Whole House Generator ~ What to Know and How to Choose One

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A whole house generator is an extremely useful investment in the event of an emergency. It can provide enough power for all your electronics and appliances. It can also be permanently installed and connected to your house to offer an automatic, quick, and seamless transition during a power outage.

In the event of an emergency, a whole home generator can supply power to your home as long as it has a sufficient fuel supply. You can use propane, natural gas, gasoline (not for permanently-installed standby generators) or diesel fuel to run your whole house generator.

It’s possible to have a standby generator connected to your home’s natural gas line. This will provide an unlimited supply of fuel from your utility company, allowing your generator to power your home for days with proper oil changes.

Whole house generators can last for decades with routine maintenance and care, so you can rest assured that you’ll have a backup source of power for years to come.

Because home backup generators are a hefty investment, it’s essential to know a few tips before making a purchase. 

Here I’ll take a deeper look into them and discuss what to look for when purchasing a whole house generator, how it can improve your home value, fuel types, different associated costs, and some recommendations of best whole house generators.

Generac whole house generator
Generac whole house generator

Difference Between a Generators for House, Whole House Generator and Home Backup Generators

Having a generator on hand will put you in a good position during outages, but you want to be sure you have the right type of generator. For many years, homeowners have kept a portable generator in their garage or shed ready for these situations, but whole house standby generators have replaced them as the go-to option.

Any generator will supply you with power when your house loses electricity. The main difference between the portable generator and the whole house generator is what they’re able to power and how long they can run.

All standby generators are permanently installed and connected to your electrical panel via an automatic transfer switch. A standby generator is permanently connected to your home and to a fuel source “standing by” to turn on within seconds of it automatically detecting you have lost electricity from your utility.

But a whole house generator is not necessarily a standby generator.

Whole House Standby vs Portable Generator for House

A portable generator for your home is smaller and portable, ranging from a few hundred watts to many kilowatts. You should calculate your power usage and needs to ensure that a generator of this size is enough power. These are usually enough power to provide some lights, refrigerator, and appliances. They are also ideal for RVs, camping, cabins, and job sites.

If your home is small, this generator might be able to power more, but it most likely won’t be enough for the whole house. You’ll have to choose the crucial items and occasionally turn off the generator so it doesn’t overheat.

You will have to connect your refrigerator, lamps, and small appliances to the portable generator directly to the generator by using heavy-duty extension cords. Make sure the electrical cords are for exterior outdoor use, because these generators stay outside. Place them safely away from your house when you are operating them.

These generators produce carbon monoxide, so they have to stay outside of your home to let the gases disperse into the air. You should position them so the exhaust releases away from your home. And they can be very noisy.

Never use portable generators in your house, shed, or garage, even if you keep doors and windows open. The carbon monoxide emissions will build up and become poisonous, even deadly.

These types of generators are completely manual, meaning you have to set them up, gas them up yourself and start and stop them when needed. They can be loud, sounding like a gas-powered lawnmower.

They can run for a limited time until their fuel runs out because they use small, air-cooled engines. If you try to make them power too many appliances or leave them running for too long, the generator might overheat and shut down completely. It can also damage anything connected at the time.

Using Multiple Portable Generators to Power Home

Theoretically, you can purchase several portable generators and have them on hand to power more appliances than a single one would. Having multiple generators will cost more to purchase, of course, and also to run in terms of purchasing fuel.

Overall, they will require more time to start, monitor, and maintain. It’s typically not worth the cost when you could pay more initially for a larger whole house system and benefit in the long run.

You have to store portable generators carefully. If any fuel remains inside, you have to siphon it out and replace it every six months to ensure the carburetor and engine won’t gum up and deteriorate from the inside.

They also require additional routine service—something you don’t want to skimp on. It takes time and money to properly service portable generators, but it’s better than discovering it doesn’t work right when you need it.

Generac whole house generator, Generac Transfer Switch
Generac whole house generator, Generac Transfer Switch

Whole House Generator

A whole house generator has similar pros and cons to portable generators, they are simply larger, heavier and bulkier versions. They are not as portable but can typically be moved by one or two people. And can be connected directly to a home’s electrical panel via transfer switch. 

