Power outages are something most people have dealt with. When this happens we often resort to doing other things that don’t require power like going outdoors or participating in activities.
Since we rely on electricity to power or computer, TVs, and the internet, most people can’t afford to live in a power shortage which is why generators for power outages are so important.
So, let’s talk more about generators and how they can help you avoid blackouts. We will also give you some recommendations on the best generator for power outage.
Benefits of Generators
Before we get into more technical details of generators, we should talk about some of the benefits. These benefits will help you get a basic understanding of what you can expect from a generator and how they can help you avoid major blackouts.
- Avoid Blackouts: Most blackouts happen because of harsh weather or power supply issues. With a generator, you can mitigate the problem caused by the outage and go back to your routine with a steady electricity supply.
- Can Save You Money: If you are on a trip and your power goes out, your fridge and other appliances that need to be working at all times will stop working. A generator can power your devices back and save you from any unfortunate mishaps.
As you can tell, a generator can be life-saving, especially during blackouts. So, in our opinion, everyone needs to have a reliable generator that will help out when needed.
What Is a Generator?
A generator is something that creates energy to help power appliances or other electric devices. A generator can power small items like appliances up to a whole house.
How Do Generators Work?
Generators create chemical or mechanical energy, which is then converted into electrical energy. For example, the generator captures the power of motion and then turns it into electrical energy.
The energy converted can be used to power the electrical circuit. This process will be the same for most generators. Still, some generators will generate power differently, such as the inverter generator.
Types of Generators
There are many different types of generators in the market. Still, we will discuss some of the most popular types of generators amongst consumers.
- Portable Generator:
A portable power generator is used for immediate use, as it’s small and can be used for outdoor activities as it is easy to move around. But these portable power stations do produce less power than other generators, which makes them not ideal to provide emergency power to an entire home.
- Standby Generator:
A standby generator is a much larger generator that you install in your home, which acts as a backup source of electricity. These generators are very powerful and can power your house for days.
Now that you have a clear idea of the main types of generators, we will give you the top three generators that will be great to serve as an emergency backup power for a whole house.
Best Generator For Power Outage
Top 3 Best Standby Generators
|Top||Generac Protector QS 22000 Watt Standby Generator||22,000||CHECK PRICE|
|Briggs & Stratton 20000 Watt Standby Generator||20,000||CHECK PRICE|
|Briggs & Stratton 12000 Watt Standby Generator||12,000||CHECK PRICE|
For most people, a standby generator would be the best option to power a house completely. A standby generator can help you mitigate blackout problems efficiently and provide you with the electricity you need. Let’s discuss the top three standby generators to aid your decision-making.
Generac Quietsource 22kW
The Generac brand is regarded to be one of the best brands for standby generators. So if you are looking for a standby generator that is top quality and will last you a long time, you can’t go wrong with Generac generators.
Their model Protector QS has a peak power of 22000watt. It has all the latest technology such as power-saving and low operating noise.
This product also has transfer switches which help it kick in automatically and will work on natural gas and propane for fuel, making it easy to operate this generator if you can’t find one of the fuel sources.
The main positive of this generator is that you can rely on this product. Generac has proven its durability time and after time. This standby generator will last you a long time. It will function properly even when there is a storm happening outside.
This generator will also operate on natural gas and propane, which means users have two fuel options to pick from. Overall, a great generator with all the bells and whistle you may need.
There are not too many negatives associated with this product, but the price would significantly affect most people. The generator is way more expensive than its competitors, almost double the cost of most standby generators.
But the price will be high since this generator is durable and produces a high amount of power. If this generator is out of your budget, then that is understandable.
Still, for the price, you do get a reliable standby generator that will outperform most generators on the market. So if you think about it logically, the high cost can save you money in the long term.
Briggs and Stratton 20kW Generator
The Briggs & Stratton 20000 Watt standby generator is a fantastic option for people in the market for an inexpensive yet powerful generator. This generator has had some tremendous feedback on how well it performs and its durability.
In addition, it has a smart automatic voltage regulator, which optimizes the generator’s performance. This generator is also very quiet, making it a great option if you live in a community and don’t want to upset the neighbors.
The generator comes with great technology such as the smart automatic voltage regulator, corrosion resistance, and a standby generator that’s quieter than most standby generators in the market. Of course, since standby generators produce decent backup power, they will make more noise than most smaller generators.
However, this generator is quiet, and it will get the job done even under harsh conditions. In addition, with the help of transfer switches, this generator will start working once it detects power loss, which makes it very convenient when you experience a blackout.
There have been some complaints about installation and how difficult installing a Briggs & Stratton generator can be. By no means can someone without significant knowledge of generators install this item, so you must get a professional who can install it.
