Best Whole House Generators 2021

Why do I need a whole house generator?

Well, here’s a fitting answer;

You don’t know the time or the hour that an act of God will ensue. Therefore, it’s essential that you are prepared than caught off guard. However, there are times when our defenses are low and when we are least suspecting, natural disaster strikes.

You can’t help but be stunned by it all.

But what sucks is having power outages for days without backup power. So your food goes bad, your computer, smartphone all run-flat, and it’s as though you have been pushed back to primordial times.

Caught in that dilemma or to be preemptive;

You need the best standby generators. Never get caught trying to power half the equipment in your home. These machines can power up everything in your home.

Rest assured, we made up this list of whole house generators after many first-hand user reviews and pedigree. And what’s more? We included a buying guide to make your purchase a breeze.

Without further ado;

Best Whole House Generators

 

Generac 7043 Home Standby Generator 22kW

The true mark of a best whole house generator that can power a house is efficiency, sufficient watts, and proficiency – The Generac 22KW generator checks all the boxes. Is it the perfect generator? Let’s find out.

It boasts 22,000 watts that could run on propane and slightly step down to 19,500 watts when using a natural gas line. The sheer power and efficiency are impressive – by a long shot, it can power the whole house’s electrical appliances.

Generac standby generators integrate an LCD screen that displays battery status and monitors routine maintenance to ensure the machine operates in tip-top condition. In addition, it features mobile link remote monitoring that allows you to check the workings of your generator from any part of the world. All you need is a smartphone, tablet, or PC to know the status of your generator with a click.

The G-force engine is rather impressive – it is pressure-lubricated and can carry about any whole house load you throw at it. On durability, we are blown by the dedicated craftsmanship of the manufacturers – utilizing a Rhino coat finish that is resistant to rust and can stand the perils of outdoors.

The Generac generator is brimming with unique features. Here are some features of this standby generator for homes;

  • True Power technology – Help to deliver enough power with less than 5 percent total harmonic, which is fitting for sensitive electrical units.
  • Propane & Natural gas – Either of the two provides more options for powering the unit up. Depending on your discretion, you can use propane or natural gas. However, the fuel consumption for propane is lower.
  • You can monitor the system using Mobile Link Remote Monitoring.
  • It has a 200 amp NEMA 3 (works well both indoors and outdoors) whole house Smart transfer switch.
  • The G-force engine provides smooth operation.
  • LED indicators allow users to know the status of the battery or maintenance required
  • Quiet Test – ensures it runs at a lower RPM, but it could get loud at up to 80dB

Verdict

All in all, asides from constant checks and routine maintenance, this is a versatile generator that could supply power to the heaviest electrical appliances in homes. So if you want a large generator and want an unflinching light supply, the Generac 22kW is what we recommend.

PROS

  • Multilingual LCD & mobile monitoring ensures you tackle problems that might come up
  • Massive and enormous watts to cater for the whole house electrical appliances
  • It features a self-test mode that allows users to know everything works fine
  • The coated finish makes it resistant to adverse weather conditions
  • It comes with a 5-year warranty

CONS

  • Constant maintenance & professional checks are required.

Champion 14kW Home Standby Generator

If you’ve been around the generator space, then Champion generators shouldn’t be alien to you. The company is at the helm of creating high-end, top-of-the-line generators of all kinds ranging from a portable generator to RV, construction, and much more.

The Champion 14kW Generator is unlike other standby generators on the market. It would be normal to mistake it for a Lambo – this owes to the switchblade doors. If there’s a generator design award, the champion 14kW would easily win it. But it doesn’t stop there; as a matter of fact, there’s more than meets the eye.

The champion generator is an absolute beast in terms of performance – it runs on a 14kW and provides up to 14 000 watts of power on liquid propane and steps down to 12 500 watts when connected to a natural gas line. The Champion Power Equipment 754cc OHV engine delivers faithfully, powering all essential appliances in homes effortlessly. This portable generator operates even in weather extremes; you can trust it to provide backup power during power outages. It also performs weekly self-diagnostic tests to monitor the status and notify you when there are maintenance needs.

Compared to machines in its class of weight, this is by far the quietest as it registers a 63dba noise level. Sound dampening and a low tone muffler provide a quiet operation. Topped with a 10-year warranty, your mind will be at rest knowing you are actively covered for defects.