  • Heavy
  • Have to drag them out
  • Hook them up manually
  • Run multiple extension cords
  • Start them manually
  • Perform maintenance personally

Whole house generators range for 1kw to 12kw in size.

Home Backup Generators

This type of home backup generators is installed and connected to your home and large enough to power all your electronics, appliances and meet your power needs during a power outage. It’s a permanent generator. It requires installation. This power keeps your house running as it normally would. You can power the air conditioning and the refrigerator, instead of having to choose between the two.

The transfer switch disconnects your home from the power grid while connecting your home to your generator, preventing dangerous back-feed thus protecting utility workers.

Standby whole house generators detect the power outage and automatically turn on. They can turn on and power everything up within seconds. Considering this prompt response, you might not even notice your lights flicker.

These home backup generators are large and usually encased in a sound deadening protective enclosure next to your home. You can buy an enclosure or, if you’re handy, build one yourself. A built-in exhaust system ensures the gases are safely vented from this enclosure and away from your home.

Large Engines

Whole house generators have larger engines that are typically liquid-cooled, like a car’s engine. This allows them to run longer without encountering any problems. Liquid-cooled systems are more efficient and work in extreme temperatures.
Even though the generator will heat up as it runs, the liquid coolant will keep it working smoothly, as long as its fuel supply continues uninterrupted.

In addition to these generators being more efficient to run, they’re also more versatile in terms of fuel options. You can choose from different fuel options like natural gas, diesel, or propane.

Whole house generators do require routine maintenance, but less than portable generators do. Since the generator is on your property, the company that installed it will come and do maintenance periodically. There’s less upkeep you have to do. They are auto programmed to have an auto test start weekly, so it’s more efficient in terms of your time and effort.

Since whole house generators are permanent fixtures, you’ll have to obtain the proper building permits and install them according to local and federal building codes and ordinances. We highly recommend that they are professionally installed.

Benefits of Whole House Generators

There are many benefits to having a whole home generator. Depending on your location, it might be almost crucial to get through extended power outages.

Extreme weather like hurricanes, winter storms, wildfires, blizzards, tornadoes, strong winds, rain, hail and ice storms and flooding can knock out power for extended periods of time. People who live in locations prone to forest fires might find their power shut off during wildfire season to prevent further fires.

Good for Any Location

Living in a populated area might cause your city’s power grid to be routinely overwhelmed, leading to brownouts and blackouts. If you live in a rural area, your power might be more unreliable simply because you live so far from the largest town.

Even if you have reliable power in your area, it’s nice to have a generator for backup because the consequences can be severe. People who live in rural locations should consider what they use on their land that needs power. Hot water heaters, stoves, ovens, and furnaces might run on natural gas or propane but their electric fans and starting depend on electricity.

During an extended power outage, you are at risk of your food in your refrigerator and freezer spoiling and going bad. If you use well water, your water pump needs electricity to function. Having a generator means you won’t have to be without your food reserves or water when the power goes out.

Safe and Efficient

Whole house generators use motors that are similar to vehicle motors. This means they’re larger, better quality, durable, quieter, not as hot, and more efficient than smaller portable generators.

Having a liquid-cooled motor means you can run your generator for as long as your power is out without worrying about the machine overheating. As long as you keep it fueled, it will supply electricity efficiently.

The fuel whole house generators use can be natural gas, liquid propane, or diesel. You can estimate how much fuel you’ll need based on how much power and how long you need the generator to produce.

It’s likely you’re already using natural gas in your home for heating and cooling, gas ranges, fireplaces, dryers, and more. Your whole house generator can connect to this line so you don’t have to worry about its fuel levels.

Whole house backup generators are located outside, next to your home. The generator will be positioned away from your house’s doors and windows. It also has ventilation and exhaust holes that keep the emissions from getting into your home. Stationary engine mission standards must be met.

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A whole home backup generator for use during power outages.

