Choosing the Best Home Generator: A Comprehensive Guide

by Anna

Power outages can be both inconvenient and potentially dangerous. Whether you live in an area prone to severe weather events or simply want to ensure your home remains powered during unexpected outages, a home generator can be a valuable investment. However, with various types, sizes, and brands of generators available on the market, choosing the best one for your specific needs can be a daunting task. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the key factors to consider when purchasing a home generator and recommend some of the best options available today.

Assessing Your Power Needs

Before diving into the world of home generators, it’s essential to understand your power needs. Not all generators are created equal, and selecting the right one largely depends on the appliances and systems you want to power during an outage. Start by making a list of essential appliances and devices you want to keep running, including lights, refrigerators, heating or cooling systems, medical equipment, and electronic devices.


Once you have a list, calculate the total wattage required to run these items simultaneously. This will help you determine the generator’s size (measured in kilowatts, or kW) that suits your needs. Remember that some appliances, like air conditioners or well pumps, may require a surge of power when they start up, so factor in these peak power demands as well.


Types of Home Generators

There are three main types of home generators: portable generators, standby generators, and inverter generators. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages, and choosing the best one depends on your specific requirements.


Portable Generators:

Portability: These generators are designed to be moved easily, making them versatile for various applications.


Output: Typically provide between 3 kW to 10 kW of power.

Fuel: They can run on gasoline, propane, or diesel fuel.

Cost: Generally more affordable upfront compared to standby generators.

Use Cases: Suitable for short-term power outages and outdoor activities.

Standby Generators:

Permanently Installed: These generators are installed outside your home and are connected to your electrical system,automatically turning on when the power goes out.

Output: Available in various sizes, ranging from 7 kW to 48 kW or more.

Fuel: Typically powered by natural gas or propane, offering a continuous and reliable source of energy.

Cost: Usually more expensive upfront due to installation and maintenance requirements.

Use Cases: Ideal for homes requiring uninterrupted power, especially in areas prone to frequent or extended outages.

Inverter Generators:

Efficiency: These generators produce cleaner and more stable power suitable for sensitive electronic devices.

Portability: Compact and easy to transport.

Output: Varies in size, typically ranging from 1 kW to 7 kW.

Fuel: Often run on gasoline or propane.

Cost: Moderate upfront cost.

Choosing the Right Size Generator

Selecting the right size generator is crucial to ensure it meets your power needs without overloading or underutilizing the unit. Oversizing a generator can result in fuel wastage and increased maintenance costs, while undersizing can lead to power interruptions during peak usage.

To determine the appropriate generator size, consider both your total power requirements and your budget. It’s advisable to consult with a professional electrician or generator installer who can assess your home’s specific electrical needs and recommend an appropriately sized unit. These experts will also consider factors like load management systems, which can help reduce the generator’s size while still providing adequate power.

Notable Generator Brands

When purchasing a home generator, it’s essential to choose a reputable brand known for quality, reliability, and customer support. Here are some of the top generator brands to consider:

Generac: Generac is a well-known name in the standby generator industry, offering a wide range of models and sizes to suit various home needs. They also provide excellent customer support and maintenance services.

Honda: Honda is renowned for its inverter generators, known for their quiet operation and clean power output. Honda generators are favored for their reliability and fuel efficiency.

Champion Power Equipment: Champion offers a variety of portable and standby generators at competitive prices. They are known for providing good value for money.

Kohler: Kohler standby generators are highly regarded for their quality and performance. They offer a range of sizes and can be integrated seamlessly into your home’s electrical system.

Westinghouse: Westinghouse generators are known for their affordability and reliability. They offer a range of portable and inverter models.

Installation and Maintenance

Once you’ve selected the right generator for your home, professional installation is crucial to ensure it functions properly and safely. Standby generators, in particular, require a licensed electrician and may need permits and inspections. Regular maintenance is also essential to keep your generator in optimal condition. This includes oil and filter changes, checking for fuel leaks, and testing the unit periodically.


Investing in a home generator is a wise decision to safeguard your family and property from the inconveniences and risks associated with power outages. Careful consideration of your power needs, the type of generator, size, and reputable brands can help you make an informed choice. Whether you opt for a portable generator for occasional use or a standby generator for continuous power, prioritize safety, installation by professionals, and regular maintenance to ensure your generator is ready to keep your home powered when you need it most.

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