Besides the installation issues, there have been complaints about changing oil as it’s awkward to drain oil.
Briggs and Stratton 12000 Watt Generator
The Briggs and Stratton 12000 Watt generator is excellent for people with small homes. Since this generator only produces a peak power of 12,000 watts compared to most standby generators with 18,000 to 22,000 watts, it will be much quieter and more eco-friendly.
You can expect this Briggs and Stratton standby generator to have corrosion resistance, which means this product will last a long time even under heavy use.
To ensure the product runs well, you should do regular weekly maintenance and keep the RPM low during the test. Regular maintenance ensures you don’t experience too many distractions and the generator is fuel-efficient.
The main positive with this product would be its size. First, this generator is small compared to other standby generators, making it easy to install. This generator is relatively cheap but still produces adequate power to provide electricity to small and regular-sized homes. Then this product is a great option.
The generator is equipped with InfoHub WIFI wireless monitoring, ensuring it is functioning and will work properly the next time there is a power outage.
The negatives with this generator would be that it does not produce enough power to take care of a large home’s electrical needs. This could be a big problem for people who are not sure about the size of their home and the number of watts they will need.
If you are not sure about your power requirements, this generator would not be an ideal option for you. Even at 12,000 watts, most professionals can consider it an underpowered standby generator, but it all depends on their outlook. If you live in a smaller home, then 12,000 watts should be enough to power your home.
Now that you know which standby generators are the best option for you, let us talk about some key features you should know about when buying a generator. First, it is crucial to know about all the specifications and features when you are in the market for a generator.
That being said, you should have a basic understanding of what each element does and what rating you should be looking for when buying a generator. With that being said, let’s give you a thorough rundown of the most important specifications and features when purchasing a generator.
Most people know what wattage is and the importance of high wattage in a generator. However, you must know the difference between starting, running, and surge wattage, as those are three different measurements.
Once you understand the difference between the three, you will be more successful at picking out the right generator for you based on your needs.
The surge watts are the first 2-3 seconds of electricity needed when powering a device. These watts tend to be higher than running watts and are essential to understand when picking out the right generator.
The running watts are also known as the rated watts, as it is the wattage that keeps an item running. The running watts will give you the number you need to decide whether or not the power will be sufficient to keep your home or appliances running during a blackout.
The surge watts are also very similar to the starting watts, as it only produces that power for 2-3 seconds. The surge watts are an essential aspect of a generator. It powers items that need that extra nudge to start working.
It is crucial to remember that most generators will promote their starting watts, as it’s the highest number. Make sure to read more about the product and look at the section where they talk about power. Most companies will have a breakdown of their starting and running watts.
How much power a unit produces is critical when it comes to choosing the right standby generator. We briefly discussed the importance of power output, but let’s talk about it in more detail. First, it would be best to look for a standby generator with around 15,000 to 20,000 Watts rating.
This will give you enough power to take care of your home’s needs. Most standby generators will have this power rating, but the main thing you should look for is the running watts.
As mentioned previously, most standby generators will promote their starting watts since it is the highest rating. Still, that power will only be there for a couple of seconds.
The key is to look for the running watts when checking out the power output. The running watts will give you the wattage number, which will determine whether or not the generator has enough power when powering appliances or your home altogether.
You must also access your needs when it comes to power. Some homes will function fully with a generator with around a 12,000 Watts rating. In contrast, larger homes will need a generator with a 20,000-watt rating.
If you need to know the power rating, you should aim for a standby generator, then get in touch with a professional to help you decide. If you don’t have time to contact a professional, a safe option would be to buy a standby generator with 15,000 watts to ensure your power needs are met.
Sizing a Generator Correctly
Sizing a generator can be tricky, especially since they come in many shapes and sizes. That being said, most standby generators will be around the size of an AC unit and will weigh anywhere around one hundred to five hundred pounds.
Therefore, it would help if you had a clear idea of where you will be placing your standby generator and how much space you have to accommodate it.
Once you clearly understand how much space you have to accommodate your generator, you will size your generator correctly. For the most part, a standby generator is going to be placed outside. This means you need to have a couple of feet of space to accommodate your standby generator.
You can do that by moving some things around or creating a new section for your standby generator. If you don’t have space outside, you should not consider having your generator inside. The number of fumes a generator will produce will be dangerous and will cause illness if placed inside.
So you must have enough space outside to accommodate an AC unit. But if you don’t have enough space to accommodate, then look for smaller standby generators.
Some great standby generators will fit in small spaces. However, they will produce less power compared to the larger generators. If you live in a smaller home and are out of the room, smaller generators will work just fine.
