Complete Guide: 10 Best Home Generators to Buy in 2020

Complete Guide: 10 Best Home Generators to Buy in 2020

For regular homeowners, purchasing the best home generator may not be very necessary. In some areas, they hardly experience blackouts while in others, they have a very unstable power grid. However, other factors may lead to a blackout.  Over the last decade, we’ve experienced some natural disasters, which have led to the complete isolation of multiple areas for some days and even weeks.

Many of the people in this category were taken unawares. These are times when the best home generators could be very useful. Having power in cases of blackouts could help save lives most especially when there’s a drop in the temperature. Power shortages usually happen during summer when there is a significant increase in energy consumption.

Although installing and setting up a standby generator could be difficult at first, the most reliable ones are easily maintained when not in use. This is because the best standby generators are made to function smoothly and quietly with just periodic maintenance if needed. Home generator stocks have surged lately.

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Our Favorite Picks

Best Overall Westinghouse WGen7500DF Best Value Honda EU2000I Best Budget Generac Protector Series
Best Electric Generator for Home Best Home Generator for the Money Best diesel generator for home use
  • Run time of 16 hours at 25% load
  • It has a fuel tank of 6.6 gallon
  • Fuel sources are easily switched during operation
  • Easy to service and very dependable
  • It only needs a single pull to start
  • Good generator overall
  • Easily installed
  • Serviced easily
  • Code ready

10 Best Home Generators with Reviews

1. Generac Protector Series – Best diesel generator for home use 

Best diesel generator for home useThe affordable price of the Generac Protector Series – Best diesel generator for home use is one of its great features. Another is, it’s user-friendly. For home generators to function they should meet some code requirements and the necessary authorities have to approve them before installation can be successful.

However, there’s no need to worry if you choose this brand because it is code ready. It also includes different code-driven accessories as well as some well-known already configured options. It also has a Quiet Test mode, giving you a much better option compared to other noisy generators out there.

As per the design, it includes an Evolution controller that has an LCD text display. To crown it up, it is easily installed and it is very reliable as a five-year warranty is attached to the product.

Pros
  • Easily installed
  • Serviced easily
  • Code ready
Cons
  • Mounting pad absent
  • Separate sale of the transfer switch

2. DuroMax XP12000EH – Best Propane Generator for Home

Best Propane Generator for HomeThe DuroMax XP12000EH – Best Propane Generator for Home uses clean fuel as well as a high-octane rating to perform well.  It has no contaminants and low carbon which ensures low engine maintenance. It is a dual fuel, which means users can depend on this product as propane cylinders are very common.

It also features various safety measures like the oil shutoff indicator and voltage regulator. In just one package, this DuroMax generator offers versatility, power, lifelong service, and huge savings. It also features a spark arrestor as well as a muffler that helps in noise reduction. These mufflers ensure quiet operation by absorbing vibrations.

Pros
  • Great power output
  • Excellent runtime
  • Has dual-fuel technology making it possible to run on either propane or gas
  • Quiet muffler available which reduces noise from engines
Cons
  • The product is not parallel ready

3. Champion 3800-Watt – Best Gas Generator for Home

Best Gas Generator for HomeChampion is well known as leaders in the market when it comes to producing pieces of equipment that generates power. They have vast experience in offering dependable, durable, and clean power. Their products have great performing standards as well as reliable customer service.

The Champion 3800-Watt – Best Gas Generator for Home features an OHV engine as well as an automatic shut-off feature in cases of low oil. Its fuel selector allows users to switch between gasoline and propane. When the fuel tank is full, the generator can run for 8 hours.

It also has a touch start and a battery. Its electric start (push-button) includes an internal battery that gets charged anytime the generator produces electricity. Also present is a volt regulator/guard that ensures that power surges and fluctuations don’t affect the system.

Pros
  • It is RV ready
  • Low and economical maintenance
  • Clean power
Cons
  • Output cannot be doubled through parallel connection

4. Goal Zero Yeti 400 – Best Solar Generator for Home

Best Solar Generator for HomeGoal Zero is one of the well-known brands when it comes to manufacturing solar power generators, panels, and accessories. The Goal Zero Yeti 400 – Best Solar Generator for Home is one of the sturdy and powerful solar generators in the market.

If features a lead-acid battery of 396Wh as well as an LCD that is very informative updating you on runtime, power output, and input, and helps position your panels the right way.This generator also has an alternative power source which is great for people who dislike noise, fumes, and issues with maintenance.

Pros
  • Can be chained with lead-acid batteries
  • It has a great design for portability ease
  • With its great power output like USB, AC, and 12V, it is convenient
Cons
  • Wears out quickly
  • Battery output is low
  • The battery doesn’t last long

5. Westinghouse WGen7500DF – Best Electric Generator for Home Use

Best Electric Generator for HomeThe Westinghouse WGen7500DF – Best Electric Generator for Home Use is another great dual fuel generator for your home. With 7500 running watts as well as 9500 peak watts, your home will be powered up in scenarios of blackouts. It fits perfectly into medium-sized houses or apartments to meet their power needs.

