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The 7 Best Whole House Generators

Need a back up power source for your house? Here's my recommendations and advice on what generator to buy.

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James Mulligan: Engineer & DYI Enthusiast

Last Updated: Feb 20, 2021

Our Favorite House Generators

Best Generator

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Generac 70432 Home Standby Generator

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Quietest Generator

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Champion 8.5-kW Home Standby Generator

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Most Portable

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DuroMax Generator-12000 Watt Home Back Up

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Our Favorite House Generators

We all have to deal with those untimely power outages that leave us without electricity. Fortunately, a whole house generator can offer continuous power, until the electrical power is restored. 

Have a look at my top choices for the best whole house generators and some important things to consider before buying one. 

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12 Hours Research

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3 Products Reviewed

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7 Expert Interviewed

9.1

Consumer Score

6.9

Editor's Score

8.5

Quality Score

7.4

Features Score

How We Review

Best Standby Generator

Generac 70432 Home Standby Generator

Generac 70432 Home Standby Generator

  • G-force engine engineered for demanding generator usage
  • Whole house protection with 200A smart switch
  • Aluminum switch enclosure for outdoor use
  • Smart LCD display to check battery status and track maintenance requirements
  • 5 year restricted warranty included

The Generac standby generator is the ideal backup power solution for your home. 

It connects to your present LPG or natural gas supply, and it starts up as soon as it senses power loss. You can choose to power only critical circuits or your entire house if required. 

The unit also includes a free mobile link, which means you can check the generator status remotely from your smartphone, PC, or tablet. 

Other stand out features include a base pad with little ground preparation needed, more effective wiring techniques for time saving installation, and adjustable door panels. 

What customers are saying

This generator received mostly 5 star reviews with customers loving the automatic switch over from the mains to the generator.

Many of them also raved about its efficient operation, and LCD display that allows you to track maintenance needs and battery status. 

Quietest House Generator

Champion 8.5-kW Home Standby Generator

Champion 8.5-kW Home Standby Generator

  • Fully automatic switch over with 8 different circuits
  • Automatic low oil shutdown
  • Self diagnostic testing every week
  • Composite mounting pad
  • Durable steel enclosure
  • Convenient with no extension, refuelling, or manual operation required

If you’re looking for a quiet generator, this Champion model is your best option to consider.

It comes with an incredible power output of 7500W on natural gas and 8500W on propane gas. 

It also features a fully automated switch over with eight different circuits to provide your home with ongoing power during an outage. 

The specially engineered low-tone muffler ensures a quiet noise level of only 59.5dB, perfect for keeping the noise down in your neighborhood. 

With the 24V starting mechanism, the unit works in excessive sub zero weather conditions as well as in excessive heat. The unit’s weekly self testing ensures it remains in good working condition. 

This model received 100% positive ratings with customers saying it’s the best generator they’ve ever bought.

Best Portable Generator

DuroMax Generator-12000 Watt Home Back Up

DuroMax Generator-12000 Watt Home Back Up

  • 12000 Watt DuroMax portable system
  • 18 horsepower motor with 457cc OHV engine
  • Can run on gasoline or propane
  • Suitable for handling heavy loads
  • Exact pouring with thumb operating switch
  • 7/8” funnel spout for filling even small equipment
  • Built-in 20 mesh stainless steel screen

This DuroMax home generator comes with many impressive features. The unit is powered by an 18 horsepower motor that delivers 12000W starting power, and 9500W operating power. 

This portable generator can easily handle heavy loads and high ampere appliances. 

Its thumb operated switch ensures exact pouring, while even the smallest of items can be filled with the 7/8” funnel spout.

The generator can operate on both 120V and 240V at the same time, or you can choose to run the 120V on full power. This model offers incredible flexibility as well as portability.

Best Solar Powered

Yeti 3000X Solar Power Station

Yeti 3000X Solar Power Station

  • Delivers 2982 Watts
  • Easy and safe to use
  • Protection against under or over voltage
  • Battery health monitoring
  • Innovative technology and boosted charge efficiency with built-in MPPT charge regulator

This solar power station provides a convenient portable solution for continuous power at your home during a power outage. It can also be used as an off grid option. 

