What’s the Best Standby Generator for Home Use?
Having a standby generator in case of a power outage can be crucial to your family’s safety as well as save you a whole lot of money.
But what, exactly, is a standby generator? And, if having a standby generator is important, what is the best standby generator on the market?
We will answer the questions above, in addition to the ones below:
- Why would you need a standby generator?
- Are standby generators better than portable generators?
- How To Determine The Correct Size For A Standby Generator
Best Standby Generator
At the bottom of this review, you will find a complete standby generator buying guide. In this buying guide, you will learn everything you need to know to determine the proper standby generator for you.
Before we get to that, we want to share with you the top 5 best standby generators on the market at this time. These are our top 5 picks for this year.
In A Hurry? Our Standby Generator Picks
Price for 1 minute
Generac 7043 Home Standby Generator
Kohler Standby Generator
Champion Standby Generator
Briggs & Stratton Standby Generator
Generac 7033 Standby Generator
Our Top Pick: Generac 22,000 Watt Standby Generator
The Generac 7043 Home Standby Generator is one of the best standby generators for home use because it has an OHVI engine. This engine is durable, and its build ensures that it can run for prolonged periods without any issues.
This generator is air-cooled and will kick in when the power goes out. Compared to all other air-cooled generators, this one has the lowest cost per kilowatt, making this ideal for when you want a cost-efficient generator.
You can achieve whole-house protection with this generator due to its NEMA 3R, 200-amp smart switch. The true harmonic distortion is under five percent, which means that this generator can safely operate your most sensitive electronics.
The generator runs quietly and thus does not disturb your neighbors when you are using this to power your home.
There is also a self-test mode so that you can see what the generator is capable of because a power outage occurs. Compared to other brands, this one also tends to use less fuel during operation.
The enclosure on this generator is made entirely of aluminum. And that means that even in the harshest weather conditions, it will remain intact and will not rust. The enclosure is also powder-coated to offer additional protection.
Our #2 Pick: Kohler 20,000-Watt Air-Cooled Standby Generator
The Kohler Standby Generator is an air-cooled generator that is 20,000 watts. It is one of the top choices because it automatically starts up as soon as your power goes out.
This prevents you from having to go outside in the dark or bad weather to start this generator.
This generator has a 200-amp whole-house, load shedding, service entrance-rated automatic transfer switch. It only takes about 10 seconds for the generator to kick in and provide power to your home.
When it is operating, the power is stable, and the generator operates quietly.
The Kohler Standby Generator is built to power even the strongest of appliances. It works for all of your kitchen appliances and even larger things, such as your sump pump and air conditioning unit.
The voltage regulation capabilities of this generator helps to ensure your electronics are protected against electrical damage when the generator kicks on and during operation.
It works with less than five percent harmonic distortion, and this ensures that your appliances and other electronics will not get zapped using this generator.
The enclosure is resistant to corrosion, and it can withstand harsh weather, including seaside conditions. This ensures that your generator has the protection it needs to last for many years to come.
Our #3 Pick: Champion Power Home Standby Generator
The Champion Standby Generator provides 24/7 power for your entire home during a power outage. It uses a specially designed low-tone muffler and advanced sound dampening to ensure that this generator works as quietly as possible.
This is one of the best generator options because it has a 24-volt starting system that is reliable. Even in extreme heat or subzero temperatures, this generator will function without the need for a warming kit.
It can work in temperatures between negative 22 degrees Fahrenheit and 104 degrees Fahrenheit.
This generator will automatically perform self-diagnostic tests once a week. This makes it easy to see when any repairs or maintenance need to be done.
The Champion Standby Generator works on 14 kilowatts. This ensures that you get continuous power of 14,000 watts when you are using propane to power the generator.
When you use natural gas, you get 12,500 watts. You never need to refuel since this generator will connect to your natural gas or propane supply.
It has an all-weather mounting pad. This makes installation easy and helps to protect your generator from the elements. The enclosure is also all-weather.
This means that you will not have to worry about corrosion and rust even after several years of this generator being outside.
Our #4 Pick: Briggs & Stratton 20000-Watt Home Standby Generator
The Briggs and Stratton Standby Generator is one of the best options because you can place it relatively close to your home.
This is ideal for people who have limited outdoor space. You only need a minimum of 18 inches between the generator and your home.
This generator has a 200-amp automatic transfer switch. The indoor/outdoor installation is flexible.
It is easy to manage any home that measures up to 12,000 square feet due to the Symphony II Powder Management and 20 kW.
This management system is customizable according to the needs of your home. It works to balance the power being used by your home’s electrical load.
This is true for all electrical components, including those with high wattage, such as electric ovens and air conditioning units.
This generator has a commercial-grade engine. During installation, you can easily convert between liquid propane gas and natural gas.
Compared to most other standby generators, this one is 50 percent quieter. This allows you to power your home without being a nuisance to your neighbors.
