The 5 Best Generators for Home & Buying Guide (2020)

Never be separated from electricity, the source of our modern life

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Are there frequent power outages where you live, and your work is always interrupted? Generators are ready to save you from this problem by keeping electricity in your home at all times.

Have you ever seen a view from space where the earth is at night?

What a fascinating sight, isn’t it? We owe this magnificent view to the electricity. Actually, most devices that make our daily life more comfortable and practical such as washing machines and dishwashers, refrigerators, ep phones, and computers, operate thanks to electricity. If you think a little bit, it can be terrifying to imagine a world without electricity.

This being the case, in the slightest power outage, all we do is interrupted, and troublesome situations may occur. People started to be interested in generators to get out of this situation. Considering this situation, we have prepared an article to learn what you should pay attention to when buying generators and get brief information about electricity; moreover, you can check some products we suggest.

GENERATOR TYPES FOR HOME

Standby Generators

Whole house generators or similarly standby generators usually provide electrical power to feed your entire house. Power outputs can range from 9 kilowatts to about 50 kilowatts. The smaller ones use natural gas and liquid propane as fuel, but the larger ones also have a diesel option. Generally, they are used with the automatic transfer switch. It is connected to the electricity grid directly, and when the electricity goes out, it is activated automatically.

Portable Generators

They usually have a wheeled design, which makes them portable. It ranges in capacity from 1kw to 10kw. Mostly, it is not enough for the entire home, but it can power many tools and lights. It supplies temporary power and typically runs on gasoline. Portable Generators are more affordable compared to the others. Thanks to its portability, you can use these generators appropriately for every purpose.

Inverter Generators

Inverter generators are relatively new technology. Their size is small, and it is lightweight, as opposed to the other types. Since they adjust their operating speed according to the electricity needs, their fuel consumption and noise are less. It is more expensive than a different sort. Inverter generators are the best option for traveling.

Solar Generators

It takes power by sunlight energy, which is renewable and not harmful to nature. Whereas its output is less than the other generator, it is the safest option for backup power. It can be used interiors due to it has no emission.

DID YOU KNOW?

Benjamin Harrison, the 23rd president of the United States, was the first president to use electrical energy in the White House. Still, he never touched any electrical switches because he was terrified of being caught in electricity.

LIST OF BEST GENERATORS FOR HOME

#1 Best Portable & Wheeled Design: Duromax Generator

The fact that it provides you with its high output power of 15 kilowatts in a portable manner thanks to its quality wheels, makes it a generator that can be used for every job.

#2 Best Whole House & Power: Generac Standby Generator

You will not even realize that the electricity is cut off thanks to its 22 kilowatts of high output power and automatic transfer switch.

#3 Best Inverter & Quietness: Champion Inverter Generator

Thanks to the technology it uses, it is lighter and quieter than portable and whole-house ones.

#4 Best Design & Maintenance: Champion Standby Generator

Thanks to its gull-wing door design, it is straightforward to open the generator, to perform maintenance and repair.

#5 Best Start & Usefulness: Westinghouse Portable Generator

With the electric start switch, you can start the generator very quickly, or you connect it to an ATS, and it starts to work automatically, which makes it very useful.

WHICH GENERATOR SHOULD I CHOOSE FOR HOME?

Size

Before buying a generator, one of the most critical factors you should determine is the generator’s capacity. You should evaluate the capacity of the generator according to your needs. Do you want to operate all the tools in your home or just certain appliances? Accordingly, you should make a list of the devices that use electricity and calculate the total electrical load.

Note that if there are old devices used for a long time (such as an 8-year washing machine) while calculating, they may consume a little more electricity than the label value.

Conventional light bulbs, electric heaters (kettle, electric stove, toaster) regularly consume as much electricity as the watt written on the label.

Devices containing motors (refrigerator, freezer, fan, electric motor), fluorescent lamps need two times the starting power of the label.