This generator works with dual fuel; it can either work with using unleaded gas or clean propane. It is user-friendly and is very convenient due to its push start button. It also features a 4-Stroke OHV which ensures constant power supply on both gas and propane. Also present is the automatic shutdown in cases of low oil to protect the engine.

Pros
  • Run time of 16 hours at 25% load
  • It has a fuel tank of 6.6 gallon
  • Fuel sources are easily switched during operation
Cons
  • A customer on Amazon complained that the battery has no warranty

6. WEN 56200i – Best Small Generator for Home

Best Small Generator for HomeThe WEN 56200i – Best Small Generator for Home weighs 48 pounds (very light) and operates at 51 decibels, which makes it a great choice. Its running watts is 1600 and it has a 1-gallon capacity tank, which can offer power for about six hours at a load run time of 50%.

It also features a 12V DC input, a three-prong input of 120V (two in number), and a USB port of 5V, which means this power source is ready to provide you with different options to keep your portable electronics and appliances charged. The generator also has an eco-mode that uses gas efficiently and produces low noise. When switched on at first, the generator gives a loud noise, but once the eco-mode is switched on, it becomes quieter.

Pros
  • It is easily setup
  • It has lightweight
  • Its eco-mode is efficient
Cons
  • It has a small tank

7. Airthereal MA10K-PRO – Best Ozone Generator for Home Use

Best Ozone Generator for Home UseThe Airthereal MA10K-PRO – Best Ozone Generator for Home Use has been classified as one of the best among ozone generators. This high capacity generator generates about 10000 mg of ozone every hour. This kind of output is great for large areas as well as strong odors like cooking, cigarette, fire smoke, or bathroom smell of a cat.

The manufacturer has recommended this product for use in areas of about 2000 square feet as it has a maximum timer time of two hours. It also does well in getting rid of mold, viruses, and bacteria. By this, this machine can be used virtually everywhere: in cars, at home, or in big apartments.

Pros
  • It is portable
  • Very durable and economical
  • Includes an exchange warranty of three years
  • Has high ozone output
Cons
  • The knob is more of plastic

8. Honda EU2000I – Best Home Generator for the Money

Best Home Generator for the MoneyBeing able to operate different appliances, the Honda EU2000I – Best Home Generator for the Money is great for use in the home, for camping or on a site. It operates at 53-59 dBA, therefore ensuring the generator is quiet enough. It weighs just 46 pounds, making it a lightweight and portable machine.

Its fuel efficiency is also great as one full tank runs for about 3.4 -8.1 hours. Great for overnight work, the inverter technology of Honda means it offers stable and clean power in a light, small unit. It also offers clean and consistent power for C-pap machines, microwaves, and hair dryers.

Pros
  • Easy to service and very dependable
  • It only needs a single pull to start
  • Good generator overall
Cons
  • It would be better if it had a fuel shut off

9. WEN 56125i Super Quiet – Best Quiet Generator for Home use

Best Quiet Generator for Home useThe WEN 56125i Super Quiet – Best Quiet Generator for Home use works with 51 decibels making it operate very quietly. Asides this, it is also safe for tablets, cell phones, laptops as well as other electronics that may be vulnerable as a result of overloading. Its fuel tank is very efficient as it offers more than five hours of power.

It also has an eco-mode throttle that helps in saving gasoline. With this feature, the generator can detect anytime items are unplugged or plugged, helping it to manage the consumption of fuel accordingly. Low-fuel and low-oil settings mean the engine shuts off automatically for safety, as well as an indicator light that updates you on the recent development.

Pros
  • Spark arrestor is USDA-approved
  • Features USB ports
  • Has a parallel connection function
  • Presence of eco-mode to conserve fuel
Cons
  • Has fuel draining problems
  • The fuel tank has low capacity

10. Champion 3400-Watt – Best Portable Propane Home Generator 

Best Portable Propane Home Generator The Champion 3400-Watt – Best Portable Propane Home Generator has different uses, due to its versatility. It is useful for camping as well as outdoor activities. It operates silently at 59 decibels and for durability, it features an iron cast sleeve.

It is also CARB compliant and EPA certified, and it has a 3-year warranty from the purchase date. It has a dual fuel system, which means you can use it with either gasoline or propane. It also has a shut-off sensor in cases of low oil and also alerts you when it’s running out of fuel, so it can be replaced.

Pros
  • Operates silently
  • Easily maneuvered
  • It has different outlets
  • Cold Start Technology 
  • Long autonomy
Cons
  • Some users complained about the battery
  • Some customers complained about the starting function of the generator.

Buying Guide

Types of Generators

Generators come in three major types: standby, inverter, and portable. Despite these differences, they all undergo similar maintenance to ensure their long-lasting use.