Using natural gas for your whole house generator also cuts down on the exhaust that’s released in the first place, making it the healthier and safer choice.

Backup Generator Runs Quietly

You won’t have a noisy engine with a whole house generator. It might be a stretch to imply that any generator will run quietly—it works with a motor, after all. But it’s similar to the difference between a car motor and your lawnmower motor.

Car motors encased under the hood typically sound quieter when they run. When you start up your lawnmower, on the other hand, it’s heard down the block because it’s more exposed.

Some residential generators have built-in sound attenuation that keeps them from being too loud on their own, but there are steps you can take to keep them quieter.

You can buy sound-attenuated cases to put over your generator. In addition, you can also choose to make your own. If you make your own, you can add extra insulation to help sound-proofing. Don’t forget to cut holes for the exhaust and ventilation ducts to prevent overheating.

Another perk of sound-attenuated enclosures is that they can also protect the generator from the weather. Weather-protective coatings will keep snow and rain off of the generator, while weather-proof cases also prevent damage from wind, earthquakes, and extreme temperatures.

If you mount your whole house generator on a concrete pad, it will help to reduce the noise of a the generator as well. The sound won’t be able to vibrate through the concrete, so it will be quieter even before you install an enclosure around it.

House Generator Never Lose Power

Having a whole house generator means you’ll hardly even notice when your power goes off, even in areas prone to inclement weather and natural disasters. The generator will sense the lack of power and turn on within seconds. This means you don’t have to stop what you’re doing to go outside and find your portable generator.

You will save time otherwise spent on setting up a portable generator, ensuring it’s gassed up, and plugging in all of your major appliances. You won’t have to manually start or shut off the generator. It will go into standby mode, ready for the next blackout.

Knowing that a generator will come on as soon as the power shuts off will give you peace of mind. You don’t have to worry about saving any food that might spoil because your refrigerator and freezer will stay powered up.

If anyone in your house uses critical medical equipment, a whole house generator is a must. You can’t risk not having power for an oxygen or dialysis machine. You need to be able to recharge a power wheelchair as needed without unplugging something else so the generator has the capacity.

Most importantly, you’ll want to ensure your security system is working. If criminals know that a neighborhood or entire city lacks power, they’ll feel more confident in committing crimes. Not having power puts your home at risk, but a generator will keep your security system connected.

House Generator Keep Everything Running

There’s nothing wrong with buying a portable standby generator if you can’t afford a whole house standby generator, but once you see the cost breakdown, you’ll probably change your mind.

It’s worth the initial investment of a whole house system just because you won’t have to pick and choose what you leave on. Energy consumption will be a non-issue.

With a standby whole house generator, you don’t have to decide what you need and when. Everything is powered through the generator, so you can rest easy knowing your food won’t spoil, you can cook anything at any time, you can read, use your lights, use computers, and enjoy movies and TV shows. You can continue to enjoy all modern conveniences without disruptions.

Increase Your Home’s Value

It’s worth asking, Does a whole house generator add value to your home? YES!

Though the specifics of this benefit are dependent on the real estate market, installing a whole house generator on your property does increase your resale value. Contact a realtor in your local area if you have questions before making this home improvement investment.

In general, people searching for their new house will love the bonus of a permanently installed fixture that prevents power loss.
While purchasing and installing a whole house generator might seem like a large cost, it’s nice to know you can recoup some of that investment when you sell your home. Of course, you’ll benefit from using it in the meantime.

How to Choose Best Whole House Generator

Use these tips to find the best whole house generator. Also, keep in mind the fact that you should buy it before you need it. Make sure you’re prepared to maintain it and research your model so you won’t make mistakes.

If you’re desperate for a generator due to a widespread power outage, you’ll find that prices could be inflated. In some cases, you might not be able to find a generator in stock, much less the one you want.

It also needs to be professionally installed by a licensed electrician to ensure it’s safe and meets any building code and ordinances. (This includes the position in your yard and the generator’s proximity to property lines and your house.) Plan ahead and get one installed before you think you need it!