After making a list and calculating the total electricity consumption, we suggest you buy a generator which one-fourth more potent than your need, so you feel fewer performance drops. Moreover, when your required watt increases, the generator will operate in an uneventful manner.

We have compiled the amount of power required by some home appliances below. If there is a device you want to learn in particular, you can find out by searching on the internet in the way that “the power consumption of ……”

Bulb75 kWIron1.200 kW
Outdoor Lighting100 kWFan200 kW
Refrigerator500 kWLift25.000 kW
Dishwasher500 kWSecurity System1.000 kW
Tumble Dryer5.750 kWDrill1.000 kW
Coffee Machine1.000 kWEnergy Saving Light Bulb20 kW
Foot Warmer1.500 kW51 Screen Television300 kW
LCD TV500 kWOven700 kW
Air conditioner3.250 kWWashing Machine1.150 kW
Sound System500 kWElectric Cooker2.100 kW

Fuel Type

1- Natural Gas

It is one of the most used fuels in generators. Since it is connected to the natural gas line that comes to your home, you will not have to buy and fill fuel frequently. It is also inexpensive compared to other fuels and burns efficiently. Make sure you have a natural gas network connected to your home.

2- Liquid Propane

Propane is a prevalent fuel used in generators. It has a longer life than other fuel types, so it does not cause performance loss in the generator. It is a little quieter than the others. In freezing weather, it cannot provide the necessary power to the generator.

3- Gasoline

Gasoline is widely available, so it is effortless to obtain. Shelf life is an average of 20 weeks. However, with fuel stabilizers, its structure can remain intact for years. They are mostly preferred for portable generators.

4- Diesel

Its non-flammability makes diesel fuel safer than gasoline and natural gas. It is the most efficient fuel per gallon. It has a life of up to 52 weeks without using a fuel stabilizer. It generally provides efficiency in situations of longer duration (when generators run longer). It is mostly preferred for whole-house generators.

Portable or Standby?

One of the most crucial features that distinguish the two is that whereas the standby models are mounted in a specific place, the portable generator does not need to be positioned in a particular area. Compared to the whole-house generators, portable ones do not require a professional person for installation. Hence, it means there are no costs for the buildings and preparations.

Portable generators may not be powerful enough for your whole home. Although there are those with very high power output, they generally provide up to 10kw of power. For example, if your home appliances also have an air conditioner, portable generators will not satisfy you. However, the power of whole household generators can be up to 50 kilowatts, depending on the model. These numbers mean a level of energy that is enough even for a home with many devices. You can operate your washing machine very comfortably while using your air conditioner at the same time. Moreover, most portable ones work with gasoline, while the whole house generator has LPG, natural gas, and diesel fuel options.

Switch Type

If you want the generator to be activated automatically when the electricity goes out, you must buy an Automatic Transfer Switch (ATC). When the electric grid is cut, it activates the generator switch and provides the system to be fed through the generator. When the electric grid is restored, it disables the generator switch and activates the electric grid. Make sure the automatic transfer switch can match the amperage of your utility power. 200-Amper ATS is a good option for standard homes.

Air Cooled or Liquid Cooled?

Generators get very hot when running. And they need a cooler to reduce this heat. Generators use two types of cooling systems. One of them is air-cooling, and the other one is liquid-cooling. The air-cooling system uses air in the atmosphere. The cold air is taken into the generator and distributes it to certain parts of the generator. Thus, the air current is created and allows the generator to decline the temperature. In the long uses, air-cooled systems are insufficient in cooling.

On the other hand, in the liquid-cooled, the generator uses a cooling liquid to reduce the temperature. There are a radiator and a water pump. The fluid goes to the engine part of the generator, and the heat is transferred to the liquid, then the coolant goes to the radiator to cool. The generators more powerful than 20kw usually use a liquid-cooled system, which cools the generator better during prolonged use. However, liquid-cooled systems are more expensive than the air-cooled ones.

Fossil fuels are the largest source of electricity, but wind, water, and the sun can also generate electricity. Even electricity can be generated from plant waste, garbage, and animal droppings.

