Four Best Whole House Generators
Sometimes, all of us encounter blackouts regardless of which part of the world you are. For some, the consequences are not pleasant. A home generator is a wise investment as it can give power to your entire home. Here are our top 4 picks:
- Briggs & Stratton 20,000 Watt Standby Generator
1 place :
Briggs & Stratton 20,000 Watt Generator has a design similar to that of an outdoor A/C unit. You can easily install it right outside of your home. It has a symphony power system to regulate its usage and provide good performance. This model is safe even for delicate electronic devices and has a 5-year warranty.
You can use liquid propane for 20K watt or natural gas for 18k watt power. It has an automatic transfer switch that adjusts its power load based on what your needs are. It can sense an incoming blackout and automatically comes on in mere seconds.
This equipment comes with unique airflow ventilation that pushes the exhaust away from your house. It also has quiet mufflers and technology that dampens sounds. Compared to similar models, this generator produces less noise.
The only downside we saw in this device is its size and weight. It is heavy and huge; this makes the installation a little harder. The large switch is also cumbersome to set up. Overall though, this is a good generator for your back up electricity at home.
Q: With an "extended" power outage say of two weeks will the standby generator function for that period of time?
A: Yes, but unless you are connected to a gas supply, its very unlikely your LP storage tank is large enough to run that long without refueling. I would recommend shutting the generator down and changing the oil during this extended outage.
Q: Type of fuel?
A: Natural gas and liquid petroleum.
Q: What is the real running rate of watts?
A: This standby generator/transfer switch bundle uses standby generator model 040336. That generator model's running watts depends on the fuel source you are using. If you use liquid propane (LP) gas the running wattage is 20,000 Watts, and if you use natural gas (NG) it is 18,000 Watts.
- pros +
- Has a steel enclosure that is rust-free Has front air ventilation Adheres to the National Fire Protection Agency standards Has a reliable Vanguard engine Closer installation to walls (18 inches)
- cons -
- Hard to install A complex set-up process
- Champion Power Equipment 14KW Home Standby Generator
2 place :
The Champion Power Equipment has an outstanding ergonomic design that is definitely striking. It operates well and is one of the best for those living in extreme climates. It also has a longer 10-year warranty.
You can use liquid propane for 14K watt or natural gas for 12.5k watt power. Every time there is a blackout, this fuel-efficient equipment would start automatically and shut down once the electricity turns back on.
This residential-friendly device features a low-tone muffler and lining that minimizes sounds. It just gives a soft purr while operating with only 63.5dBA volume. Champion Power Equipment is a very quiet model.
Although this equipment has high-quality power, it is still safe for your sensitive electronics as it has minimal harmonic distortion. Its gull-wing design gives you control panel access where you can see its control system.
Our only complaint is that it sometimes fails to start automatically, so you need to turn it on manually. For bigger houses as well, 14KW might not be sufficient. Otherwise, this is one of the best fuel-efficient generators. Also, it is not heavy on the pocket when compared to others.
Q: It works only with propane? No gasoline?
A: Our home standby generators will run on either natural gas or propane.
Q: What is the rate of fuel consumption? How long will a 100 lb cylinder last?
A: Propane Fuel Consumption at 1/2 Load 1.6 gal/h,Propane Fuel Consumption at Full load 2.6 gal/h.
Q: Can this be put in a basement?
A: Unfortunately, it cannot be placed in the basement. It must be placed outside of your home at least 18 in. away from the building, with five feet of vertical clearance, five feet away from any windows, and five feet of clearance on the exhaust end.
- pros +
- Below 5% THD (total harmonic distortion) Does not require a warming kit even in temperatures between -22 degrees F to 104 degrees F Gull-wing design Removable and durable enclosure
- cons -
- Very heavy and stiff Might not snap into action automatically and needs manual startup
- Generac 22KW Whole House Generator
3 place :
The Generac 22KW is the largest air-cooled generator available in the market. Its aluminum enclosure has a rhinocoat powder coated finish making it rust-free even in diverse weather conditions. It also comes with a 5-year warranty.
You can use 22K watt on propane and 19.5k watt power on natural gas. It has a remote monitoring feature allowing you to use your mobile devices such as your PC, tablet or smartphone to check your device’s status.
Its G-Force Engine is pressure-lubricated; so, it can handle the whole power load of your home. It can balance the load for items with high wattage (A/C units, stoves, etc.) and objects with small wattage. Thus, it gives you uninterrupted energy for your entire house.
This model also comes with a multilingual LCD display that shows the status of the battery as well as the intervals for maintenance. This makes it easier for you to check on your facility’s condition.