Generator Run Time (Capacity)
A generator’s run time is something that is overlooked, which it should not. When you’re looking for a generator that will power your whole house for days, you should look for a generator that has at least 500 hours of maximum running time, or just about 21 days.
Most standby generators will have this run time rating. However, this ultimately depends on your needs. For example, if you have fewer blackouts than other places, you don’t need a standby generator with 500 hours of maximum run time.
On the other hand, you could do just fine with a generator that only has 200 hours of run time. However, if you have multiple blackouts for an extended time, you will do much better with a 500-hour maximum runtime standby generator.
In most cases, the more powerful the generator is, the longer its runtime will be. This is not the case, but it correlates to longer run time in most situations. If you are in the market for a generator with a longer run time, then make sure to look for a generator that has higher power output.
With all that said, you should always aim for a generator that fits your needs, so make sure to have a look at the generator’s run time and see if this will meet your requirements or not. Most standby generators will run for days without any problems. Still, some of them may require additional upkeep to ensure they keep running.
When it comes to pricing, it all depends on your budget. Most standby generators will cost you around $1,000 up to $10,000, and it will all depend on the type of standby generator you purchase.
You should note that always buy a generator that fits your needs rather than buying a cheaper generator but does not live up to your standards.
Most people who buy generators tend to cheap out and buy a generator that barely fits their requirements. They regret their decision once they install the generator and experience their first blackout. So make sure to get a powerful generator to supply electricity to your whole house without any problems.
It is much better to buy an expensive generator that will perform than to buy a cheap standby generator that only works for a couple of months, and you end up replacing it.
If you find a great deal on a generator and you can buy a high-quality generator at a low price, then that’s great. But don’t actively look for the cheapest option, but rather look for a generator that will fit your needs and deliver the backup power you need to power your whole house.
You need to make sure the generator you get is not too loud, as it can get annoying if you have to keep the generator running for days. Most standby generators have a rating of 60 to 80 dBA, which is not too bad.
The key is to find a standby generator that is quiet even under heavy use. Most newer generators will have the technology to idle at low rpm and still provide you with the electricity you need. Unfortunately, now the more powerful the generator is, the louder it will be, so make sure to keep the power and noise in consideration.
If your home needs a more powerful generator, but you don’t want the noise to bother you, then you can always have the generator placed further away from your home so you don’t have to hear the noise. You can always look at the decibel rating to see if the product will meet your needs.
We can understand that the noise is secondary for some people, but if you use the generator regularly, the noise can add up and get irritating. A good rule of thumb is to look for a generator with a noise level of about 60 to 70 dBA, as that is a reasonable noise range.
After 80 dBA, the noise can get too jarring, leading to headaches and things of that nature. If you have no problems with the noise, that’s great, but a quiet generator is always a plus for most people.
Most generators run on gasoline and propane, producing a relatively clean energy source if the generator knows how to burn it efficiently. That being said, some generators go above and beyond when it comes to clean energy, and they do that by using renewable energy.
For example, some generators use wind and solar power to produce a clean energy source, but that comes at a cost. Most clean energy generators are expensive and don’t perform well as natural gas or propane power generators.
Some significant gas-powered generators produce plenty of power while producing clean energy. It all comes down to the priority of the customer. If a customer is keen on buying a generator that produces clean energy, they can opt for solar generators that will work solely on wind and solar power.
However, if a customer wants a generator that will be more reliable and provide a steady source of power, then most standby generators will be an excellent option for them.
The clean energy generators are still being perfected, and soon there will be some fantastic options for generators that will work solely on clean energy.
But for now, if you are looking for great generators that are reliable, you must opt for generators that are powered using gasoline and propane. These generators do their best to produce clean energy so you and your family can use these generators guilt-free.
Purpose of Use
There are two reasons why one may need to buy a reliable generator; the first reason is that they need a generator to power their homes. The second reason why one might need a generator is to power their tools.
You need a different type of generator if you are looking to power your tools, compared to someone looking for backup power for a home.
Whole house generator
If you are looking for a generator that will power your entire house, you must purchase a generator that produces much power and will run for a long time. A great option would be to get a standby generator, as these generators have a lot of energy and can run for days.
A portable generator would be a fantastic option if you are looking for a generator that will power your devices outside and your RV when you are out on a camping trip.
Even the best portable generator does not produce as much power as a standby generator. Still, it will help you get the job done when it comes to powering your RV or power tools when you are outside.
Some portable power stations produce a lot of power and can power your entire home, but that’s only for the short term.
Knowing the reason why you need a generator is very important. If you need it to power your entire house, you need a standby generator, but a portable generator will work if you need one to take care of more minor needs.
