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Finding The Best Home Generator To Keep Your Home Running In 2020

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Last Updated: 22 July 2020
home backup generator

A power blackout can happen at least-expected times. And they most often occur when you are in the middle of important assignments. Sounds familiar?

A home backup generator is an excellent investment if:

  • You live in a neighborhood where power outages are frequent.
  • Or you live in a place that is prone to natural disasters like wildfires, hurricanes, earthquakes, etc., which can throw the power grid in your area out of gear easily.

Home generators let you complete all important tasks in time before power is restored. The four necessary qualities are durability, convenience, efficiency, and affordability. Alas! All home generators for power outages are not made the same.

A whole-home generator must:

  • Meet all your home needs.
  • Be the best value for your money.

Shopping for the best home generator requires extensive research. You cannot settle down for anything that catches your fancy. This intensively-researched guide is a step forward in the right direction. You will find yourself in a much better place to choose the best home standby generator for yourself after you finish reading it.

TOP 10 Best Home Generator: Comparison Chart

Top Hybrid Generator
DuroMax XP4850EH
Most Safe
WEN 56200i
Generac GP3000i
Rainier R4400DF
DuroMax XP12000EH
DuroMax XP4850EH 4850 watt Dual Fuel Hybrid generator with Electric Start
WEN 56200i 2000-Watt Gas Powered Portable Inverter Generator, CARB Compliant
Generac 7129 GP3000i Inverter Generator
Rainier R4400DF Dual Fuel (Gas and Propane) Portable Generator with Electric Start - 4400 Peak Watts & 3600 Rated Watts - CARB Compliant
DuroMax XP12000EH 12000-Watt 18 HP Portable Dual Fuel Electric Start Generator,Blue and Black
$499.00
$432.16
$809.10
Price not available
$2,749.99
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Top Hybrid Generator
DuroMax XP4850EH
DuroMax XP4850EH 4850 watt Dual Fuel Hybrid generator with Electric Start
$499.00
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Most Safe
WEN 56200i
WEN 56200i 2000-Watt Gas Powered Portable Inverter Generator, CARB Compliant
$432.16
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Generac GP3000i
Generac 7129 GP3000i Inverter Generator
$809.10
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Rainier R4400DF
Rainier R4400DF Dual Fuel (Gas and Propane) Portable Generator with Electric Start - 4400 Peak Watts & 3600 Rated Watts - CARB Compliant
Price not available
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DuroMax XP12000EH
DuroMax XP12000EH 12000-Watt 18 HP Portable Dual Fuel Electric Start Generator,Blue and Black
$2,749.99
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Champion 76533
Westinghouse WGen7500
WEN GN6000
WEN DF475T
DuroStar DS4000S
Champion 3800-Watt Dual Fuel RV Ready Portable Generator with Electric Start
Westinghouse WGen7500 Portable Generator with Remote Electric Start - 7500 Rated Watts & 9500 Peak Watts - Gas Powered - CARB Compliant - Transfer Switch Ready
WEN GN6000 6000-Watt RV-Ready Portable Generator with Wheel Kit, CARB Compliant, Black
WEN DF475T Dual Fuel 120V/240V Portable Generator with Electric Start Transfer Switch Ready, 4750-Watt, CARB Compliant
DuroStar DS4000S 4000 Watt Portable Recoil Start Gas Fuel Generator
$666.54
$924.70
$530.09
$785.99
Price not available
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147 Reviews
1,233 Reviews
Champion 76533
Champion 3800-Watt Dual Fuel RV Ready Portable Generator with Electric Start
$666.54
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Westinghouse WGen7500
Westinghouse WGen7500 Portable Generator with Remote Electric Start - 7500 Rated Watts & 9500 Peak Watts - Gas Powered - CARB Compliant - Transfer Switch Ready
$924.70
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WEN GN6000
WEN GN6000 6000-Watt RV-Ready Portable Generator with Wheel Kit, CARB Compliant, Black
$530.09
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WEN DF475T
WEN DF475T Dual Fuel 120V/240V Portable Generator with Electric Start Transfer Switch Ready, 4750-Watt, CARB Compliant
$785.99
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147 Reviews
DuroStar DS4000S
DuroStar DS4000S 4000 Watt Portable Recoil Start Gas Fuel Generator
Price not available
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1,233 Reviews

Best Overall: DuroMax DuroMax XP4850EH Review

DuroMax XP4850EH

It is not easy to come across a home generator that is efficient to the hilt as well as provides ample choices to the users. Topping our list is DuroMax with its powerful DuroMax engine featuring 7 HP, 212 cc, and dual-fuel technology that can run on propane as well as gasoline. The freedom to choose between the fuels is completely in your hands!