The base and enclosure are resistant to corrosion. This is due to the automotive-grade galvanized steel that makes up these components. The paint is also powder-coated for further protection.
Our #5 Pick: Generac 11,000 Watt Home Standby Generator
The Generac 7033 Standby Generator operates using True Power Technology. This means that the THD is less than five percent.
You can operate your sophisticated and sensitive electronics without fear that they will be harmed when you are using this generator.
This is one of the best standby generators for home use because it uses an indoor/outdoor-rated 200 amp.
The smart transfer switch is for the whole house. This switch also has Wi-Fi capabilities so that you have even more control.
This generator has Generac’s Evolution Controller. This features LED indicators so that you always know the status of the generator.
It will also alert you when you need to perform maintenance on your generator or when there is a utility power presence.
This generator has 11,000 watts. When the power goes out, the transfer switch activates automatically to supply power to your home.
It only takes a few seconds for the generator to start so that you have electricity quickly.
The aluminum enclosure is ideal for all weather types and it is durable. It also allows for easy service, maintenance and installation since three of the sides are removable. This allows you to see inside and take care of any necessary tasks without issue.
Standby Generator Buying Guide
Why You Need A Home Standby Generator
Every day millions of people lose power to their homes due to weather, natural disasters, or line problems. Over the last two years alone there have been more than 70 million people have had a power outage that lasted more than 24 hours.
Power Outages Can Drain Your Funds
National averages show that a power outage can drain more than power, it can actually drain your pocketbook! Think about it. If you lose power and have to stay at a decent hotel, that can cost you more than $150 a night not to mention the hassle of having to leave your home.
On top of that think of the amount of money you can lose in spoiled food! Statistics show that this can be well over $200.
Then there is the possibility that a power outage can leave your basement flooded with the lose of power to your sump pump. With the cleaning, having to refinish the floor, possible damage to your furnace, and possibly fixing the walls, this can run over $20,000 in some cases.
We didn’t if figure in the cost of mold removal should this occur later on down the road. This can cost over $3,000.
The Answer Is To Get A Standby Generator
There will always be threats that can cause you to lose power. You can accept the hassle and the risk of possible power outages, or you can make a small investment into a home standby generator.
What you can gain from this definitely outweighs what you have to lose.
What Is A Standby Generator?
There are two types of generators, a portable generator, and a home standby generator. The main difference between a portable generator and a home standby generator is that standby generators are permanently wired into your home and are engineered to turn on automatically as soon as the power goes out.
There is nothing you have to do and even if you’re not at home when the power goes out, a standby generator will still come on.
Portable Units Can Be A Pain
In contrast, although super handy and versatile, portable units can truly be a pain because you must connect them to your house with a cable.
This can be an extension cord so you can plugin many individual items or you can connect through a switching device to your panel.
Another major difference between portable and standby generators is that the power output from a portable generator is very small compared to that of a standby generator, which means you can only power a few items in your home.
Standby generators are larger and can produce power to provide electricity to every part of your home.
One of the biggest benefits for some is that you do not need to add fuel with a standby generator. This can save money and hassle.
Standby generators are typically permanently connected to a supply of natural gas or propane, and these fuels automatically flow to the generator without any work on your part.
How To Determine The Correct Size For A Standby Generator
When looking for the best standby generator for home use, the main thing you need to do is determine what type would be the best for you depending on if you have a small home or a large home.
The table shown below will help you to determine the wattage rating that would be best for you. The lower the wattage rating the less the generator will be able to handle.
If you want to own the truly best standby generator that will keep your whole house protected during a power outage, then go with a wattage rating over 15,000 watts.
Generator Chart: How To Pick A Generator
Price for 1 minute
30 kW +
DESCRIPTION OF GENERATOR
Very basic system that will power multiple "survival" devices.
Small power system to allow for the use of survival appliances and some extra devices.
Medium-sized power system good for several days and nights with no power.
Great emergency backup system good for three to four days and nights with no power.
This is a very powerful backup system that can generate enough electricity to power a small house.
Like a mini power plant great to power a medium-sized business or home.
Like a mini power plant great to power a medium-sized to large business or home.
WHAT IT WILL POWER
Fridge, freezer, fan, furnace fan, sump pump and 4 lights.
Good to power all survival appliances and family room.
Good to power family room, all survival appliances, and a home office.
Will power kitchen, home office, family room, and all survival appliances.
Can power washer and dryer, home office, kitchen appliances, family room, and all survival appliances.
Strong enough to power a washer and dryer, home office, kitchen appliances, family room, all survival appliances and even an air conditioner.
Strong enough to power a washer and dryer, home office, kitchen appliances, family room, all survival appliances and even an air conditioner. You can live in complete comfort as if there were never a power outage.
You could also use the generator selector provided by Champion Power Equipment.