To ensure you choose the best whole house generator, you need to consider the fuel source you want and be sure you buy the right size.

Best Price on Generac Generators
Best Price on Generac Generators

Backup Generator Fuel Type

There are basically three types of fuel for a standby whole house generator. These include natural gas, propane, or diesel. When you purchase a generator, you should already know what type of fuel source you will use to power it. In most cases, homeowners will only be looking at natural gas or propane generators.

Natural Gas Generator

The most convenient and most prevalent is natural gas. Typically, the best and most popular choice is if you already have natural gas in your home, to use it to power your home backup generator.

Natural gas generators can connect to your home’s natural gas line. The contractor who installs your generator will know your area’s regulations and can recommend the correct size generator according to the gas line.

Using natural gas to power a standby generator will be the most economical. It’s typically more economical because a natural gas powered generator will be less expensive than generators powered by other fuel sources.

Connecting to your natural gas line is pretty straightforward and inexpensive to do. However, if you live in a rural area, this won’t be an option. Learn more about a natural gas generator.

Propane Generator for House

You may not have access to natural gas because of where you live. In this situation, a propane-fueled standby generator is an option. It’s also an option for people who do not want to be dependent on the electrical grid or utility.

One disadvantage to buying a propane standby generator is the generator itself will cost more than one run by natural gas.

Additionally, you will have to purchase and pay to install a large propane tank and the piping from the tank to the generator.

Using a propane standby generator also has the costs of paying for the propane whether or not you use it. You have to pay for the propane along with the delivery fee. Compare this to a natural gas standby generator where you pay for the natural gas as you go.

In addition to the cost for the propane, another concern is running out of propane. You won’t necessarily know how much you used. You’ll need to plan ahead. If there are severe storms, you may not be able to have propane delivered when you want it.

In some neighborhoods and HOAs, you won’t be allowed to have a visible propane tank. You’ll need to pay to have it buried.

You’ll also need to be sure of the building codes and to ensure the propane tank is far enough away from your home. Having a large enough property will be important.

Diesel Fuel Backup Generator

A diesel-fueled standby generator is rare for home use. Typically these generators are not designed for homeowners. They are more designed for commercial and industrial use. However, there is one we list below. It’s the Generac 30kW Protector Model RD03022ADAL.

Diesel fuel is going to be dirtier and overall less clean. It will also smell. The generator itself is going to be much louder than one powered by natural gas or propane.

Like with a whole house generator that runs on propane, you’ll need a diesel fuel storage tank and piping. It will be more expensive for materials.

Refilling the diesel fuel tank is going to be a challenge. Fuel trucks are huge, big semi-trucks. They aren’t designed to go to residential and rural areas. It will be expensive to refill your tank, and it may not even be possible.

Another challenge is you’ll need to check with your local building codes to see if it’s permissible to store diesel fuel in this quantity on your property.

Using Propane or Diesel

If you opt for a liquid propane or diesel generator, you’ll also have to buy a tank large enough to store the necessary fuel. It’s always better to buy a bigger fuel tank because there aren’t too many negative side effects there.

Buying a smaller fuel tank will limit your storage capacity, which in turn will limit how long your generator will run. It will also cause your fuel expenses to add up because you’ll need more frequent deliveries. You might pay more per delivery since you’re buying in a smaller quantity.

Talk to your contractor or installer if you choose a propane or diesel generator. They’ll help you size up your house and figure out how much fuel you’ll need on hand and how long an amount will last you.

Take time to research what fuel type will be best for your home generator.

What Size Whole House Generator Do I Need?

How big of a generator do I need to run my whole house? It’s important to consider what size generator do you need to run your whole house.

You need to decide between the following options:

  1. If you want to power everything with zero interruptions
  2. Are you willing to forgo running appliances (such as a dishwasher or washing machine) or other things during an outage?

If you want seamless operations and want a whole house generator to power everything, you need to calculate the best size of generator for your home based on your electricity usage.

You can do this by obtaining your electricity usage from your local electric company. Look month-by-month and determine what your average daily kilowatt usage is.