Size & Weight
The size and weight will be different for each generator, but a good size for a standby generator is 45x 25 x 30 and a weight of 500 lbs. A standby generator will be pretty heavy, so you must be prepared to move it to your designated location.
It would be best to get someone to install the generator for you, as it takes much knowledge to understand the mechanics of a standby generator.
Most portable generators will be around half the size of a standby generator and will weigh 100 lbs. Since these generators must be mobile, they must be light to ensure it’s easy to move them around. In some cases, they will have wheels attached to them to make sure they are portable.
Make sure you know the size and weight of the generator you buy, so you can have a clear idea of how to transport the generator to your home and how you will go about installing the generator.
If you are having this product shipped to your house, make sure to have the help you may need to move the product. As long as you know what you are getting in the mail and have all the tools ready, you should have no issues transporting and installing the generator.
Most generators will run on gasoline engines or propane; some will have a dual option to run on natural gas and propane. But the main thing is to always look for a generator that will fit your fuel needs.
So if you have easy access to gasoline, then look for a portable inverter generator that runs on natural gas if you have easy access to a generator that works on propane, then get a generator that works on propane.
As mentioned previously, some of the best portable generators work on wind power and solar power, but those products are costly. For the most part, you will have easy access to generators that operate on gasoline or propane, as those fuel options are straightforward to find.
If you are concerned about the fuel options, then look for the fuel source the generator consumes. That way, you can better know whether or not the generators are a good option for you. The best option would be to opt for a dual fuel generator, as that will give you the versatility you need to refuel your generator.
When it comes to the features, you must get a generator that has plenty of features. Although a well-equipped generator will make your life easy as a consumer, let’s talk about some of the features which can make things easier for you.
Autostart will make things easy for you, as the generator will start working on its own once it detects power loss. This feature is equipped on most standby generators, as most standby generators help prevent blackouts.
We talked about the importance of owning a quiet generator, so having a feature that regulates the generator’s noise is very important. There are now standby generators that work on lowering the noise when operating; this makes it great for people living in neighborhoods and keeping the noise down.
Dual fuel option allows you to use two different types of fuel. In most cases, it’s natural gas and propane. This feature is excellent for people who need versatile gas-powered portable generators. It comes in handy when you don’t have access to one or another fuel source.
Auto shut-off is a great feature that will keep your generator safe. The auto shut-off will kick in once it detects low oil or any other issue. This feature can be a great option if you need something to keep your investment safe and not cause any damage.
Many other features will enhance the usability of a generator. Still, the ones we talked about will certainly help you have a great experience using the generator. Most modern standby generators will have these features, but make sure to look at the features section of the product.
Also Read: Best Dual Fuel Generators 
|Appliance||Starting Watts||Running Watts|
|Furnace (1/4 HP)||1000||600|
|Sump Pump (1/3 HP)||1300||800|
|Window AC 13K BTU||2800||1800|
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What kind of generator do I need for a power outage?
If you need a generator that will provide you with great power and take care of your electrical needs during a blackout, you must opt for standby generators. Most standby generators have enough capacity and runtime to power your house for days. So make sure to get a standby generator.
How big of a generator do you need to power a home?
You should get a generator that produces at least 12,000 to 15,000 Watts and is a standby generator. The size of a standby generator is about 45x 25 x 30 and weighs 500 lbs. The size will be different based on the model, but the main thing you need to look for is a powerful generator and excellent run time.
What kind of generator is safe for electronics?
Most generators are great for sensitive electronics, but the most recommended ones by professionals are inverter generators, as they have a steady supply of power. But if you are using a standby generator to power your home, then using sensitive electronics should not be a problem.
Which generator brand is best?
There are many excellent generators, but the ones we think are the best have to be the Generac and Briggs and Stratton generators. These brands have been in business for a long time and have proven their durability. Of course, many other brands are fantastic, but these are the ones that have had some great feedback.
|Top||Generac Protector QS 22000 Watt Standby Generator||22,000||CHECK PRICE|
|Briggs & Stratton 20000 Watt Standby Generator||20,000||CHECK PRICE|
|Briggs & Stratton 12000 Watt Standby Generator||12,000||CHECK PRICE|
Preventing a blackout is impossible without a great generator, so make sure to get a generator that will help you with a power outage. There are many great standby generators, but we talked about some of the best generators available in the market.
Make sure to have a clear idea of why you need a generator and how much power you need from a generator. Once you have a clear picture of your wants and needs, buying a generator should not be an issue. If you need a smaller, more portable (and more affordable) generator you can view our Best Lightweight Generators.
I’ve always been a lover of Mechanics and the engineering that goes on behind it. Naturally had a knack for fixing things and i’ve had lots of adventures that generators are second nature to me.