best whole house generators

Best Whole-House Generators – Top Stand-By Picks [2020]

Why do I need the Best 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. It’s better to be 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 but be stunned by it all.

But what sucks is going days without electricity – 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 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 of 2020 – Our Top Selection

Editor's Choice
Generac 7042 Standby Generator
Champion Power Equipment 100294 Home Standby Generator
Kohler 20RESCL-100LC16 Air-Cooled Standby Generator with 100 Amp Transfer Switch Single Phase, 20,000-Watt
DuroMax XP12000EH Dual Fuel Electric Start Portable Generator, Blue and Black
Name
Generac 7042 Standby Generator
Champion Power Equipment 100294 Home Standby Generator
Kohler 20RESCL-100LC16 Air-Cooled Standby Generator with 100 Amp Transfer Switch Single Phase, 20,000-Watt
DuroMax XP12000EH Dual Fuel Electric Start Portable Generator, Blue and Black
Watts
22000 watts
20,000
20,000
9500 Running Watts and 12500 Peak Watts
Rating
-
Weight
515lbs
494lbs
560lbs
224lbs
Runtime
8 hours
6-8 Hours
-
Run Time Gasoline @ 1/2 Load 10.4 Hours | Run Time Propane @ 1/2 Load 8.6 Hours
Fuel Type
Liquid Propane (LP), Natural Gas (NG)
Liquid Propane (LP), Natural Gas (NG)
Liquid Propane (LP), Natural Gas (NG)
Dual Fuel / Gasoline or Propane
Warranty
5-year limited warranty
10 year limited Warranty
5-year/2000-hour limited warranty
3 Years
Noise Level
64 dB
63.5 dB
69 dB
64 dB
Editor's Choice
Generac 7042 Standby Generator
Name
Generac 7042 Standby Generator
Watts
22000 watts
Rating
Weight
515lbs
Runtime
8 hours
Fuel Type
Liquid Propane (LP), Natural Gas (NG)
Warranty
5-year limited warranty
Noise Level
64 dB
Champion Power Equipment 100294 Home Standby Generator
Name
Champion Power Equipment 100294 Home Standby Generator
Watts
20,000
Rating
Weight
494lbs
Runtime
6-8 Hours
Fuel Type
Liquid Propane (LP), Natural Gas (NG)
Warranty
10 year limited Warranty
Noise Level
63.5 dB
Kohler 20RESCL-100LC16 Air-Cooled Standby Generator with 100 Amp Transfer Switch Single Phase, 20,000-Watt
Name
Kohler 20RESCL-100LC16 Air-Cooled Standby Generator with 100 Amp Transfer Switch Single Phase, 20,000-Watt
Watts
20,000
Rating
Weight
560lbs
Runtime
-
Fuel Type
Liquid Propane (LP), Natural Gas (NG)
Warranty
5-year/2000-hour limited warranty
Noise Level
69 dB
DuroMax XP12000EH Dual Fuel Electric Start Portable Generator, Blue and Black
Name
DuroMax XP12000EH Dual Fuel Electric Start Portable Generator, Blue and Black
Watts
9500 Running Watts and 12500 Peak Watts
Rating
-
Weight
224lbs
Runtime
Run Time Gasoline @ 1/2 Load 10.4 Hours | Run Time Propane @ 1/2 Load 8.6 Hours
Fuel Type
Dual Fuel / Gasoline or Propane
Warranty
3 Years
Noise Level
64 dB

Generac 7043 Home Standby Generator 22kW

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

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

Generac integrates an LCD screen that displays battery status and monitor 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 wholehouse 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 rusts and can stand the perils of outdoors.

Generac 22kw is brimming with unique features. Here are some features to this standby generator for homes;

  • True Power technology – Help to deliver enormous power with less than 5 percent total harmonic which is fitting for sensitive electrical units.
  • Propane & Natural gas – Either of the two provide more options when it comes to powering the unit up. Depending on your discretion, you can use propane or gas. However, the former last longer.
  • 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 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 f

Verdict

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

PROS

multilingual LCD display & mobilie 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 rhinor power coated finish makes it resistant to adverse weather conditions

It comes with a 5-year warranty

CONS

Constant maintenance & professional checks required

 

CHECK PRICE   


Champion Power Equipment 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 portable, to RV, construction and much more.

The Champion power equipment is unlike any house generator on the market. It would be normal to mistake it for a lambo – this owes to the switch blade 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.