  • Inverter Generator
  • Portable Generator
  • Standby Generator

Inverter Generator

Inverter generators utilize an engine that is connected to an alternator to aid AC power production. In contrast to other generators, it uses a rectifier to transform AC to DC power. Below are some characteristics of inverter generators

  • Usually lightweight and little
  • Generates electricity after passing through three phases 
  • Depends on high-tech magnets
  • The flow of current to a piece of equipment or appliance is maintained  
  • Fits into a boat, RV or car
  • AC can be adjusted to any frequency and voltage when used with the right equipment. 

Portable Generator

Portable generators are usually powered by diesel fuel or gas and provide electrical power temporarily. Below are some characteristics associated with these generators

  • Can power lights and tools
  • The speed of the engine is controlled with a governor
  • It can be wired into the subpanels of a facility
  • Its sockets can be used in connecting electrical tools or appliances.
  • This model can be utilized in remote sites
  • Conducts electricity using a combustion engine
  • Can power a freezer, television, and fridge

Standby Generator

Standby generators operate via an automatic transfer switch that orders it to power a device anytime there is power loss. Below are some of the standby generator features to note.

  • Monitors utility power constantly
  • Operates on either natural gas or propane
  • Two components present: an automatic transfer switch and a standby generator
  • Automatic operation
  • Power protection delivered permanently
  • Within seconds, it senses a loss of power and immediately boots up electricity to ensure the power loss is not felt for long
  • Carries out automatic self-tests weekly to tell if it reacts properly to a power loss
  • Runs on type of fuel already in the home or facility
  • Utilized in safety systems  

Features to consider when Buying a Generator for your Home

Snow, rain, or wind should not keep your home dark. Below are important things to consider before buying a generator that suits your needs

Automatic Start

Automatic start means your generator comes on as power goes off without you doing anything. This is a great feature in cases where your work is far from home or you travel a lot and can get there in time in an emergency.

Low-CO Engine

This is for added safety. Brands like Ryobi are using this feature to avoid the risk of CO poisoning

Fuel Gauge

In situations of long blackouts, you may check the quantity of fuel remaining in your generator; this tells you the number of hours your generator could work. The surprising fact here is that not all generators feature a fuel gauge.

Multiple Outlets 

Four or more outlets are best to help spread the load. Though we only recommend this when you’re far away.

Detachable Console

The Detachable console helps in connecting your appliance to the generator without the running of extension cords that could be risky

Low-Oil Shutoff

The generator automatically shuts down when the oil drops below minimal levels to prevent damage to the engine. This feature comes as a standard in most stationary generators; however, it has become very common on portables.

Alternative Fuel Capacity

Most generators only run using gasoline. Although some are equipped to run while using a natural gas line or a propane tank, kits can be used to convert others.

Electric Start

Some portable models feature a push-button option that’s less stressful compared to pull-starting the machine’s engine. If there’s no battery, just include the additional cost (about $50). Automatic start is usually found in the stationary models.  

Removable Console

The removable console helps in connecting appliances to the generator without exposing yourself to any risk from extension cords.

Automatic CO Shutoff

This safety feature shuts down the engine automatically if some level of deadly gas is detected by the CO sensor.   

Wheels

In some cases, even the very light generators could weight about 100 pounds or even more. Normally, generators come with wheels, because it is a standard feature. Ensure your generator has this, or it might cost you additional cash adding them. 

Related Questions

Do generators make noise?

In most cases, generators are noisy. Some manufacturers have suggested that ear protection should be worn anytime you working very close to a generator. If you want a quieter option, you can go for the inverter generators.

Are generators safe?

Generators are safe if some precautions are observed.  The most important is that the generator should be set at about 20 feet distance from your house, at least. The exhaust should also be pointed away from your place of residence. Disregarding this means you are opening your home to the spread of carbon monoxide, a very poisonous gas.  

Will running a generator cost much?

Most of the best generators out there will run for about 18 hours on just one gasoline tank. Since normal places like the United States hardly lose power (let’s say once or twice yearly for just three hours), then the cost of running the equipment shouldn’t be a problem. When the case becomes long-term (power outage for longer periods), it may become expensive to run the generator continuously. Also, losing your fully stocked freezer could be expensive – and staying cool/warm as well as having a way to charge your device are very important things to put in mind.  

Is Generator maintenance necessary?

Yes, it is important! If your unit is not well maintained, there’s a high probability that its working period will be shortened drastically. Also, you could be exposing yourself to danger. Go through the manual that comes with your unit and stick to the time dates the unit needs to be checked.

Conclusion

You never can tell when your source of electricity will serve you, as situations may arise which will require the use of a generator. Whatever type you choose depends on what you intend using it for. The most important thing is how many watts the generator can push continually. When buying the best home generator for your home, you should check their power output.

Most manufacturers use a marketing strategy of listing the starting watts.  Standby generators are the most reliable ones. Portable generators are great as well, but they have a limiting factor, which is how many items can be held with the supplied power. If you’re considering your budget, then it’s advisable to go for portable ones because standby models could be expensive and everyone cannot need a big generator. Generators of this type are usually utilized for commercial purposes. A small and portable generator is okay for a household.  

Complete Guide: 10 Best Home Generators to Buy in 2020

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