To understand the full features of the Champion 14kW generator is to see it with your eyes. But since you can’t, we’ve made sure to include the most important points that will ensure you make an informed decision. Rest assured, it can handle your air conditioning units, electronics, dishwasher, refrigerator, washing machines, etc.

PROS

  • It has a sound-dampening lining and a low-tone muffler that reduces noise better than most models in its class.
  • The standby generator operates in adverse conditions that range from -22° F – 104° F without warming.
  • Conserves fuel and provides 10-year limited warranty / free lifetime technical support
  • It comes with a durable enclosure that protects the body system.

CONS

  • It’s heavy

Briggs & Stratton 40621 20kW Home Standby Generator

With a rated power supply of 20kW output, the Briggs Stratton will be perfect for whole-house operations. It integrates a supercharged engine that is reliable and fast – expect the unit to supply power itself automatically after a power outage. In addition, this Briggs & Stratton standby model integrates a 200amp transfer switch for seamless power transfer between electricity mains and generators.

The Briggs Stratton dual-fuel generators run on liquid propane or natural gas. As seen in most generators, there’s a slight difference in the standby generator capacity when using either fuel. For example, natural gas runs at 18,000 watts and 20,000 watts on propane.

Another perk to the Briggs Stratton generator is a quiet operation – Thanks to the dampening mechanism, noise emanating is bearable, and you won’t have your neighbors disturbed. On the downside, installation is complex; assembling the Briggs & Stratton unit would require a handyman for this.

PROS

  • Remote monitoring
  • Flexible power management
  • Features a ventilation vent that transports carbon far from the residence
  • Placed at 18 inches – the Briggs Stratton passed the National Fire Protection Agency standards.

CONS

  • The setup is hard – you’ll need a handyman.
  • Some users reported poor packaging when their Briggs Stratton unit arrived

Buyer’s Guide: What You Need To Know Before Buying

A generator is unlike any other home electronic. There’s are some basic things you need to know before you dip into your purse. Most of the home standby generators can relatively power most average homes or larger homes. First, however, you need to know a standby generator’s watts and power output to ascertain whether it has enough power for your home electronics. The good news is the units on our list can do a better work of powering at the very least a house, two air-conditioners and other less power demanding electronics.

Below we have written a concise guide to help you choose the ideal generator for your needs.

Size & Power Output

When it comes to the size of home standby generators, most are generally big as the power output. Most of the models are gigantic. Thus a sizable space should be reserved for accommodation. As a buyer, you’ll first want to confirm the size of house generators and compare it to the space in your home.

In terms of power output, buyers should perform due diligence to know the rough estimate of electronics they need to power. By so doing, you will have in-depth knowledge about starting & running watts of a generator to know the power capacity to suffice your home electronic appliances.

Quiet Operation

In the US, there’s are noise regulations relating to sound that restrict the amount and the duration for different hours of the day. Therefore, it is essential to know the restrictions of noise in your jurisdiction. Again, while not all the standby generators on the list operate quietly, the former operates considerably quieter compared to other models of the same class.

You wouldn’t want a deafening noise coming from your house that could disturb the harmony of your environment, now would you?

Fuel Conservation and Transfer Switch

There’s no denying the fact that a bigger generator consumes more fuel than the average unit on the market. The higher the wattage output, the expensive it gets. The least watts are 8kW and can power your home, a refrigerator, air conditioner, and other small electronics.

If you want to know the total watts of electronics in your home, read an article that covers the A-Z of calculating the total watts of electronic appliances.

Warranty

A whole house generator is expensive and costs extra dollars for maintenance. To have peace of mind after you make a hefty purchase, you should know the terms and conditions. A great warranty from the brand should cover manufacturing defects; if it doesn’t, you are better off with a unit with a better warranty and customer feedback/support.

Benefits of a Whole House Generator

There are many benefits of having a whole-house generator. However, the most important, reliability and flexible options when there’s a power outage from the mains. Some benefits of standby generators include but are not limited to the following;

Reliable Backup Options For Homes

In times of power outage, you can resort to standby generators. They possess enormous output capacity to power high electronic loads like air conditioning units, washing machines, etc. Moreover, these units are specially made to cater to the average home. Therefore, you can expect it to cater to standard equipment easily efficiently.

Money Saver

How can equipment cost a huge sum of money and still save you money? Well, I found it funny too. There’s no question. The maintenance and fuel consumption of a generator will cost you money. However, when there’s an extended power outage, no better equipment will save you money for hotel bookings than a standby generator.

