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Last Updated on April 5, 2021
When your power fails, this can result in spoiled food, bored kids, and not being able to complete work and other tasks.
Unfortunately, you cannot always predict a power outage so that you can plan in advance. A house generator can keep your electricity going so that a lack of power does not interfere with your life.
Here are the best whole house generators so that you can maintain power needs in your home and that can power an entire house to keep your life on track when the electricity goes out.
- 1 Best Whole House Generator Reviews
- 1.1 1. Generac 7043 Home Standby Generator
- 1.2 2. Briggs and Stratton 20000-Watt Home Standby Generator
- 1.3 3. Kohler Air-Cooled Standby Generator
- 1.4 4. Generac 5735
- 1.5 5. Westinghouse Ultra Duty Industrial Portable Generator
- 1.6 6. DuroMax Hybrid Dual Fuel Portable Generator
- 1.7 7. WEN Dual Fuel Portable Generator
- 2 Best Whole House Generators Buying Guide
- 3 Frequently Asked Questions On Whole House Generators
- 4 Final Thoughts
Best Whole House Generator Reviews
1. Generac 7043 Home Standby Generator
Using air cooling and having a house transfer switch, the Generac 7043 Home Standby Generator makes it easy to keep the electricity flowing.
- Natural or liquid propane gas
- 19500 natural gas rated wattage
- 22000 liquid propane rated wattage
- 200 amps transfer switch
- 56 fuel load consumption
- 10-second response time
The Generac 7043 Home Standby Generator is the market’s biggest air-cooled house generator for residential homes. It uses a 200-amp NEMA 3R smart switch to provide power to the entire home safely.
This portable generator features a G-Force engine that can handle rigorous use due to having pressure lubrication. This feature reduces the need for frequent routine maintenance, and it ensures that power is more reliable.
These portable generators have an evolution controlled that features a 2-line LCD text display, is multilingual, color-coded, and has back-lit buttons. This ability makes it easier to manage the generator functions and monitor the unit during operation.
This Generac Generator has True Power technology that allows it to operate at under five percent total distortion. This feature means that even your most sensitive of electronics have protection. They will also operate smoothly and cleanly.
You can install it generator as close as 18 inches from the exterior of your home, making it ideal for homes with small backyards. It is Mobile Link compatible so that you can use your tablet, computer or smartphone to view the monitoring system and keep an eye on the unit when you are away from home.
- It has overload protection
- It has a mechanism that protects the circuits throughout the house
- If the oil runs low, it shuts down automatically
- It has automatic voltage protection
- There is an easy-to-read hour meter
- The unit does not have an alternator
- When you are using the generator, you cannot charge the battery at the same time
2. Briggs and Stratton 20000-Watt Home Standby Generator
The Briggs and Stratton 20000-Watt Home Standby Generator provides backup power for your home seamlessly due to its quick start and overall efficiency.
- Natural or liquid propane gas
- 18000 natural gas rated wattage
- 20000 liquid propane rated wattage
- 200-amp transfer switch
- 4 fuel load consumption
- 26-second response time
The Briggs and Stratton 20000-Watt Generator can act as a house generator for up to a 12,000 square feet home. You can use it for large appliances, lighting, and even your air conditioner. You only need to put it 18 inches away from your home, making finding a place to install it easily.
After the electricity goes out, this house generator senses, and power is restored automatically within seconds. It comes with a dual 200/split 400-amp automatic transfer switch. You can install this switch either outdoors or indoors.
It uses a Vanguard engine, so it is durable and able to handle home power needs. The engine displacement is 993 cubic centimeters. The enclosures are galvanneal, rust-resistant steel. This material means that it will not rust prematurely when it is out in the elements. Never Operate your generator indoors or in an enclosed space
This house generator protects the circuits throughout your entire home. Look at the hour meter to monitor your generator. It will regulate the voltage automatically to prevent overload issues.
With Briggs & Stratton , you get a house generator that meets more than one safety rating. It has the CSA safety listing and the UL safety listing. To protect your appliances and other electronics, the total harmonic distortion associated with this generator is under five percent.
- This generator has an exercise cycle
- It shuts off automatically if the oil level gets too low
- Provides backup power seamlessly
- It protects against overload
- It uses an electric switch for fast starting
- You can power an entire home
- This generator is noisier than similar models
- The transfer switch may fail prematurely
3. Kohler Air-Cooled Standby Generator
The Kohler Air-Cooled Standby Generator responds quickly and powers the entire house thanks to its 200-amp transfer switch.
- Natural or liquid propane gas
- 18000 natural gas rated wattage
- 20000 liquid propane rated wattage
- 10-second response time
- 200-amp transfer switch
- 8 full load fuel consumption
The Kohler Air-Cooled Standby Generator kicks on automatically when there is a power outage. It is a definite contender for best whole house generator being a heavy-duty device, capable of keeping the electricity on for an entire home. This ability is due to its Power Boost technology.