In addition to learning your daily usage, you need to find out your highest usage day in a summer month and highest usage in kilowatts in a winter month.

Take that information and talk to the dealer you are buying the generator from. They will advise you on the size you need.
If you want a standby home generator but don’t want it to have to power everything when there is a power outage, you can use a generator sizing calculator. To do this, you need to determine what you want to power during the day. What do you want backup power for?

Power Consumption

To give you some idea of estimating your power needs, consider these averages. Specific appliances will differ, but in general, the wattage needs are as follows:

  • Refrigerator: 600 – 800 watts per hour
  • Electric Stove: 2,500 watts
  • Electric Oven: 5,000 watts
  • Microwave: 1,200 watts
  • Toaster: 1,100 – 1,700 watts
  • Coffeemaker: 400 – 800 watts
  • Computer: 500 -2,000 watts
  • TV: 100 – 350 watts
  • Lamp: 150 watts

Your HVAC and other major systems will use exponentially more wattage:

  • Central Air Conditioning: 2,000 – 4,000 watts per hour
  • Electric Furnace: 5,000 – 25,000 watts per hour
  • Water Heater: 3,000 – 4,500 watts per hour
  • Space Heater: 1,300 watts per hour
  • Water Pump: 1,000 – 2,000 watts per hour
  • Window Air Conditioner: 600 – 1,500 watts per hour

After you have an estimate of how many kilowatts you’ll need to live comfortably, size up for the best whole house generator. Ideally, you want one that is 20 – 25% higher than the biggest load you’ll need to run.

Quality generators run at 80% capacity, which leaves some extra power if you need to plug in anything else.
If you want everything electrical in your house to work all of the time, splurge on a very large kilowatt generator and you won’t miss any luxuries of your everyday life when the power goes out.

Also the person you hire to install the generator can also give you advice in advance about the size of generator you need for your house as well as where to position it on your property. If you’re unsure about the size you need, especially in terms of what you can afford, talk to an installer about your options before buying one.

How standby Home Generator systems works - Transfer Switch
How standby Home Generator systems works – Transfer Switch

Install a Transfer Switch

Most of the devices in your house that use electricity are on a switch, and your generator is no different. You’ll have to install a transfer switch that allows you to control your generator.

By federal law and all building codes, you must have a transfer switch installed. Your choices for a generator transfer switch are an automatic transfer switch or a manual transfer switch.

Automatic Transfer Switch – An automatic transfer switch senses when the grid is no longer supplying electricity and automatically switches over to the generator to supply electricity to your home. 99% of whole house standby generators use an automatic transfer switch.

Your generator will sense when electricity is flowing through the house, and it will also detect a power outage immediately. It will start the motor and power your home through the electrical panel with generator power.

Manual Transfer Switch – A manual transfer switch is dependent upon you to switch it over. You have to turn it on and turn the generator on. It’s less convenient. Another downside is you have to go outside in possibly inclement weather to turn it on.

The switch ensures your home gets access to the generator’s power, so you want to make sure you install the right switch. That will depend on the amps your electrical panel can handle.

Most homes have a 200-amp electrical panel, so that’s the size of the transfer switch you need. The installer or contractor can help make sure you get a transfer switch that matches the amps your electrical panel can handle.

How Much Does a Whole House Generator Cost?

There are some things to consider before determining how much a home standby generator costs. You have to factor in the size of the generator you buy and the fuel type it uses. You also have to factor in the cost to install a whole house generator.

There is more than just the actual cost of the generator. Installation and fuel cost (if buying using propane) should factor into your buying decision.

These total costs will include:

  • Pull permits
  • Buy a generator pad to set the generator on or you can pour a concrete pad yourself
  • Prepare the ground to put the pad down on
  • Buy the transfer switch along with all the electrical wires and fittings
  • Have it installed and connected to your electrical panel

In general, the cost to install a whole house generator is typically the same cost as the generator itself. This means you should double the price of the generator to approximate the total cost of a whole home generator.