With this beast, you can power anything from your home, to outdoor events, to a night out camping with the family. 

The unit is suitable for various environments and comes with 7 output ports that enable you to charge your electronic devices or run your equipment and appliances.

This model is user friendly and safe to operate, it also comes with various features that make it the best solar powered solution for you. 

This item received incredible reviews. Customers were most impressed with its portability, silent operation, robust design, and eco-friendly construction.

Other Recommended Generators

Generac 20 kW Liquid-Cooled Automatic Generator

This standby 20kW liquid-cooled generator from Generac has a low noise output and can withstand harsh weather conditions. 

You’ll have to purchase the RTS Series transfer switch separately, which is necessary for operating the generator. You will also require local permits to install this unit.

This model provides options for extra features, like immediate monitoring and progressive controls to match unique applications.

The ExpertPower power station combo comes with a 2694W battery capability, enabling advanced runtime and dependability. 

You can run big appliances like power tools, mini fridges, and microwaves as long as it has a power output of below 2000W. 

The system is constructed to last, and the solar panels are corrosion and crack resistant. You’ll also get MC4 cable connectors for an easy parallel connection of the two solar panels included. 

The system comes with a built-in 2000W pure sine wave inverter that delivers 2000W to all accessory ports. 

You can look forward to no fumes and low noise levels with this environmentally friendly generator.

Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer

The Jackery solar generator recharges promptly within 8 hours by connecting 200W solar panels in series with a Y parallel cable (included). 

The unit features 3 AC outlets with added capacity, enabling it to power AC appliances at the same time. The complete rated wattage, however, must be below 1000W. 

You can also charge small devices like your smartphone or tablet with its fast charging port and the portable design makes it easy to take with you on camping trips or outings.

Types Of Generators

Standby generators

Standby units are the most expensive and their installation must be done by a professional as you will require municipal permits for installation. 

These generators start automatically during a power outage, and usually have a higher power output than other options. 

Standby generators also have a self diagnostic feature that informs you know when they require maintenance. 

You usually have a choice between propane or fuel, which is safer to store than natural gas or gasoline. These units typically run between 5000 and 20 000 watts.

Portable power stations

A portable power station does not use propane or gas. Instead, it is powered with rechargeable batteries or an electrical outlet. 

They also come with a solar panel sometimes, and are referred to as a solar generator. 

Portable power stations are typically pricier than gas units. They run incredibly quiet and do not emit carbon monoxide/fuel fumes, therefore it is a safe option to use indoors. 

Portable generators

Portable generators are cheaper than standby generators and usually run on gasoline, which is normally stored in bulk quantities. You should add a stabilizer to your fuel for extended storage. 

These generators are not a suitable choice for enclosed spaces.

Inverter generators

Inverter generators have more complex engines, they are usually more expensive than portable generators with a similar output. 

These generators run quieter than their standard counterparts because they throttle up and down according to demand, instead of running on full power continuously. 

They also generate less noise with their sophisticated exhaust systems.

Features To Consider

Automatic shutoff

This feature is crucial and basically shuts down the generator engine as soon as deadly gas levels are detected. 

In order to be considered a safe option, this feature must be present on portable generators.

Automatic start

This feature ensures that the generator automatically switches on as soon as there is a power outage. This can be incredibly convenient if you are working from home or travel frequently. 

Electric start

Various portable units have a push button that eliminates the inconvenience of a pull-start generator. Keep in mind that the battery isn’t always included in the purchase. 

Stationary generators come with automatic starting.

Fuel type

Most portable generators are powered with gasoline. However, some are equipped with a natural gas line or propane tank, while others are convertible with kits.

Transfer switch

A transfer switch allows you to connect a portable generator or home standby system to your electrical circuit board with one cable. 

This feature is paramount for safety because it not only protects your appliances but also prevents damage to the generator.

Outlets

A unit with 4or more outlets, allows you to make the most of your wattage by distributing the load. 

Units with multiple outlets are also great for camping or excessive power requirements at home.

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