The harmonic distortion is below five percent. This feature makes it possible to power delicate electronics without worrying about accidental damage. Your electronics have further protection due to the +/- one percent voltage regulation that this generator provides. This generator protects all of the circuits in your home, and it has an exercise cycle. Never Operate your generator indoors or in an enclosed space
If the oil level gets low, this generator shuts off automatically to prevent any damage to the engine. You can use the hour meter to keep an eye on the operation of the generator. This device also features overload protection.
The transfer switch is indoor/outdoor, giving you flexibility regarding where and how you install the generator. The transfer switch also had a load shed kit. The easy connection terminal block and flexible fuel line give you more freedom when you are trying to find the best place to install your generator. It functions relatively quietly at 69 decibels. With this you do not have to worry about power outages.
- This generator only requires minimal maintenance
- It powers on fast after the power goes out
- You can use this generator for a central air conditioner in addition to your appliances
- It operates very quietly
- You can monitor it remotely
- It may generate a fault code without an actual problem being present
- Rotors may lock prematurely
4. Generac 5735
Portable and powerful, the Generac 5735 Portable Generator is an ideal choice for most homes.
- 8000 running watt range
- It has nine outlets
- It uses gasoline
- 17500 running watts
- Electronic start
- The fuel capacity is 16 gallons
The Generac 5735 Portable Generator has an OHVI 992 cc engine, which is strong and durable, so it can withstand rigorous use while keeping the electricity on in your home. The alternator is a high-performance unit that ensures that your generator runs strong.
This generator features an hour meter so that you can monitor it. It has a maintenance reset so that you can easily manage it during downtime.
The fuel tank can hold up to 16 gallons of gas. At half load, this gives you up to 10 hours of power. There is a fuel gauge that is easy to read so that you know when it is time to put more gas in the tank. It is also very fuel efficient.
This generator operates quietly so that you do not disturb your neighbors when you are using it. This feature is thanks to the low-tone muffler that is part of the generator.
You can start this generator relatively easily. The start feature is electric. Move this generator around as necessary with ease since it has wheels. The wheels will never go flat.
- It has a fuel gauge so that it is easy to see when you need to refill the gas
- It will shut down automatically when the oil level gets low
- It has pneumatic tires that make it easy to move around
- The high fuel capacity lets it run for hours without needing to refill it
- At 50 percent load, it runs for up to 10 hours
- The engine may fail prematurely
5. Westinghouse Ultra Duty Industrial Portable Generator
Easy to start and with a long run time, the Westinghouse Ultra Duty Industrial Portable Generator can keep your home in power for most of the day.
- It has an electric pull start
- 12000 running watts
- It uses gasoline
- The running watt range is more than 8000
- The fuel capacity is 10.5 gallons
The Westinghouse Ultra Duty Industrial Portable Generator is for heavy-duty needs and a strong candidate for the best whole house generator for your needs. You can use it to run multiple large appliances and other electronics simultaneously. Enjoy up to 17.5 hours of run time since this generator has a fuel tank that can hold up to 10.5 gallons. Use the fuel gauge to determine when you need to refuel this generator.
The electronic start is easy to operate, and it is key-less. The generator has a key fob so that you can power on the unit remotely. This feature is ideal when there is inclement weather, and it is not safe to go outside.
This generator has several features that help to protect it. These features include an automatic voltage regulator, overload protection, and low oil shut down. They help to ensure that your generator does not suffer from accidental damage.
There are nine outlets, and these are all water resistant. Each outlet has a rubber cover so that you can protect them when you are not using them.
- The tires make it easy to move around, and they are flat-free
- It has nine outlets to plug in a variety of items
- The outlets comply with OSHA standards, so it is safe
- This generator has a long run time so that you can power your house for almost half the day
- It is easy to start and monitor
- The battery may fail prematurely
- The pull may be difficult to operate for people with limited upper body strength
6. DuroMax Hybrid Dual Fuel Portable Generator
With dual fuel technology, it is easy to get the power that you need from the DuroMax Hybrid Dual Fuel Portable Generator.
- The fuel tank capacity is 8.3 gallons
- It has six outlets
- You can use propane gas or gasoline to power it
- The starting watts is 12000
- The running wattage is 9500
- Comes with full power panel with oil warning light, volt meter, circuit breaker and power outlets
- It has an electric switch recoil start
The DuroMax Hybrid Dual Fuel Portable Generator lets you choose which fuel type you want to use making it a good choice for a best whole house generator. At 50 percent load, you get up to 20 hours of run time with propane and up to 10 hours of run time with gasoline.