DuroMax MX2 technology enables it to generate a lot of power and can handle very heavy loads from sensitive appliances too.

Any list that collates the best generator for a home power outage is incomplete without a mention of DuroMax. It is EPA and CARB approved in 50 US states.

Why We Like It?

  • Powerful 7HP engine
  • Electric start
  • Camping as well as RV ready

The Most Quiet Home Generator: WEN 56200i Review

WEN 56200i

This portable inverter generator is certified to be the quietest on the market. If you do not believe us, you could look up in the report by the US Department of Health and Human Services that confirms that the generator is capable of extremely quiet operation that can be likened to the sound of a normal conversation!

This EPA III and CARB compliant inverter runs on a 79.7 cc 4-stroke OHV engine generating high surge power of 200 watts. It is a great addition to campsites, construction sites, and places of frequent outages.

This one generates clean power and is exceptionally safe to operate. It also minimizes damage to sensitive electronic equipment.

Why We Like It?

  • Weatherproof
  • Durable and water-resistant
  • Lightweight and therefore very portable

Best Affordable Home Generator: Generac GP3000i Review

Sale
Generac GP3000i

Our reviewing list for the best inverters will be deemed incomplete if we will not talk about Generac. This popular brand is not simply famous for nothing!

The super quiet inverter generator with the help of its PowerRush technology delivers more than 50 percent of starting capacity off its 3000 watts. To put it in a nutshell, it allows you to stretch yourself and do as much as you can in the littlest. It reduces noise pollution and gives out optimum performance.

The company is popular for generating cleaner energy. It has USB outlets. You can easily connect two devices so that you can get double power (parallel-ready)

Why We Like It?

  • Easy to carry
  • Inbuilt handle
  • Lightweight and 60 pounds only.

Affordable Dual Fuel Inverter Generator: Rainier R4400DF Review

Rainier R4400DF

We know for sure that customers around the world are lapping up on dual fuel generators because it gives them an immense amount of choice. This CARB compliant portable generator has an electric start and is one of the most highly rated and reviewed products. It has a 4-gallon propane fuel gauge to check on the quantity of the gas as well as auto shut off feature when the oil is low. This is how it effectively stops potential damage to its machinery and saves lots of your hard-earned cash.

The tech support is exceptionally good. It is easy to assemble, portable, compact, and priced just right.

Pros

  • Comes with electric start
  • VFT display that shows volt, frequency and lifetime hours reading
  • Comes with 3 years limited warranty

Cons

  • At 105 pounds, it may feel heavy for you

Editor’s Choice: DuroMax XP12000EH Review

DuroMax XP12000EH

This inverter with a whopping starting wattage of 12000 and a running of 9500 watts is something that belongs to a different league altogether. The stuff comes with the proprietary 18HP OHV engine with a huge capacity of 457 cc. The inverter provides a world of choice between propane and natural gas and, in all probability, is one of the wisest investments that you will make. It can take very heavy loads, in turn also being very sensitive to electronically fragile equipment.

Pros

  • Features MX2 technology for maximum power
  • Great value for investment
  • 24/7 helpful customer support.

Cons

  • Looks handy and compact but cannot call it very portable. The wheels are a lifesaver

Out of the Box Ready Inverter: Champion 76533 Review

Sale
Champion 76533

This 3800 wattage dual-fuel powered RV ready portable inverter features a convenient electric start. It uses a proprietary 4 stroke powerful engine with a capacity of 224 cc. The choice of fuel is between gasoline and propane. The starting wattage is 4750 watts, and when on propane, it is 3800 watts. The total run time with a full tank of gasoline is 9 hours, whereas it efficiently runs for a big part of 10.5 hours on a propane tank of 20lb capacity.

Once you use this, you are going to find it hard to find any other brand that comes even close to this. Brand loyalists rate Champion excessively high on their review lists

Pros

  • 4 stroke powerful engine
  • Touch start with push-button electric start
  • 60-hertz frequency

Cons

  • The electric start button will not work without a battery if you are connected to the gas pipeline.

