6 Best Whole House Generators (Fall 2022) – Reviews & Buying Guide

What are the benefits of having a whole house generator?

The greatest benefit of having a whole house generator at hand is your peace of mind, when you know that you’re life won’t be disturbed by electricity outages, be it for hours or days.

Whole home powering

Since the generator is connected to your house’s electrical panel, you don’t need to go out and turn the switch on, connect extension cords, and connect it your home appliances. Just sit back and relax because everything is happening on its own.

Automatic

You can expect the whole house generator to start working within five minutes of power outage. Some good quality generators start working in less than 10 seconds so that you can continue your work without any disturbance. You also don’t have to worry about food in the refrigerator getting spoilt nor about the temperature of the house getting very cold.

Money saver

First of all, you don’t have to worry about the extreme heat or cold affecting your family and you because the generator will maintain room temperature. Instead of going to the hotel to stay in because of the storm or hurricane, you can stay in the comfort of your home and save hundreds of dollars. The food is maintained at high quality; you can shower, you can work from your home, and also keep the kids entertained inside the house because you can run the television and Wi-Fi using generator energy.

Homeowner’s insurance

Owning a house without home insurance is a risky business even though it is a costly expense. When you install a whole house generator for your house, most insurance companies give you a discount because the risks attached to your home are less compared to their average model.

Peace of mind

There’s nothing more comfortable than being in your home during a natural or man-made disaster. When you have a generator, you don’t have to worry about how you will go through it. You can continue living your life seamlessly and even help people out of danger.

What to look for in an ideal whole house generator?

Generac Guardian Series 5875.jpg 3

Output power, fuel consumption, and transfer switch

When it comes to generators, power is calculated in watts. The higher power outage, costlier the generator would cost. You need 600W to light up a refrigerator, 60 to 600W for lights (depending on how many you have in the house), 1,000W for a window air conditioner, 60 to 300W for a computer or laptop.

On an average, you at least need an 8kW generator to run your house smoothly for a couple of days.

We totally recommend you to buy the Generac 7043, which has a power output of 22kW and an automatic 200-amp transfer switch. It supports both natural gas and liquid propane, so you can choose whichever fuel you are comfortable with.

Quiet work

Often people complain about generators being super loud, which is also one of the reasons why they don’t purchase one. Some generators make so much noise that it won’t let you sleep in the night. It can be horrifying if you have small children at home, you sleep better when it is completely silent.

The Champion 100177 is the most silent generator from our list. It makes up to 63 dB noise level, which sounds like a low tone muffled conversation.

Safety for delicate electronics

When it comes to the safety of delicate electronics, all the generators that we’ve included in the list are good. They all have a total harmonic distortion of less than 5%, which means it protects most sophisticated electric equipment.

Size

The goal to purchase the smallest generator that fulfills all your needs. It will maximize fuel usage. It also depends on the frequency of power outages for which you will require a standby generator with a power output of around 20 to 22kW. The Generac 70422 is an efficient generator for frequent use.

If you experience an occasional power outage or have less power needs, the smaller generator like the Generac 7210 with its 8kW power output would be enough. You can also consider getting a smaller dual-fuel generator or propane generator to cut your expenses on fuel.

Warranty

Taking into account how pricey these units are, be sure to go for at least 5-year warranty for whole house generators. As for the products we reviewed, the Champion 100177 comes with the longest 10-year warranty, which is really impressive.

Extra features

Ditch the hassle of pulling the string to start the generator and buy one that has an electric start. All generators mentioned on our list give you the option to choose between natural gas and liquid propane as fuel.

Always check if a generator comes with an automatic low-oil shutoff, which shuts off the engine when oil levels drop below the minimum.

How to Set Up a Whole House Generator?

Generator-Installation1Setting up a whole house generator is relatively simple, which doesn’t require any technical or professional help. It will take you around 10 to 15 minutes depending on how big the generator is.

Step 1. You will have to start by installing an electrical sub-panel and a transfer switch next to the main electrical panel.

Step 2. Then, redirect your generator’s critical circuits to the sub-panel from the main panel.

Step 3. Create a concrete base for your device. If you don’t want to increase your expenses, you can level the ground but make sure you there is no water source close to it.

Step 4. Place the generator on the base.

Step 5. Place a new high-pressure gas meter in a trench near the generator.

Step 6. Run a natural gas line, if that is your fuel of choice. Trace a wire from the gas meter to the generator and make the connection.

Step 7. Attach the generator’s electrical cable from the generator to your house.

Step 8. Connect the electrical and gas connection to the generator’s rear part.

Safety tips

1. Maintain distance from the house

Generators should be placed far away from the house. Some generators are certified to be kept as close as 18 inches from your house.

2. Never store it in enclosed areas

Never store the generator in your garage, crawl space, or your basements even if it is well-ventilated.

3. Follow manufacturer instruction

No matter how much you know about generators, follow the instructions that come written in the manufacturer manual. The instructions differ from one manufacturer to other, so if you are switching from one brand to another, don’t ignore reading the installation and care instruction.

4. Monitor fuel safety

Switch off the generator when you are refilling it. Also, make sure it has cooled down because the fuel might spill or spark if you fill up when the engine is still hot.

Make sure you store the fuel in an air-tight, non-glass container.

Label it properly, so that there won’t be any negative incidences. Always store it away from a fuel-using electronic or equipment and in a cool and dry place.

5. Keep it dry

When you go to refill the generator or check the LCD screen for details, make sure your hands are completely dry, especially if it is on and running.

6. Avoid carbon monoxide

Make sure to install carbon monoxide battery-operated alarms in your house. If the generator gets overheated, it might leave the gas, which is fatal to human life.

7. Choose propane over gas

Propane is a more affordable option compared to gasoline because the latter needs a stabilizer. On the other hand, propane doesn’t need any stabilizer, and refueling is easy. All you need is to build an on-site propane storage unit. 

8. Check local service

Always buy a generator that has a service center in your locality. It is convenient because you’ll get immediate service for maintenance and repair. Parts are also easily available.

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