators better.
A home that uses a lot of appliances requires a reliable, powerful, and steady supply of power. And these qualities are best offered by a standby home generator. These fixed outdoor generators offer enormous power to keep all the appliances of your large home running for hours even without making you feel the generator is on. And this is the reason why the output of standby generators is measured in kilowatts(KWs) rather than just watts.
If you want only specific appliances of your home to run during a power outage then investing in a good portable generator is a smart idea. Though they are small than standby models, a portable generator also offers enough power to run many appliances simultaneously. There are ports to plug in specific appliances/electronics. These can be home appliances like refrigerator, home AC, countertop mixer, etc, or job site tools like an air compressor, electric spray paint, hammer drills, etc.
If you want power and quiet operation then nothing is better than an inverter generator. Home inverters are best known for their quiet and low-cost operations. An inverter uses electricity to charge and run appliances in case of a power outage. These compact generators are best to use while camping, boating, tailgating, and similar recreational activities.
What to look at in a whole house generator?
Whole house generators are quite an investment. And it is obvious to check for certain functions/features before investing such a hefty amount. Below are some of the important features/functions to look for before buying a new home backup generator.
Power Output (Watts):
The output of a home generator is generally measured in Kilowatts or watts. Also, a unit will have two watts, i.e, starting/peak and running watts. The peak watt determines how efficiently will it start heavy-load appliances while running watts determine how smoothly various appliances will run.
Your Uses (Home Size):
Simply put, the size of your house also dictates how big of a power generator you might need. Make sure that you pick a generator that sufficiently handles the power requirement at its running watts.
Generally, autostart feature is associated with a standby home generator. Here, you do not need to step out of the home and connect the generator to several appliances to power them. The automatic start kicks in as soon as the power goes out. You can nearly feel there’s a power outage with an automatic home generator. Similarly, it goes off when the main power supply of your area is on.
Transfer Switch Ready or Supported:
There are two types of appliances in your home, plugin and hardwired. Hardwired appliances are generally heavy-load ones such as a refrigerator, microwave, dishwasher, etc. A home backup generator with transfer ready switch allows connecting such hardwired appliances to your generator. The machine will only power those units in case of an electric cut. Always ask for professional help for this connection.
Fuel Type (Gas, Propane, Dual Fuel):
A home power backup generator runs on either gas, propane, or natural gas. Gasoline generators are common among buyers as they are portable and convenient. However, now many buyers are shifting for more natural options like electric or propane models as they do not emit hazardous gases into the air.
Then there are propane or natural gas generators that are common to standby models. Propane burns cleaner than gasoline and delivers the same amount of power which makes it ideal for powering the whole house.
But if you can’t decide whether to buy gasoline or a propane model then dual fuel generators are the perfect option. These models accept both, propane and gas according to availability. Generally, they consist of a fuel transfer switch that lets you switch from gas to propane and vice versa in a zap even without turning off the engine.
Maintenance and Warranty
It is normal to expect a good warranty period when you’re buying such an expensive unit. And thankfully, many leading home generator brands offer an impressive warranty period on various models. This gives buyers the confidence to invest. But apart from a good warranty, you also need to maintain a home generator for long life. Some simple things will help to extend the life of your backup generator.
- Maintain required oil levels. This is one common mistake people often repeat. Low oil level loads engine that results in vibration and reduced efficiency. If you’re buying a home generator for the first time then it is good to go for the units with a low-oil shutoff feature.
- Start the generator once a month for at least 30 minutes even if there is no power cut. Starting up the engine once a month will keep the components inside running. It will also ensure a smooth start when you will actually need power backup.
- Repair or replace components when required. Just like low-oil shutoff, many whole house generators feature an hour meter. This meter shows the total number of hours you’re generator is been on. Therefore, gives you a better idea of when to replace or lubricate certain parts.
What is the average cost to have a whole house generator installed?
Installing a whole-house generator is a lengthy task. And you will surely need a team of professionals to get the unit installed. However, if we talk about cost then let us get to a point straight(2). Installing a whole house generator is costly. In most cases, installation costs approximately 70-75% of the standby generator. This means if your generator costs $8000 then expect the installation cost to be anywhere around $6000. So in total, you would be paying near to $14000.
Yes, they are an investment but a whole house generator is best for sudden and long power outages. They are automatic home generators meaning the power kicks in automatically as soon as the main electric supply cuts off. This saves you from the hassle of starting an engine or pulling cords every time you need the power to run appliances. Also, they offer power in kilowatts which is enough to run multiple heavy-load appliances at the same time.
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Why wait for a hurricane to hit or power to cut to buy a new generator for home use? Be always prepared for sudden power outages with the best whole house generators. These durable, portable, and powerful units maintain steady voltage for hours to keep all your important appliances running and sensitive electronics charged for an emergency. And now that you’ve got the list of best generators for the whole house, do let us know whether you’re going for a portable or standby generator.