The problem we have with this unit is its frequent need for maintenance when compared to other standby generators. There is also a little difficulty with the location of its terminals since you cannot easily reach them. As long as you follow the intervals for its scheduled maintenance, this Generac 22KW generator will serve you well during power outages.
Q: Does it have to be placed on concrete or asphalt or can it be placed on level ground?
A: The unit can be placed on a concrete mounting pad; or a pea gravel foundation. It depends upon what the local code requirements allow in your area. To guard against vibration; we recommend mounting it on a concrete pad which the unit would be bolted down to.
Q: Can the generator switch between natural gas and propane?
A: Yes, it is set up so that it can be run off NG or LP. There is a thing to turn in the unit that switches it.
Q: How long can run continuouly?
A: Only ran for a max of 5 days power came back on.
- pros +
- Has a self-test mode Has True Power Technology with below 5% THD The LCD display is multilingual Comes with Mobile Monitoring Aluminum with RhinoCoat powder coated enclosure
- cons -
- Requires frequent maintenance Wirings have limited space Hard-to-reach terminals
- Kohler 20Rescl Whole House Generator
4 place :
The Kohler 20Rescl has a command pro engine that can handle commercial applications. Its hydraulic valve lifters allow it to operate for long periods without any breaks. It comes with a 5-year warranty.
You can use 20K watt on propane and 18k watt power on natural gas - you just need to push a button to switch the type of gas your device uses. After 10 seconds of activating it, your Kohler 20KW can already provide with the energy your entire house. You can even simultaneously use your different appliances such as the air conditioner, washer, and other electronics.
Installation can be a little costly. To save on the expenses, we suggest that you ask your Kohler dealer to install it for you. They would provide free concrete mounting pads.
- pros +
- PowerBoost technology can start bigger loads Has good digital voltage and minimal THD Fast response in restoring power Corrosion-resistant and stylish enclosure
- cons -
- Expensive setup costs, unless a Kohler dealer installs it No manufacturing quality control
The matter of energy supply for your house is of crucial importance for your comfortable and productive life. We believe our reviews made it easier for you to choose the most appropriate model and enjoy your living.
Types of Home Generator
There are three main types of a generator: standby, portable, and inverters. The choice of home generators for power outages will depend on many factors, including the voltage you require.
Standby best home generators for sale are installed outside the house or another building and are connected directly to the electrical system to provide power to some or all of your sockets during a power outage. Depending on the model, the power devices may turn on automatically when the energy supply stops and turns off when it is restored. Standby generators operating on liquefied or natural gas, require professional installation, and in some cases, obtaining permission to be installed. The permissible power determines the number of sockets that you can connect to a standby device (and the number of devices that can be used in these sockets). Standby models are usually entirely closed and can vary in size. When choosing the best, consider the size of the unit. Prices for such models are also different – the higher the output power is, the higher the cost can be.
Portable generators can be very functional. You can use them as an emergency power source for the house, as a power source in places where there is no electricity grid, or outside the city, like on hikes. Best portable devices run on gasoline and are equipped with 220-volt sockets, the same as regular power sockets in the house. Also, when the unit is working, you can connect devices and tools directly to these sockets. Some models are also equipped with sockets on a different voltage. The cost of such units varies depending on the power, weight, and other characteristics. Portable generators include, not only, gasoline but also diesel generators. Diesel models are more powerful than petrol ones and have a longer working life. They are usually employed for a long-term period, and if the total power of the intended load does not allow the use of a gasoline unit.
These best gasoline power tools are usually smaller and quieter than open standby ones and can often change engine speed to maintain the required load, reducing gasoline consumption and generator wear. Such products are ideal for camping, where the noise level can be a problem for connecting sophisticated electronic equipment. An inverter device is recommended for powering sensitive electronics. The peculiarity of the device is that the generated current is not transmitted straight to consumers. Initially, the alternating current is converted to direct current, after which it is accumulated in the battery. Afterward, it follows its conversion again into alternating current, but with ideal parameters and subsequent distribution to consumers.
Home Generator Buying Guide – What to Look At?
If there is a power outage at your home or in the country often, you must take care of the autonomous power supply of the site. The easiest way is to buy a power plant that can help out for a particular time until the light is turned back on. On how to choose the best home generator for sale by power, fuel, and other parameters, we describe below.
Selecting an independent source of electricity, you should pay attention to the following equipment characteristics:
#1 Gasoline, Diesel or Gas?