In terms of performance, this unit is an absolute beast – it runs on a 14kW and provides up to 14, 000 watts of power on propane and step down to 12, 500 watts on natural gas. The champion Power Equipment 754cc OHV engine delivers faithfully, powering all electrical appliance in homes effortlessly. This generator operates even in weather extremes, you can trust it to provide power during blackouts. It also performs weekly self-diagnostic tests to monitor the status and notify you when their 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 provides a quiet operation. Topped with a 10-year warranty, your mind will be at rest knowing your 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 conditioner, electronics, dishwasher, refrigerator, washing machines etc.

PROS

It has a sound-dampening lining and low-tone muffler that reduce noise better than most models in its class.

The unit operates in adverse conditions that ranges 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

Many reports about failed automatic operation – you might manually operate it yourself

CHECK PRICE   


KOHLER 20RESCL Whole House Generator

KOHLER 20RESCL is a commercial standby generator that is built with all the needful to cater for large homes and are generators for emergency.

For starters, the parent company has been in the game for years and their products are testament of their ingenuity. It operates on either propane and natural gas – providing 20,000 watts of power using propane (LPG) and 18,000 watts using natural gas.

Talking about capacity, this unit is an absolute beast – it can without a fuss carry out all the heavy electrical appliances in a home all at once. Utilizing both LP or natural gas, the unit offers option of preference to the users. What’s more? you can switch the fuel with a push of a button.The Kohler 20RESCL has a transfer switch that makes switching back to your main electrical grid a breeze.

The enclosure protect against adverse weather conditions, and to top it all off, it is resistant to corrosion. Another no brainer is the powerful engine which is easily the best and automatically switch on the light in less than 10 seconds after power outage. Noise can be a problem with all these heavy machines, but not this one. In fact, the quiet operation meets the EGSA (Electrical Generating Systems Association) standards.

Finally, a five-year limited warranty covers for some manufacture defects which is a plus to buyers. There’s no reason to fidget as long as the Kohler 20KW is in your home.

PROS

Top quality enclosure that is corrosion resistant
High power output
Quick start and restores power in less than 10 seconds
Quieter operation compared to other models in its class

CONS

Setup cost is quiet expensive

 

CHECK PRICE   


Briggs & Stratton 20,000 watt Standby Generator

With a rated power of 20kW output, the Briggs & Stratton will perfect for whole-house operations. It integrates a super charged engine that is reliable and fast – expect the unit to power itself automatically after power outage. The briggs & stratton standby model integrates a 200amp transfer switch for seamless power transfer between electricity mains and generator.

The unit runs on Liquid propane or natural gas. As seen in most of the generators, there’s a slight difference in the generator capacity when using either of the fuel. For example, natural gas runs at 18,000 watts and 20,000 watts on propane.

Another perk is quiet operation – Thanks to the dampening mechanism, noise emanating is bearable and you won’t have your neighbors disturbed. On the downside, Installation is hard, assembling the 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 – it passed the National Fire Protection Agency standards

CONS

The setup is hard – you’ll need a handyman
Some users reported poor packaging when the unit arrived

CHECK PRICE   


Briggs & Stratton 40445 In House Generator

Our budget pick but don’t dismiss the Briggs & Stratton 40445 house generator yet. It comes with a 8kW power output capacity and depending how big your house is, it can at the very least power your home, two air conditioners plus other appliances. However, you have to be careful of how much load you subject the 40445 as it does not house the same energy as the aforementioned models.

The 50amp transfer switch does a great work for powering selected circuits. Yes, you can place the generator as close as 18 inches close to your house as it is certified according to National Fire Protection Agency 37 standard. It can instantly use LP gas or natural gas. Unlike the Kohler we reviewed, you can’t switch the fuel when its running. The generator only use a fuel at a time.

To make things more easier for buyers, the brand gives a 5-year 5 year parts, labor, and travel limited warranty. On the downside, it makes a lot of noise. This shouldn’t come as a surprise when you include the price. Overall, Briggs & Stratton 40445 is the most cost-efficient whole house generator for standy use in medium homes.

PROS

Cost-efficient
Easy and straightforward to install
It meets National Fire Protection Agency 37 standard
The resistant is robust and rust resistant

CONS

Very Noisy
Poor customer support

CHECK PRICE   


Generac 70331 Home Standby Generator

This is the second generac generator on our list. The brand is outstanding so much we had to include another offering from their company. The 70331 comes with more power output, efficiency, durability, and of course steeper price.