Great For Full Home: Westinghouse WGen7500 Review

Westinghouse WGen7500

of generating 7500 rated watts and 9500 peak watts of power. It is gasoline-powered and approved by the CARB. It features a fuel gauge, key fob, an electrical recoil start button, and a whopping 16 hours of run time only on a stash of 6.6 gallons of fuel.

It comes with 2 GFCI or Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters and a 120 V/240 V twist-lock receptacle.

The generator comes with an awesome 3 years limited warranty, it is easy to assemble, and a complete value for every dollar spent on it.

Pros

  • Power outlets have rubber covers for safety
  • 420 cc 4 -stroke engine
  • Auto shut off

Cons

  • Nothing at all

Great Portability: WEN GN6000 Review

WEN GN6000

This one may not be out of the box ready, but there is only minimal assembly to be done. The inverter features an electric start button and has one of a kind digital display that effectively displays the oil level and gently directs maintenance schedules. The auto shut off feature is a great add-on when the oil level is too low. Then there is an automatic voltage regulator and overload protection for safety. Both EPA III and CARB compliance does not come so easily unless the generator is something to be reckoned with.

The gen is easy to install and is affordable. It is lightweight and quiet – what more can anyone want!

Pros

  • Wheel Kit
  • Foldable handles
  • Space-saving

Cons

  • Has a manual choke only

Versatile & Convenient: WEN DF475T Review

WEN DF475T
147 Reviews
WEN DF475T

The dual-fuel DF475T from Wen is a popular model across all websites. We tried finding one in the physical stores but with no luck. We are told the stocks do not last more than a few hours.

The transfer ready switch is a great draw. It is practically compliant on all the counts with EPA III and CARB and can give out a surge power of 4750 watts. There is a 120 V and 240 V quick twist transfer switching and an emergency backup too.

<>There are 120 V DC plugs that are designed to look like the cigarette lighter; then there is oil and a set of wheels, foldable handles, and a 47 inches LPG house in the box with the manual.

Pros

  • Engine is 224 cc 4 stroke with a key fob
  • 4 gallons capacity of the tank gives 11 hours max
  • Comes with 2 years limited warranty

Cons

  • The device is quiet except the gas function that is a bit noisier.

Good Power Panel: DuroStar DS4000S Review

DuroStar DS4000S
1,233 Reviews
DuroStar DS4000S

DS4000S is a gas-powered model of inverters and is RV and campsite ready. It comes in a very pleasing yellow and black color combination that looks smart and casual at the same time. It gels into the background effortlessly.

The gen features a super powerful engine that is proprietary with 7 HP power and air-cooled OHV engine. It also has an auto shut off button once it detects a low level of oil. The inverter is a power horse and can do multiple jobs in the sense that it can power all your high load appliances well looking after your sensitive ones too.

There are 2 120 volts household outlets and a single 120 V 30 amperes twist-lock outlet for all your generator needs.

Pros

  • Well stocked power panel
  • EPA III and CARB compliance
  • Includes a tank with a capacity of 3.96 gallons

Cons

  • The stuff is extraordinarily good. No complaints really

Buyer’s Guide: All You Need to Know About The Best Home Generator

How Does A Home Generator Work

How Does A Home Generator Work
  • Automatic home generators kick in automatically as soon as it detects a power outage. A manual electricity generator for the home will need you to manually on and off it if your home goes out of the power grid.
  • The full home generators either work on natural gas or LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas).
  • The best standby generator for home use needs to be connected to two things; first to the indoor home electrical wiring system and secondly to the fuel source.
  • The auto-transfer switch of the best home generator will start itself when it detects that there is a blackout. When the power is restored, it also senses and turns itself off. The process of auto-switching on and off is so seamless that it takes less than half a minute for it to toggle.

Inverter Generator Vs Regular Generator

A regular portable generator is designed with a motor to run 3600 Rpm (rotations per minute) to generate 120 volts and at a frequency of 60 Hertz. The problem, however, is that not all whole house generators can maintain a steady output of 3600 rpm. This is the main reason why there is a lot of voltage fluctuations causing what is called harmonic distortion that can harm costly electronic devices such as PCs, camera and phone chargers, microwave ovens, etc. the harmonic distortions are also one of the reasons why a regular portable generator is very noisy.

The Inverter generator, on the other hands, has slightly more complicated working than the regular one even though they are also capable of an output of 120 volts and 60 hertz only. The whole house generator has more parts, and in addition to a fuel tank, they need to draw energy from a battery. They also have an alternator and an inverter.

