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Today we will present you some of the best standby generators for the home that you can purchase in 2020. Any of them will automatically supply power to your house when the grid is down.
The failure of electrical infrastructure can jeopardize your daily activities. It can be work, cooking, play, or anything else. However, you can change the situation by investing in a reliable and powerful standby generator. You would be drawn to these machines, especially if you live in an area where power outage is frequent.
1. Generac 7043 Home Standby Generator
Generac 7043 uses a G-Force Engine, which is pressure-lubricated, needs less maintenance, and is capable of prolonged and heavy use. It generates 19.5 kilowatts when filled with natural gas and 22 kilowatts on propane. It’s a versatile standby generator that is compatible with dual fuel types.
The powerhouse features a 200 amp NEMA 3 Smart transfer switch that power it on whenever power supply is down. Its most prominent feature is its True Power Technology which makes sure that the total harmonic distortion is below five percent, so you get a clean and high-quality output that can be safely used to charge or power delicate devices.
If you live in an area with noise limitations, you need a quiet machine that won’t violate the limitations. The Generac 6043 excels in this area because it works at a sound level of 67 dB, which is relatively lower than other standby generators.
It features a quiet self-test mode that makes it work for up to 12 minutes to make sure it is performing with full functionality and efficiency. To keep the machine safe, the manufacturers gave it a RhinoCoat powdered finish over an aluminum case that protects it from rust and corrosion.
Our verdict: If you need a large and powerful generator that can effectively power all your household appliances, then try the Generac 7043. It’s reliable, durable, and runs without making much noise.
2. Generac 7033 Guardian Series Home Standby Generator
In today’s modern world, power is life. You cannot complete your daily activities without electricity. This is why you need a reliable solution when backup power is required. Generac understands the motive and presents the 70321 Optimus that works at 10 kW. With such power, it will empower you to go on with your normal routine during power cuts.
Generac Optimus provides all the power using a G-Force engine that is pressure-lubricated and efficiently handles all household devices. It produces reliable power and needs less maintenance when compared to other drivers.
Similar to 7043, Optimus also has a Quiet Self-Test Mode that runs the engine for 5 to 12 minutes to make sure that it is functional and efficient to provide you the best possible services. Built of sturdy and corrosion-resistant aluminum, it also has a RhinoCoat powdered finish that further protects it from natural and human-made elements.
The automatic standby generator is built to last and keep giving your optimal service. In simple words, it comes with a five-year warranty and 24/7 support. Whenever you have any trouble, there is a support team one phone call away. Moreover, you can easily install the unit due to its removable door panels, easy wiring, and a base that requires minimal preparation. This unit is robust and reliable, it is also efficient and saves time.
Our verdict: Need an advanced and high-quality standby generator to escape the blackouts? Try the efficient and user-friendly Optimus, it is as powerful as Optimus Prime. You can monitor its status anywhere in the world through Wi-Fi and Mobile Link, a feature very useful for professionals.
3. Briggs & Stratton 40555 17kW Standby Generator
Crafted in the USA, Briggs & Stratton 40555 17kW standby generator comes with a 100-amp automatic transfer switch. It offers 15,300 watts on natural gas and 17,000 watts on propane.
The Briggs & Stratton home generator features Symphony II Power Management that efficiently manages and divides power between large appliances and small portable ones. Whether it’s your microwave, air conditioner, smartphone, or tablets, they will get the required power. So, even if you are using one or two ACs at the same time, the generator will make sure that other connected devices get the required power to operate or charge.
Due to a NEMA 3R enclosure, it can be installed indoors or outdoors. Wherever you install the generator, it guarantees to work at fifty percent reduced sound levels, all thanks to its sound dampening technology and automotive-style exhaust system, it will never wake you or anyone else in the neighborhood. As it’s National Fire Protection Agency 37 standard compliant, you can install it as close as 18 inches to the house.
This product is covered under a five-year warranty. So, you can call the Briggs & Stratton support line for any trouble or usage questions. This service coverage is one of the longest in this industry and hence adds to the value of this efficient generator.
Our verdict: Briggs & Stratton is all about quality, performance, and reliability. If you have multiple large appliances, then you can go for their 40555 version.
4. Champion 8.5-kW Home Standby Generator
Champion 8.5 kW 100174 is a quiet and affordable home standby generator for homeowners who prefer products manufactured in the USA. Equipped with a 439cc OHV engine, this powerhouse is compatible with both natural gas and propane. When filled with natural gas, it generates a continuous power of 7500 watts and produces 8,500 watts on propane. The engine starts automatically once it notices power failure and also has a low oil shut down feature for added precaution.
This standby generator has a 24V starting system that works in sub-zero temperatures and extreme heat (up to 104 degrees Fahrenheit). It never requires any warming kit. Due to such a reliable starting system, you can use this machine year-round without any trouble due to external conditions.
The low noise operation of this generator makes it ideal for residential colonies and regions with noise restrictions. All thanks to its low-tone muffler and sound-dampening features, it has a maximum sound level of 59.5 dB.
Talking about its build and durability, this power machine has a steel enclosure that protects it from all external conditions. There is also an all-weather composite mounting pad that discourages abrasion and moisture for easy installation. Due to its gull wing enclosure, you can conveniently access its control panel and engine.