This generator has a quiet muffler to ensure quiet operation. This feature ensures that you do not disturb your neighbors when you need power equipment to provide electricity to your home.
There is a full power panel on this generator. This panel includes an oil warning light, a circuit breaker, a voltmeter, and power outlets. It is easy to understand and operate this element of your generator.
It is smaller in size than comparable models. However, it can power some large appliances and a variety of smaller electronics. It has features that prevent any power surges that could harm your home’s electronics.
- You can use two different gas types, so it is easy to maintain the fuel level
- At half load, it runs for approximately seven to nine hours, depending on the fuel that you are using
- It is easy to set this generator up and start using it
- You can start it easily
- You can use this generator for large appliances
- The electronic start may become difficult with extended use
- It may provide less power when you use propane compared to regular gasoline
7. WEN Dual Fuel Portable Generator
The sizable gas tank and moderate run time make the WEN Dual Fuel Portable Generator an ideal choice for many homes.
- 11000 starting watts
- You can use propane gas or gasoline
- The running watt range is more than 8000
- The fuel capacity is 6.6 gallons
- At half load, this generator runs for about 8.5 hours
The WEN Dual Fuel Portable Generator lets you go back and forth between propane and gasoline, depending on your preferences of fuel type. All you have to do is turn the selection dial to change the fuel source for your generator.
This device is ideal for emergency backup power purposes and transfer switches. It is ideal since it can change from 120V to 240V. The electric start allows you to get your generator running quickly when you need it, usually in less than 10 seconds. There are multiple outlets so that you can power a variety of appliances like air conditioners, well pumps and other electronic devices.
This generator comes with a handle and wheels. These features make it easy for you to move your generator around to store it or put it to use. There is a twist lock for the transfer switch, ensuring efficiency when you need to start the generator and safety during use and when you have it in storage.
- The control panel is easy to operate so that you can keep an eye on the generator during use
- Ideal for emergency backup power.
- It will shut down automatically if the oil level gets too low
- It has a fuel gauge so that you can easily determine when you need to add more gas
- This generator has flat-free wheels so that it is easy to move around as needed
- You can use two different types of gas
- The electric start may fail prematurely
- You may need to replace the hardware after a year or two
Best Whole House Generators Buying Guide
We have created a guide that covers the basics of whole house generators. Here is the information to think about when you are shopping. You will also find some questions and answers that provide additional information.
Here are some points to consider when you are shopping for a house generator to power your home. You must also understand the wattage requirements.
- Fuel Source Options
When you are looking at generators, you will usually find that there are four primary fuel types:
- Natural gas
Ultimately, the best type of fuel comes down to your personal preference. Since power outages are often unpredictable, it is best to choose a fuel type that you can access quickly so that you can get your generator running fast. Natural gas is an interesting choice for your power equipment because most times when we are considering a lack of utility power is when we’re thinking of an electric grid-down situation. Your same utility that provides electricity to your home may also be supplying natural gas. The idea is that if there’s a problem with the electric grid, that doesn’t mean your utility will also have a problem delivering natural gas to your property. So, in such a situation, have an easy natural gas connection to standby generators for electrical power outages can be an excellent approach.
While they are harder to find, there are some house generators on the market that use solar power. These typically will not be able to power your entire house though. On average, they usually max out at about 4,000 watts.
- Transfer Switch
It is imperative that you pick the right transfer switch from your generator. This switch tells house generators when it is time for it to turn on. To ensure that you pick the right switch, look at the electrical service panel in your home and make a note of the amperage. This unit is typically by the electrical panel’s main breaker.
For the average home, a 200-amp transfer switch is ideal. This is because the average home’s main breaker is 200 amps. Essentially, your transfer switch amps should match the amps of your home’s main breaker. This will ensure safe operation for house generators.
If you want your house generator to come on automatically when the power goes out, look for an automatic transfer switch. These can detect a power outage so that they turn the generator on. In most cases, they will switch the generator on within seconds, but some generators may take up to a minute to turn on after the transfer switch tells them that it needs to go to work.
- Picking the Right Size
To choose the right size for your generator, the first thing you need to do is determine how much wattage you will need. Make a list of what you need a generator to power if your electricity goes out. Add up the total wattage and use this figure to pick the generator that can handle this load.
There are four primary size-types of house generators, including:
- Small Size Generator: A small generator usually provides an average of 2,000 to 7,000 watts. While you can use these for a few things in your home, they are best for camping and other activities where you only need enough electricity for a few small devices.
- Medium Size Generator: A generator of this size typically provides an average of 1,000 to 5,000 watts. It is best when you only want to power a few appliances like air conditioners that are essential during a power outage.