If you are buying a propane standby generator, you’ll have the costs of the propane tank, the propane, and hooking it up in addition to the above.

Also consider future maintenance and repair costs.

You’ll find all sorts of generator cost estimates online, ranging from low to high. The truth is that it’s going to be a major expense. However, if you think of it as an investment, the cost is easier to stomach.

Whole House Generator Costs

When it comes to generators for house, the average cost of a whole house generator for an average-sized house can range from $7,000 to $15,000 for the machine alone. This is for a fuel-powered generator that will allow everything in your home to run without interruption.

Battery-powered models recharge from the electrical grid so they can keep your home going in the event of a power failure. These are environmentally friendly options that cost more—anywhere from $10,000 to $20,000.

Solar-powered battery generators are even more efficient, but you’ll pay more for the machine itself. They start at $20,000 and can be as expensive as $40,000.

These prices are just estimates. The exact cost will depend on the size of the generator and the brand you buy. You’ll want a generator that is big enough to power all of your home’s appliances, so, understandably, a larger generator will cost more.

Don’t Cut Corners

Consider budget but don’t cut corners when it comes to determining the capacity of the generator you’ll need. If you get one that is too small to handle your appliances, it will still try to power your home. This stress will cause the generator to burn out, and might even damage the items you have plugged in.

It’s always possible to disconnect things from the generator if you don’t need them during an outage. Even so, you’ll want to get a large generator to handle the influx of electricity as appliances start.

For example, a refrigerator requires 2,800 watts to start up. Once it’s running, it only needs 700 watts. While you’ll need less electricity to keep your home running, you don’t want the surge of everything coming on to tax the generator and cause it to burn out.

Purchasing a whole house generator will cost more upfront, but it pays off over time. You’ll never be without power, you won’t have to constantly fuel up the motor, and you won’t have to pick and choose what items you plug in. With regular maintenance, a whole house generator will give you years of peace of mind.

generator transfer switch
Consider the generator transfer switch when choosing a whole house generator

FAQs about House Generators

What is the Average Cost to Have a Whole House Generator Installed?

In addition to the whole house generator cost, there is the additional cost of installation.

Installation costs vary according to the size of the generator and its position. If your gas and electric meters are next to each other, the generator will go near them in a simple installation.

If your meters are on opposite sides of the house, or there is nowhere nearby for the generator, then the installation will cost a bit more. The installer will have to use more materials to connect the generator to the meters, and you’ll have to pay for the materials and the labor.

A good estimate for installation costs is to figure the labor and supplies will cost as much as 75% – 100% of the generator itself. This doesn’t mean you’ll pay that much, but it’s nice to have the figure in mind so you can budget accordingly.

Can I Install a Whole House Generator Myself?

The generator will come with an installation manual. However, even if you’re handy, it’s best to let a licensed professional install your whole house generator. In addition to the correct positioning, an experienced technician will hook it up to the home’s main natural gas supply.

In addition, hiring someone will give you someone to turn to if you need help or if a problem comes up in the future. It will also help to have this paperwork for future buyers.

After crunching the numbers, you might think it would be worth it to install the generator yourself. Consider that a professional will not only install your whole house generator but also the automatic transfer switch and protective case. A professional will also ensure the generator’s amperage switch matches the home’s panel.

If anything needs upgrading for your electrical system to properly run the generator, the installer can do that for you at the same time. You’ll have to pay for it, but you’ll know that the generator will run safely.

It’s also worth the cost because the installer is a professional. They’ll give you the insider knowledge you need about the generator that can power your house, so you’ll feel more confident about what you buy and how it will protect your family.

Depending on your local regulations, you might have to get your generator inspected. Know what the inspectors look for before they come, to ensure you won’t have to pay a fine or have to uninstall and move your generator.

Maintenance Costs

It’s a relief to know that the bulk of the cost of a whole house generator is in the purchase and installation of the machine itself. Maintenance costs anywhere from $50 to $500 per year. This includes the fuel and an annual inspection.(Some whole house generators require an annual inspection.)