Our verdict: Power outages are frustrating, especially if it doesn’t get restored on time. If you live in an area where blackouts are frequent, or you want to power your farmhouse for weekend escapes, you can consider Champion 100174.
5. KOHLER 12RESVL100 Standby Generator
Kohler standby generators are built to be reliable and provide excellent performance. The 12RESVL100 is no different and stands beside you whenever a storm results in a power outage, keeping your daily activities unaffected. Whether it’s your house heating system, air conditioner, or the security system, 12RESVL100 can easily power them.
The 12 kW generator works with an efficient 7000 V-twin engine OHV design that operates at 3600 RPM. PowerBoost technology is another commendable feature of this Kohler machine, which powers heavy appliances like air conditioners without reducing energy to other connected devices. This generator has a maximum harmonic distortion of 5 percent and +/-1 percent voltage regulation. Such premium quality current keeps your delicate devices safe.
Fast response is a crucial factor when it comes too standby generators. Kohler 12RESVL100 excels in this department and powers all appliances within ten seconds of a utility failure. It comes with OnCue Plus, a remote monitoring system. It allows you to monitor the generator from anywhere in the world via a smartphone or tablet.
12RESVL1000 has a corrosion-resistant steel enclosure that keeps the internal components safe and promises a long life. It also has a durable powder coat finish for added protection. There is a five-year warranty or 2,000 running hours.
How to choose the most suitable Standby Generators?
ou need to consider several factors before you buy a standby generator for your house. Here are some essential questions that you should ask to get a useful backup.
What is the size of the generator you need?
Standby generators are available in different sizes or output. The scope of these generators is generally measured in kW, wherein 1kW equals 1000 watts. So, if a generator says that it can generate 12kW, it can produce 12,000 Watts of power for your appliances and devices.
Step 1: Create a list of the electronic items you want to power. Include the refrigerator, medical devices, air conditioner, and other useful amenities. Also add other devices like phone chargers, television, lights, etc.
Step 2: Once you have a list, calculate the power requirements in watts and add a fifteen percent margin for growth. You can consider powering the whole house, but that’s the least affordable option to choose from.
Step 3: Pick the electric motor from your list that has the highest wattage requirements. Multiply that with three and substitute the result from the total wattage requirements for all the devices.
Step 4: Add the total wattage with the result from the previous step. Divide the conclusion with 1000 to get the kilowatts — multiply the kW with 1.25 for future growth. For example, if you find you need 7.5kW, you should invest in a 10kW generator.
For a small house that doesn’t have a lot of devices powered through the main supply, any generator between 7.5 to 12kW will be suitable. The best examples are the Champion 100174 and Kohler 12RESVL100. Average-sized houses should be good with a 15 to 20kW generator like Briggs & Stratton 40555. For bigger houses, try a generator with more than 20kW of output, something like Generac 7043.
Will you install it outdoors?
Standby generators are generally installed out of the house. If you’ll also be installing your generator outside, then look for an option that has a sturdy build that can withstand adverse weather, storm, high-speed wind, and hence serve you for long. Generators like Generac 7043 also have an added coat for complete protection against rust and corrosion. So, choose something similar.
Any other specifications that you need to check?
Yes, you should look for a generator that has electronic voltage regular. It protects connected devices against voltage surges or spikes. An automatic transfer switch is another feature you should look out for.
FAQs about Standby Generators
We would mention some of the reasons why you might need a standby generator. If any of these apply to you, then it's a sure thing that you need one of the discussed powerhouses in or around your house.
- You live in an area where extreme climatic situations are possible: Some regions are prone to weather-related blackouts. Significant rain and storm are common reasons. If you reside in such an area, then you need a generator to revert the possible interruptions a power outage can cause.
- You have ample storage for food items: Many perishable food items will become unhygienic if left without refrigeration for more than four hours. A standby generator will be helpful if you always have a stock for your family or business.
- You work from home: Loosing power while you’re working on your desktop computer or notebook can be scary for professionals who work from home.
- You use a well-pump: If you have a well-pump installed in the house, you will not be able to enjoy fresh water without electricity.
- You have a family member dependent on a mains powered medical equipment
- You are a traveler: If your business needs frequent traveling and you are rarely at home. A standby generator will keep your security systems functional during power cuts.
Portable generators can power some of your electrical appliances during a short power outage. True to their name, such units are comparatively compact, lightweight, and hence portable. You have to manually switch a portable generator off and on.
On the other hand, standby generators are built to deal with prolonged blackouts. A standby generator is connected to the main electrical supply of your house to automatically power on once it detects a power failure. It also shuts down without the user's interference once the grid resumes.
A standby generator protects your family from possible outcomes of power shortages. It also keeps your property from costly damages that can happen if your security camera and sirens are down during a blackout.
So, choose one of the best standby generators for home use that we discussed today. Consider the wattage requirements, build quality, and fuel type before you invest in one of them. Make sure that the generator will be able to handle all the connected devices by making the right calculation of required watts. Remember that you might need authorization from your local utility office if you intend to install a standby generator on your property.
Suggested Reading: Top Portable generators list with analysis