The Generac 70331 integrates a mobile link meaning you can monitor the activities and manage your whole house generator. More on that, mobile link connect to a Wi-Fi, you can use your smartphone, or tablet to get real time updates. By utilizing True power technology, what you get is a seamless operation of sensitive electronics and 5 percent total harmonic distortion.

If anything the G-force engine is currently one of the strongest engines featured in the body of a whole-house generator. It is pressure-lubricated and reliably delivers with less maintenance. The generator features a built-in quiet-test self-test mode runs at a lower RPM – it runs for five or twelve-minute which drastically reduce noise and conserves fuel.

Yes, it runs on either natural gas or liquid propane. The unit has the 200-amp, NEMA 3R (Aluminum outdoor enclosure) Smart switch. The enclosure is resistant to corrosion and can stand the test of harsh weather conditions, ensuring your the Generac 70331 last a lifetime. Without a doubt, the Generac is one of the best standby generators out there.

PROS

Easy to install
Comes with a 5-year limited warranty
Quieter operation compared to bigger models
Features a test run that reduces noise and conserves fuel

CONS

Expensive


A Whole-house Standby Generator: 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 wholehouse generators can relatively power most average homes or larger homes. However, you need to know the watts and power output of a generator to ascertain whether it will power the electronics in your home. The good news is the units on our list can do a better work of powering at the very least a home, 2 air-conditioners and other less power demanding electronics.

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

Size & Power output

When it comes to size of whole house generators, most are generally big as much as the power output. Most of the models are gigantic, thus a sizeable space should be reserved for accommodation. It is your duty as a buyer to confirm the size and compare it to the space in your home.

In terms of power output, buyers should perform a due deligence to know the rough estimate of electronics they need to power. By so doing, you will have an 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 restricts the amount and the duration for different hours of the day. It is important to know the restrictions of noise in your jurisdiction. Again, while not all the generators on the list operate quietly, when compared to other models of same class, the former operate considerably quieter.

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 bigger models consume more fuel than the average unit on the market. The higher the wattage output the expensive it gets. The least watts is 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 wholehouse generator is expensive and cost extra dollars for maintenance. In order to have peace of mind after you make a hefty purchase, you should know the terms and conditions of a warranty. Great warranty from the brand should cover for manufacture defects, well if it doesn’t, then you are better of with a unit that have a better warranty and customer feedback/support.

Benefits of a whole house Generator

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

Reliable Back-up options For Homes

In times of power outage you can resort to standby generators. They posses enormous output capacity that can power high electronic loads like air conditioners, washing machines etc. These units are specially made to cater for the average home, you can expect it to efficiently cater for standard equipment easily.

Money Saver

How can an 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, in times when there’s a power outage, no better equipment will save you money for hotel bookings than a standby generator.

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

Less Maintenance

Standby generators require less maintenance compared to portable options. They are better buy for life equipment than any other type of unit. Sure, they don’t come cheap either but they are worthy investment that will see you enjoy many years of use.

Quiet Operation

Portable generators are 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.


FAQS

What is a standby Generator?

A standby generator also known as (whole house) is a back up electrical system that is automatically powered when there is an outage. This is process is usually quick and within seconds, the transfer switch transfers 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 case on an outage. Residential generators usually required by building standards as critical for safety of buildings, medical & life support, and high-rise buildings. Most residential generators utilize standby units because of the enormous power it holds. Residential homes use it to power HVAC systems, refrigerators, water heaters, security systems etc.

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

Installation cost 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, simply 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 realized 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 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 on which is better.

When it comes to zero carbon emission, higher power output, clean energy then Liquid propane is the ideal. Working on a budget? Natural gas is cheaper thus perfect for you. Diesel has massive power that works relatively better than the two in most systems.

How Do Residential Generators Work?

Home generators has two components; the automatic transfer switch and generator unit. The transfer switch detects when their is 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 transfer switch only to portions of the home you want to have electricity. Even if you want the whole house powered, there’s need of a qualified individual to see the wiring is executed properly.

The transfer switch also turns itself off when power comes on. The importance of having a strong 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?

Definitely, it depends on the load of equipment in your home. To calculate if a 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 that has 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 thus far, well I congratulate you cause reading 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 typically have transfer switch which automatically turns/off your generator during power outage. If you really want to ensure you buy the best whole-house then you need to read through our guide to know the ideal generator for your home and other needs.

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


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