You can help prolong the life and the dependability of your generator by running it for 15 minutes every week. However, most standby generators today are programmed to automatically run 15 minutes every week.

Standby Generator on a Budget

Consider a partial house generator instead of a whole home generator if budget is a concern. It can be a good option if you can’t afford a whole house generator and want to save money while ensuring you’ll never be without your electrical necessities.

A partial house generator differs from a portable generator because it is still installed on your property and will turn on automatically when the power goes out. It is similar in that you won’t be able to power everything in your house.

You can connect a home generator to all house circuits or a few essential circuits. When connected to all circuits, your machine will be a whole house generator. If you choose just a few essential circuits, it will be a partial house generator.

It will always be cheaper to purchase a portable standby generator. However, this is a smaller motor that will only power a few items in your home. You’ll also have to ensure you fuel it up frequently since it has a lower fuel capacity. You’ll be putting more money and energy into portable generators over time.

Whole House Generator Reviews

After learning about the different types of generators and what you need to consider when installing them, you’re ready to hear about the best out there.

Not all generators will meet your needs. Be sure you’re picking the right machine. Here we review whole house generators ranging in size from 17kW up to 38kW.

Keep in mind, an ideal entry level whole house standby generator is 22kW. One larger, in the 27kW – 36kW range, is ideal for most homes. Be sure to get the correct generator size. Choosing a more powerful engine will ensure sophisticated programming for better load management.

Briggs & Stratton 17kW Model 040630

Briggs & Stratton is a popular brand that makes various sizes of generators. This model is an air-cooled home standby generator with a smartphone app that lets you control the power remotely. You can change the voltage going to different appliances.

This 17kW generator has a low speed that will reduce noise and more efficiently consume fuel. It’s used for the weekly test mode as well, so you won’t waste fuel when you’re maintaining your Briggs & Stratton generator.

Generac Guardian 18kW Model 7228

There are several Generac generators on the list because they make some of the best generators on the market. You’ll be able to select different sizes, capacities, and prices. Anything you get from Generac is going to be high-quality and durable.

This model 7228 stands out because it can handle everything. It can run a five-ton air conditioner, so your home will be in good hands with this generator. The motor is specially built to require less maintenance, so you’ll pay less for that while knowing your generator will stay in great shape.

Kohler 20kW Model 20RESCL

For full power, this Kohler 20kW generator comes with an automatic transfer switch and turns on within 10 seconds of losing power. It comes with a corrosion-proof enclosure that will protect your generator from the elements so it will last for years.

This model has PowerBoost technology, which stabilizes all active appliances when something larger, like your air conditioning or refrigerator, turns on. This prevents a power surge and also ensures you never lose power to smaller devices.

Kohler Generator vs Generac Generator

Cummins 20kW Model RS20AC

If you buy this Cummins generator, you’ll be able to use either liquid propane or natural gas as fuel. Regardless of your fuel option, you’ll benefit from the Quiet Connect that ensures it runs undetected in the background. You won’t notice a thing as you switch from electricity to generator power.

You can install this unit 18 inches from your home, so if you want to potentially decrease installation costs, it’s a good model to consider.

Generac 22kW Protector QS Model RG022

With their ever-ready fuel supply, a 22,000 watt generator will keep your home running for an extended outage.
Generac boasts a Quiet-Test Self-Test mode that uses less fuel and runs more quietly when compared to other brands. This means you won’t waste fuel when you perform maintenance.

This 22,000 watt generator has Mobile Link remote monitoring which allows you to control your whole house generator from anywhere with internet access.

Generac makes all of their generators in the United States, so you can also feel good about the company you’re supporting.

Generac Protector QS 22kW Model RG02224ANAX

Another Generac home generator, this generator offers 22,000 watts of power which is powerful enough to run a small business. If you have a large home or a lot of electronics, this is the one for you. You can fuel the liquid-cooled motor with natural gas or liquid propane.

The motor runs at half the speed of other generators, ensuring a quieter and more efficient experience without sacrificing any power. The automatic shutdown feature will kick in if the generator is ever at risk of overheating.