- Large Size Generator: A generator in the large category generally provides an average of 6,000 to 8,000 watts. This will give you enough power to keep things on in a few rooms or most of your medium appliances.
- X-Large Size Generator: A generator of this size can power your entire home. It generally provides an average of 10,000 to 25,000 watts.
- Types of Generators
There are three primary types of generators or home standby generators you will see when you are shopping for one to power your house and those three types of generators are:
- Standby: This type only goes outdoors to ensure safety. It connects to the electrical system of your home. It works as a house generator as long as you choose the proper wattage. It is best to have a professional install it.
- Portable: This type is best to power a few key small to medium electronics in the event of a power outage. You can also use portable generators for camping. Most people can set up this type of generator without a professional as portable generators are designed to provide an easy experience for consumers. One drawback is that, depending on the quality of the specific one you’re browsing, it could have a relatively high harmonic distortion factor.
- Inverter: This type of generator usually maxes out at 7,000 watts, so these are ideal for small to medium electronics. These tend to be lightweight and small so that you can use them for your home or camping. They run quieter than the other generator types.
- Important Features
When you are looking for the best whole house generators on the market to power your home (also check out the Guardian series), you must understand what are the types of generators that you are wanting to buy. You will find that there are numerous features that you need to explore. Not all types of generators will have all of these features (the Guardian series has some of these). Learning more about them can help you to decide which features are most important to you. The features include:
- Automatic start: If a generator has this feature, it can turn on automatically when the power goes out.
- Wheels: If you want to be able to move your generator easily, wheels are a feature to consider.
- Electric start: With this starting option, you do not have to use the pull-start every time you want to switch on your generator.
- Fuel options: Some generators can function on more than one type of fuel. For example, some generators can operate using both gasoline and propane (some even connect to natural gas).
- Fuel gauge: This feature makes it easier to determine when you need to add fuel to the tank (this may not apply for a natural gas connection).
- Extra outlets: The more outlets you have, the more items you can plug into your generator. Just make sure that you do not accidentally overload it with too many devices that your home standby generators can’t handle powering all at once.
Frequently Asked Questions On Whole House Generators
Here you will find common questions regarding house generators, and the answers to help you to make the best decision for your home.
Why is a Whole Home Generator a Good Investment?
Having a home generator lets you maintain electricity when your grid power is not functioning due to equipment issues or inclement weather. The following are benefits associated with having a home generator, especially if you live in a location where weather conditions can often be chaotic:
- You can prevent your food from spoiling since a generator can keep your refrigerator running
- You can keep your home at a safe and comfortable temperature when the weather is very hot or cold
- You can keep your home safe since a generator will keep your home security system functioning
Why is a Transfer Switch Important?
This switch makes it possible for the generator to turn on and safely deliver power to your home. It turns off the power line that goes to your home from your neighborhood’s power grid.
Without a transfer switch, it is easy to overload the circuits in your home. This could damage your appliances like air conditioners and well pumps, sump pump and other electronics. It also poses a danger to utility workers who are working on the power lines in your neighborhood.
What Fuel Type Should I Choose?
This question can be answered best by looking at what fuel type is readily available in your location. A standby generator you put in place as a whole house generator needs to be ready to work when you need it and do so quickly (less than 10 seconds is a great thing). So, both in terms of availability of fuel type as well as cost, see what is available in your locality. Ultimately, the best whole house generator for your needs may be one that has a dual fuel type capability.
Can You Install a Generator Yourself?
Most modern type of generator comes with full instructions that allow you to install them yourself. However, if you are not comfortable with the process, it is ideal to consult with an electrician. They can make sure that your generator has proper grounding and that the transfer switch is operating correctly. Check your manual carefully as it may mandate that the generator be professionally installed to maintain your limited warranty. Quite often, portable generators are those that have minimal setup and are intended to be taken to different places. So, portable generators may offer that additional advantage during your shopping process.
What Are Important Safety Tips for Generator Use?
Whenever you are using a generator, there are a few precautions you can take to ensure safe usage. These include:
- Read the owner’s manual to make sure that the generator is far enough from your home to prevent dangerous fumes from getting into your home
- Ensure the generator has the proper grounding to prevent electrical injuries
- Never have open flames near your generator
- Do not overfill the tank because fuel expands and can cause a serious issue
- Never go above the generator’s load capacity
- Perform all routine maintenance on time and according to the generator’s owner’s manual
- Never Operate your generator indoors or in an enclosed space
- Make sure portable generators are secured and not in danger of rolling away
- An overall tip is make sure you have a good limited warranty in place for investment protection
You have a lot of choices when shopping for the best whole house generators. These types of home standby generators can keep your electricity on in the event of a power failure so that you can keep your appliances like air conditioners, well pumps and other electronics going. With this in place, you can minimize the disruptions that a power outage causes in your life.