WHERE SHOULD PLACE THE GENERATOR?

Placement of a generator considerably affects not only the performance of the generator but your health and safety. There are some elements you should take into account before the placement.

The generator produces carbon monoxide, which is harmful to health. Therefore, take care to place the generator at least one and a half meters away from the whole door, window, or ventilation to avoid this gas.

Never place the generator under a ledge, where there may be puddles or where snow can collect.

Ensure that there is sufficient space around the generator that service officials will not have trouble with maintenance or repair.

If you are sitting in a windy place, determine the direction of the wind blowing, do not let the harmful gas coming out of the generator be carried to your home by the wind and your neighbors’ house and disturbed

Whole house generators can be noisy. If there is a residential or apartment building close to where you are placing it, make sure the generator is far enough away from them that the sound does not disturb them. This situation also applies to your own home.

Try to place the generator close to the electricity meter and gas meter. In this way, by using shorter pipes, you both reduce your installation costs and reduce the voltage losses by reducing the path taken by the electricity. And this will increase your productivity.

Do not forget there can be specific rules in the local building code. If there are particular rules, you may unknowingly break these rules, and it can cause trouble when placing your generator.

DID YOU KNOW?

In the 1880s, there was a “current war” between Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison. Tesla invented AC, Edison invented DC, and both wanted their currents to be popular. AC won the war because it is safer and can be used over long distances.

BEST GENERATORS FOR HOME

#1 Best Portable & Wheeled Design: Duromax Generator

Are you looking for a portable generator that is both portable and powerful for your home? The Duromax XP12000E Portable generator is designed for this. With 15kw peak power and 12kw working power, you can operate most of the devices in your home effortlessly. The fact that it offers two different fuel options as gasoline and propane, makes it easier to find fuel. Thanks to the idle control, when the required power decreases, it saves fuel and reduces the noise by lowering its RPM. It detects when the fuel inside is at a deficient level by its automatic shut-off feature. It automatically turns itself off and saves you from repair and maintenance costs in such a case, which is also very important for your safety.

Nevertheless, make sure you have someone available to assist you when the product arrives. You may have a hard time setting it up with its approximately 180-pound weight. The sound level is about 80 decibels. This value equates to the volume of sounds such as alarm clock sound – subway sound – factory noise. If you are going to use propane, the user manual may not satisfy you.

What We Like:

  • Dual fuel: Gasoline and Propane
  • Auto shut-off
  • 15kw power output
  • Easy Electric start
  • Slow running control

What We Don’t Like:

  • Pretty massive
  • The instruction book is not enough
  • High sound level

DID YOU KNOW?

Only 10% of the energy in a light bulb is used to create light. The remaining ninety percent generate heat.

#2 Best Whole House & Power: Generac Standby Generator

Your home will not be deprived of electricity for a moment. Generac’s ultra-high-output standby generator is ready to energize everything from the smallest to the most powerful tool in your home. With 22 kilowatts of power, power outages will no longer stop you. Working with both propane and natural gas will make you very comfortable. You can avoid continually struggling to get fuel and fill it into the tank by making a connection from the natural gas network that comes to your home to the generator. Moreover, this generator comes with a 200 amp automatic transfer switch.

When you experience a power outage, the generator is activated within seconds. With the LCD control panel on it, you can check when maintenance is required and the status of your generator from your mobile phones with its remote control feature. Yet, the battery does not come with the product. It is sold separately. And it is necessary to change the battery frequently. Its noise is around 80 decibels, which means it’s a bit loud. After installing the product entirely, you will need to contact Generac and get an unlock code. Unless you enter this code, you cannot start the generator. It seems a little bit tedious.

What We Like:

  • Quiet self-test mode
  • LCD information screen
  • Dual Fuel: Propane and Natural Gas
  • High output: up to 22 kilowatts
  • Comes with ATS(Auto Transfer Switch)
  • Remote controllable

What We Don’t Like:

  • Battery not included
  • Battery should be renewed frequently
  • It is not quiet
  • Unlock code at installation

DID YOU KNOW?