The first thing you need to decide is what fuel the generator will work on. Today, power plants for the house can be diesel, gasoline, gas, and inverter. Thus, which option is better to select for home use is challenging to say, because it all depends on individual conditions of use. To make it easier for you to make a choice, briefly consider the advantages and disadvantages of each electric generator according to home generators review. Petrol power plants are the cheapest; moreover, they work quietly and have compact dimensions. Due to its size, it is quite easy to transport them, so this option is better to choose in the country house. The disadvantage is the higher cost of gasoline and consumption, which is higher than the alternative options.
There are petrol models of the best home generators operating in a more economical mode – inverter. Such Best Generators for Home are better, although they are more expensive. The undoubted advantage of inverter power generators is compactness and high-quality current equipment supply. If you want to choose a portable power station for connecting sensitive electrical appliances, the inverter device would be the best option.
Diesel-electric home generators are more expensive and work a little louder, but the advantages of such models are considered to be cost-effectiveness, reliability and the possibility of functioning in a continuous mode, if the power station is of a standby type, with liquid cooling. It’s also worth noting that diesel generators generally operate at a temperature not lower than -5 ° C since diesel thickens in the cold. Gas models are the most economical and quiet. However, the cost of such power plants is much higher than other options.
It is, however, advisable to choose a gas generator only if gas is connected to the site. Otherwise, there are difficulties with the permanent filling of the cylinder. Another significant drawback is the fact that the connection of such a power plant to the central highway should be performed only by specialists. Also, there are combined home generators models – gas-gasoline, and gas-diesel. The dual-fuel system allows the autonomous power supply of the house with the help of two types of fuel. At the same time, it is not necessary to turn off the generator during the switching of fuel. If you like this model, you can choose it, especially since the cost is not too different from previous power plants.
It is necessary, to sum up, the power of electrical devices, which the best home generator will serve simultaneously. When calculating for appliances with an electric motor (tools, refrigerator, washing machine), starting power is taken into account. 20% must be added to the resulting value. As a rule, gas generators are used as their ability is from 2 kW to 5 kW or diesel engines with a power from 5 to 10 kW.
#3 Alternator Type
The best synchronous generator for home is recommended where devices sensitive to differences of tension are used. Asynchronous one is for the suburban area, the owner of which builds a house, regularly uses a welding machine, erecting greenhouses and other structures.
#4 Fuel Tank Capacity
From the volume of the tank, the duration of work of the diesel or gasoline best generator for home without interruption depends. With low power equipment, the capacity of the tank is about 5-6 liters, with an average – from 15 to 30 liters.
#5 Control Mode
The following best control modes are possible:
- Manual – starts with the use of physical force (as a rule, on low-budget models of low power up to 4 kW).
- Electro start – starts by pressing a button or turning a key.
- Auto start – is used for the backup generator, which automatically goes into working mode when the main electric line is turned off.
The more natural the launch is, the more expensive the model is. If there is an opportunity to pay for comfort, it is worth taking a generator with an electro start or auto start.
Numerous home generators reviews also draw attention to those features and capabilities that must be taken into account when choosing a power plant for the house:
- There are single-phase and three-phase power generators. If you have input to a 220 Volt house, you must select a single-phase model. If the connection to the electricity is three-phase or there are three-phase consumers in the garage, it will be right to choose a generator with 380 volts.
- The noise level. The standard value is no more than 74 dB for petrol devices and 82 dB for diesel ones. Moreover, if a casing protects the power plant, the noise level should not exceed 70 DB.
- The presence of a protective casing and muffler noise. Some manufacturers supply additional means of noise insulation. It is okay if in your selected model there will be such.
- The presence of protection against overvoltage and short circuit. When choosing the best, be sure to pay attention to the fact that your power plant has additional protective devices that will extend its service life.
- The cooling system: air or liquid. The second option is more common in expensive standby models since liquid cooling is more efficient.
It is also necessary to pay attention to such indicators as the presence of a service center in your city. Lastly, the ability to order spare parts for repair separately. Otherwise, these nuances are enough to choose the best generator for home and garden.
Best Home Generator Final Advice
If you need the best home generator with a minimum of electrical appliances and as a backup source, then you should stop the choice on a gasoline unit of 1-2 kW. The diesel analog is more suitable for long-term use when the light disappears for several hours or days. In the presence of gas, it is better to prefer the option that works on it. Summing up, we can say that the choice of the best home generator, which one is better or worse, is solved based on the task it will perform. And the product range will always allow you to choose precisely the right model of the best home generator. Our choice is Champion’s Whole House Home Standby Generator as the best home generator because, with it, you’ll have enough steady and uninterrupted power to weather the storm plus you don’t have to worry about the lights going out at home again.