The high-frequency AC power from the engine first gets converted into DC by the alternator. This DC is again turned into AC by the inverter. These extra steps in the production of electricity help in producing more stable electricity without harmonic distortions that is on par with the main currents. The best home generator 2020 produces cleaner electricity efficiently without being too noisy.

What Size Generator Do I Need For My Home

Inverter Generator Vs Regular Generator

You may have often wondered how big of a generator do I need to make sure that power resumes seamlessly in case of an outage. You want to invest in a generator that has enough wattage to power your whole house. For instance, if you have a house that is 2900 to 3000 square-feet with a lot of devices and gadgets, you will surely need a power generator for home with a power turnout of minimum of 30 KW (kilowatts).

In the same breath, per our home generators reviews, if you are looking to minimum power a few equipment/gadgets only till the mains power resumes, 20 kilowatts should be enough.

Protip: It is a good idea to make a list of all the appliances that you want to back up with the in-home generator; For instance, fridge, heaters, cold storage, and the electric furnace, etc.

Are Home Generators Worth It?

After checking on the prices, we are sure you are asking yourself this.

Consider having your home in the epicenter of a natural disaster, such as a hurricane or a particularly strong cyclone that can put your entire neighborhood out of the power grid. This could mean a sudden rupture of your normal life, along with spoiled food, busted home pipelines, and no form of communication through phones or the internet.

All this is not as serious as medical emergencies that you could face if you had seniors and children living with you. Statistics point to the fact that in any given week in America, 3 to 3.5 million people temporarily abandon their home to live in hotels. In this scenario, the best portable generator makes it a proposition worth considering. It may drill a small hole in your pocket, but the benefits will soon outweigh the expenses.

How To Choose The Best Home Generator

Size

There are four sizes of generators:

  • Small that can be plugged to any device individually
  • Medium that can run some of the main appliances efficiently
  • Large that can power one or two rooms and some appliances
  • Extra-large that can power the entire home

Wattage

  • Small that is capable of generating 2000 to 7000 watts
  • Medium that can generate 1000 to 5000 watts
  • Large will be able to give you 6000 to 8000 watts
  • Extra-large has a neat range of 10000 to 25000 watts

Fuel Type

What Size Generator Do I Need For My Home
  • Propane. Otherwise called LPG, it is one of the cleanest burning fuels today with an unending shelf life. It can be stored in barrels. It is more energy-efficient than a gas generator for home and lesser than the best diesel generator for home use.
  • Diesel. It is a stable fuel and less volatile. It carries a lot of energy. It is reliable and cost-effective too. Diesel generators are easier to maintain because there is no spark plug.
  • Natural Gas. Is one of the cost-effective and widely available fuels, but it carries lesser energy. Natural gas generators for homes are very popular nevertheless because users do not need to store it in tanks and barrels. They can use it conveniently from the pipelines.
  • Dual Fuel Generator. These generators are called hybrid, and with a simple addition of a conversion kit, you can choose to change the fuel type that they run on. Click here to know the best dual fuel generator today.

Fuel Consumption

Whole house generators consume natural gas or Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG). Certain models of standby generators can also be connected to your area line of natural gas fitted with propane tanks.

Ease Of Installation

Are Home Generators Worth It

If you are an expert in electrical installation, you may go ahead and DIY your generator. But it is always suggested that you call in a professional installation or contact the company to install it for you. Installation charges are always extra, but you could talk to the retailer and see if he can do it for free.

Noise Level

If you are looking for a quiet home generator, we highly recommend that you go in for the inverter generator which has lesser harmonic disruptions and consequently less noisy.

Safety

  • Read the manufacturer’s instructions and manual closely before attempting self-installation. Hire a professional if your knowledge is limited.
  • Leave five to fifteen feet space around the generator for proper air supply and keep the unit outdoors always.
  • Make sure there are no open flames near it.
  • Install it on a flat, leveled surface.
  • Make sure it is grounded well.
  • Clean and maintain it routinely keeping dirt, moisture and vapor away.
  • Steer away from overfilling fuel as it may expand and start a fire.
  • Do not exceed its maximum load capacity.