In 1857, Imperiale Street in Lyon, France, became the first street in the world to be illuminated using electrical energy by installing arc lamps.

#3 Best Inverter & Quietness: Champion Inverter Generator

If you are looking for a generator that you can use while sitting at home, going camping, or going on a journey, the Champion 4000 Watt Inverter Generator is for you. It works with gasoline, and gasoline fuel is very easy to find in grocery stores. It is also lighter and less noisy than conventional generators, making it an excellent option to carry with you. With the economy mode feature, the life of the engine increases, and less fuel consumption is provided. What’s more, with the optional Parallel Kit, you can increase your power up to twice. Still, that it works with gasoline only might limit you a bit on fuel. 4Kw peak power and 3.5 kW working power may not be enough for devices that require high energy in your home. If you think of operating an air conditioner with this generator, it will not be enough for you.

What We Like:

  • Economy Mode
  • Quiet Technology
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to use

What We Don’t Like:

  • Only works with the gasoline
  • Its power is insufficient

#4 Best Design & Maintenance: Champion Standby Generator

The design of this generator will impress you. Thanks to the gull-wing door design, even you can open the generator without the need for a professional and check it when any problem happens. It works on two types of fuel, propane and natural gas. You can get an inexhaustible fuel supply from the natural gas network in your home by laying pipes to the generator. In this way, your generator will always be ready for operation.

It comes with an automatic transfer switch, so it understands when the electricity goes off and starts itself automatically. Also, customers state that they like the brand’s customer support. However, the output power of this generator is not enough to feed your whole house. Moreover, the ATS that comes with the product has very low amperage. Make sure that this ATS can handle the power grid coming into your home. There are also some complaints that the generator is shaking too much.

What We Like:

  • Gull-wing doors
  • Comes with Automatic Transfer Switch
  • Dual Fuel: Propane and Natural Gas
  • Customer support

What We Don’t Like:

  • Not powerful for the entire home
  • Vibration
  • Low ampere for ats

#5 Best Start & Usefulness: Westinghouse Portable Generator

If you want the generator to be neither weak nor too strong, and you say ” medium powerful is ideal for me,” we are sure that you will be happy with Westinghouse WGen9500DF Portable Generator. You can run most of your tools with 12 kilowatts of starting power and 9.5 kilowatts of starting power. It starts working very quickly with a single button, thanks to the electric start. It consumes less fuel when it requires less power by adjusting its idle according to the energy you want from the device. Besides, you can switch between propane-gasoline fuels at the touch of a button even when the generator is running.

One of the most important aspects is that ATS (Automatic Transfer switch) can be connected to this generator. It can operate automatically when the utility power is gone (if ATS is attached). Also, it realizes when the fuel approaches its exhaustion point, and it automatically shuts itself down. But its wheels are not very good. Be precise when moving the generator, and try not to force the wheels too much. Customers have reported that the generator may not work in cold weather, and even if it does work, it does so with incredible difficulty. Finally, the battery can run out quickly, and you may need to recharge it frequently.

What We Like:

  • Electric start
  • Auto shut-off
  • Transfer switch ready
  • Smart IDLE
  • Easily switch between fuel sources

What We Don’t Like:

  • Poor quality wheels
  • Some battery problems
  • Not satisfied with customer service
  • The battery must be charged up frequently
  • Working problems in cold weather

NOW IT’S YOUR TURN

To sum up, we highlighted the types of generators for you, the types of fuel they use, how much electricity the product consumes, and what you should pay attention to when positioning the generator. After learning all these components, you can interpret the products we recommend or the products you have chosen. For example, we now guess that you know what power generator is enough for you.

Which generator type do you think is more useful than others?

Do you think automatic transfer switches are really necessary?

Do you still have any questions after reading this article?

We would be glad to share your ideas, corrections, or additions by leaving a comment below.

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