Areas plagued with likely hurricanes or natural disasters should seriously consider buying a portable generator to ensure they are not stranded when disaster strikes.

Less Maintenance

A Standby generator requires less maintenance compared to a portable generator. Therefore, they are better to buy life equipment than any other type of unit. Sure, they don’t come cheap either, but they are a worthy investment that will see you enjoy many years of use.

Quiet Operation

Generally, a portable generator is loud, with the average clocking 64dB or more, while standby generators match the same dB range. They have a better-muffled mechanism, making the sound bearable.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is a Standby Generator?

A standby generator is also known as (whole house), is an emergency power backup electrical system that is automatically powered when there is an outage. This process is usually quick, and within seconds, the transfer switch transfers the load to the utility to turn off and does the same when power is back in the mains.

Whole-house generator systems usually require weekly self-run tests to ensure the unit is kept in tip-top condition for light supply in the case of an outage. Building standards typically require residential generators as critical for the safety of buildings, medical & life support, and high-rise buildings. Most home generators utilize standby units because of the enormous power it holds. Residential homes use it to power air conditioning systems, refrigerators, water heaters, security systems, etc.

What is the average cost to have a whole house generator installed?

The installation cost of standby generators depends on the power output. For example, a 20kW generator installation can cost between $2000-$6000. However, this is by no means a one-fit rule; even generators of the same power output could have a price difference due to brand influence.

What Standby Generator do I need to run a big house?

First, to be precise, you have to calculate the total output of electronics. It is not rocket science. Check the watt of an appliance from the manual, add up all watts from all appliances to be powered. The total amount of the kW realized should be multiplied by 2. Say the recognized figure is 12kW multiply it by x2, which would be 24. This process is a safety precaution to ensure you have sufficient power output and reliability at all times.

On average, a 7500-watt generator should power your house. But it depends on the load of the electric equipment.

Do you need a permit to install a whole-house generator?

Absolutely. Especially if you need a transfer switch permanently installed. The electrician will secure all the required permits and ensure you meet the statutory standard before installation.

What do they run on?

Natural gas Liquid propane Diesel

Natural Gas, Diesel, or Liquid Propane – Which Is Better?

Your budget and environmental awareness play a crucial role in which is better.

When it comes to zero-carbon monoxide poisoning, higher power output, clean energy, then Liquid propane is ideal—working on a budget? Natural gas is cheaper thus perfect for you. On the other hand, diesel has massive power that works relatively better than the two in most systems.

How Do Residential Generators Work?

A home generator has two components; the automatic transfer switch and the generator unit. The transfer switch detects a power outage and automatically sends power by running the generator without manual control. However, you need a professional, especially if you want to power a part of your home.

The professional wires the automatic transfer switch only to portions of the home you want to have electricity. Even if you want the entire house powered, there’s a need for a qualified individual to see the wiring is executed properly.

The automatic transfer switch also turns itself off when the power comes on. The importance of having a solid and reliable transfer switch provides hands-off operation.

Is It Environmental Friendly?

Natural gas is the fuel used in most generators. It constitutes of hydrocarbon gas mixture consisting of methane, releasing carbon dioxide when burned which is environmentally damaging. Even the other fuel types – Propane and Diesel, although less menacing than natural gas, have severe effects on the environment.

Will a 22kw generator run my house?

It depends on the load of equipment in your home. To calculate if a standby generator would suffice, use a wattage calculator here.

The general rule of thumb is to calculate the Watt use of all the equipment you intend to power and find a generator with enough efficiency to power the necessities.

How much are whole-home generators?

Well, a home generator price, depending on the size, will cost $1000 to as high as $8,000 and some change.


Conclusion

If you have read it thus far, well, I congratulate you cause reading a wall of text might be pretty boring yet crucial, especially if you want to make the right decision or skimp on buying the best whole house generators for residential homes.

When it comes to home generators, know that not all types have an automatic transfer switch that automatically turns/off your generator during a power outage. If you want to ensure you buy the best whole house generator, you need to read through our guide to know the ideal generator for your home and other needs.

Finally, not knowing all the essential appliances you have in your house, we don’t have much opinion here. But if we are to recommend a sufficient unit on the list – Generac 7043 Home Standby Generator 22kW is what you need.

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