Generac 22kW
Generac 22kW

Generac 22kW Model 70422

This Generac 22kW generator is one of Generac’s budget models and does not come with many of the perks, including the automatic transfer switch. It runs quietly and doesn’t require as much maintenance as others.

Generac 22kW Model 70432

A good thing about the 70432 generator is it is so quiet you don’t need to install it on a concrete pad. It requires less maintenance, so you can run it twice a week, weekly, or monthly. All of the breakers and connections are on the control panel so it’s a one-stop-shop.

Generac Guardian 24kW Model 7209

Generac 24kW generator is air-cooled and runs at a slower speed so it has a small carbon footprint. Even with these alterations, it’s still ranked as the most powerful generator in its class. It has a multilingual LCD display.

 How Long Will a Generac Generator Last?

Briggs & Stratton 25kW Model 076180

This sleek black 25,000 watt generator features a liquid-cooled engine that runs on liquid propane or natural gas. It starts within seconds after your house loses power and can support two air conditioning units and all of your other appliances.

Generac 25kW Protector Model RG025

Another 25kW whole house generator to consider is the RG025. This generator is large both in size and in power, which understandably makes it cost more. You’ll benefit from its fuel efficiency because it costs less to run and can install it 18 inches away from your home.

Generac 27kW Protector QS Model RG027

Generac’s Protector series delivers enough backup power for days to keep your whole home functioning with no interruption. Consider a 27,000 watt generator for a larger home.

The liquid-cooled motor is safe to install near your home, and the included enclosure protects it from corrosion.

Generac Generators Home Standby Generators
Generac Generators Home Standby Generators

Generac 30kW Protector Model RD03022ADAL

Consider a 30kW home generator for even more power and for larger homes. This generator runs on diesel fuel at half speed to ensure a quieter operation and a longer lifespan. The included enclosure is specially coated for coastal locations so the salt won’t corrode your motor.

Generac 38kW Protector QS Model RG03824ANAX

This top-of-the-line generator can power your entire house and anything you’d ever need during an outage. You’ll be able to use everything because it has a backup generator line that ensures continuous use and runs efficiently on low fuel.

When utility power goes out, it will turn on automatically until it’s restored, keeping you in the comfort you are used to. You will be able to rely on this generator to power most everything in your home.

How to Find the Best Price on Generac Generators

Are Whole House Generators Worth It?

A standby whole house generator is permanently connected to your home or business. It protects your home from the damage that can occur when pipes freeze, the sump pump goes out, or the grid goes out and you’re out of power for an extended time. It adds value to your property.

Basically, it ensures you’ll never have to be without the necessary power, even in severe weather. In the meantime, you’ll be able to use your critical appliances.

When you invest in a home generator, you’re going to have peace of mind that you’ll be able to weather anything that comes your way. With current models being quiet and fuel-efficient, you won’t be making your carbon footprint larger.

The ability to control your standby backup generator remotely through an app makes maintenance, upkeep, and control simple. Standard warranties cover five years, but regular maintenance will keep your generator running for decades.

Factor in All Costs for Whole House Generator

When making your purchasing decision, remember there is the actual cost of the generator along with installation, fuel, and maintenance. There may also be repair costs down the road.

If the power goes out, you might find yourself staying at a hotel, which is an additional expense.

You might spend your days out of the house at restaurants and malls to take advantage of their power.

You’d be gone from your house, and might find that you have to pay to replace anything stolen due to an inactive alarm system while your house was empty.

These might not be common occurrences, but they could happen. Having a generator ensures they won’t, and that you’ll be comfortable in your home until power is restored.

When you think of it that way, installing a quality whole house generator is a bit like an insurance policy to protect your home and your family’s well-being.

No matter what size and type of generator you buy, always ensure you’re using it safely. Consider these tips to help you choose the right generator for your space. Also ask questions of any manufacturer or installer. They can help you get exactly what you need.

We never realize how essential electricity is until we lose it. Things like access to food, lights, and medical equipment can become difficult and even life-threatening during an outage.

PTO Generator