Extra Features

Some of the desired features are:

  • Automatic start when the outage happens
  • Electrical start as opposed to pull-start
  • Wheels under it for easy portability
  • Fuel gauge to know the remaining fuel
  • Noise-free operation
  • Removable console to add more connections
  • Ability to add extra power outlets
  • Addition of conversion kits or using other/combination of fuels

Warranty

How To Choose The Best Home Generator

Most of the built-in home generators on the market today comes with a comprehensive limited warranty spanning anywhere between 3 and 5 years. They cover faulty generator parts, labor, and traveling without any questions asked as long as you can furnish them with the retail bill with the date of purchase and the dealer’s stamp and signature.

Price

As a rule, remember that the bigger the generator’s capacity, the costlier it will be.

  • A small portable gen-set will cost you around $200
  • A mid-sized will set you behind by $400
  • A large one will start at $800 and
  • Extra-large ones will begin at $2000 only and can go up to $20,000

Best Home Generator Types

Standby

This is considered to be the best generator for home power outage. They are enclosed permanent generators for homes that need outdoor installation. It connects directly to the electrical system in your house, and you can elect if it needs to power some or all of the appliances. It mostly runs on natural gas or LPG. The liquid-cooled model is more preferable than the air-cooled one because the former generates more power. It can generate between 10000 and 25000 watts and can cost in the range of $2000 to $20,000.

Portable

Have you seen those yellow and red generators that they use at fairs and fetes? That is what we are referring to as the best home emergency generators. They are not enclosed fully, and they are smaller than standby. They are portable too. The smaller ones can be lifted, and slightly larger ones have wheels underneath them. The propane generator for home has to be sheltered from nature and placed at least 15 feet away from home. They are capable of generating 3000 to 10000 watt and can cost from $400 to $2000.

Inverter

These are the silent generators for home use. Designed to be lightweight as well as compact, they are easily portable and ideal for retreats and camping. They generate clean energy without harmonic distortions and are therefore good for running sensitive appliances. You can even hook it up with your car’s batteries! Expect power in the range of 2000 to 7000 watts and be set back by $300 to $3000 only.

Best Home Generator FAQ

Best Home Generator Types

How To Install A Standby Generator At Home

A standby generator can be connected to the mains switch via an automatic or a manual transfer switch. To connect your generator to the power home, you will need first to isolate the generator power from the electrical grid and then connect it to the transfer switch. One of the lines will be needed to connect to the source of fuel too. It is a good idea to hire professionals to install the generator unless you are a confident electrician and plumber, and you want to go the DIY way.

Is A Whole House Generator Tax Deductible?

There are three case scenarios in which you may claim partial or total tax deductions:

Scenario 1: if you purchase the best whole-home generator for medical needs such as a dialysis machine or a cpap device, you may have tax deductions if you will furnish a letter from the doctor saying that.

Scenario 2: you can recover a part of your capital gains tax when you resell your house, and the installation of top rated home generators boosts your sale value.

Scenario 3: if you have insulated your home in a bid to make it environmentally friendly, you will automatically be up for grants, subsidies, and other non-taxable deductions under the State’s environment projects.

Can I Run My Generator All Night?

Yes, you can run your generator all night. Most natural gas power generators for homes are designed to run continuously up to 10 to 12 hours without a break, provided there is enough fuel to last that long.

How Long Can You Run A Generator Continuously?

Home generators are never designed to run continuously and unendingly. Some models can run for 8 hours, 10 hours, 12 hours, and even some days efficiently. In no scenario should you let them run for days on end and in weeks. Most of the home generators will automatically shut off when the fuel tank dries up.

Verdict and Our Recommendation For 2020

Our best pick is DuroMax XP4850EH for the freedom it affords its user to choose between propane and gasoline. It is EPA and CARB approved for installation in 50 states and is out of the box ready to be used at campsites and RVs. It is capable of generating a huge amount of power, which lets it handle a huge load. Users can choose between its 120 V and 240 V power receptacles simultaneously or can opt to use 120V full power exclusively.

With this, we come to the end of the best home generator 2020. Is there a best home generator that you have loved? Tell us about it on homemakerguide. Lots of early bird hampers to be won every month.

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PRODUCTS TESTED BY HomeMakerGuide
How We Tested
We had an interesting time testing all the top rated home generators as part of this exercise. We made sure we had them across the ranges from the costlier ones to the cheap home generators. The above list of the best power houses took us roughly about three months. Each generator was manually checked to see if it lives up to all the specifications that the manufacturer claims. The parameters chosen were affordability, efficiency, portability, and aesthetics.
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