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Did you know that a whole house generator is different from a portable generator? Apparently, most people use these two terms to refer to the same thing. However, a whole house generator is bigger in both size and power, while a portable generator only acts as a backup power source for the most important electronics in your home. In the article below, we shall help you discover the best whole house generator for your needs with the following whole house generator reviews.
But before then, understand that whole house generators have power ranging from 5-22 kilowatts, which is, in turn, enough power to handle all the electronic devices and lighting needs any average home requires. And as you read the following reviews also, be keen to note the slight differences found in every generator, so that in the end you can buy the best generator that will offer the best value for your money.
- Champion Power Equipment 100111
- Watts: 15,000/12,000
- Fuel: gas
- Outlets: four 120V GFCI, one 120V 30A twist lock, one 120/240V 30A twist lock, and one 120/240V 50A
- Includes transfer switch: no
- Weight: 329.6 lbs
- WEN DF1100T
- Watts: 11,000/8,300
- Fuel: gas and LP
- Outlets: four 120V GFCI, one 120V 30A twist lock, one 120V/240V 50A, one 12V DC plug
- Includes transfer switch: no
- Weight: 214 lbs
- DuroMax XP12000E
- Watts: 12,000/9,500
- Fuel: gas
- Outlets: two 120V GFCI, one 120V 30A twist lock, one 120/240V 30A twist lock, 120/240V 50A
- Includes transfer switch: no
- Weight: 222 lbs
- Generac 7676 GP8000E
- Watts: 10,000/8,000
- Fuel: gas
- Outlets: four 120V GFCI, one 120/240V twist lock
- Includes transfer switch: no
- Weight: 198 lbs
- Generac 7043
- Watts: 22kW/19.5kW
- Fuel: natural gas and propane
- Outlets: -
- Includes transfer switch: yes
- Weight: 515 lbs
- Generac 7033
- Watts: 11kW/10kW
- Fuel: natural gas and propane
- Outlets: -
- Includes transfer switch: yes
- Weight: 446 lbs
Top 6 Whole House Generators
DuroMax XP12000E Whole House Generator
The DuroMax XP12000E is a 12,000 watts generator that runs on gas. It’s a portable generator that can be used not only as a home power backup source but also can be taken to a job site or anywhere else where you have a high demand for power. At 12,000 starting watts and 9,500 running watts, it has enough power to light your house and power all other electronics during emergencies. Here are its other features.
- High power output. This 12,00o wattage produced by this generator is more commonly found in home standby generators. However, this unit comes in a portable package, allowing you to enjoy the best of both worlds.
- Powerful engine. This whole house generator is equipped with a 457cc OHV engine that delivers the powerful performance that is capable of handling multiple jobs at once. For example, you could simultaneously power multiple high voltage appliances or heavy duty tools.
- Efficient operation. The generator is equipped with idle control technology, which lowers the engine’s RPMs whenever there’s less load. This reduces fuel usage and noise.
- MX2 technology. You can use either 120V and 240V simultaneously or if you want maximum power, only 120V.
- Has long run time. The generator comes with a large fuel tank that can hold 8.3 gallons of gasoline. While maintaining half load, you’ll be able to run the generator for up to 8.83 hours.
- Fully featured control panel. It offers a wide selection of outlets. Among them are two 120V household GFCI outlets, one 120V 30A twist lock outlet, one 120/240V 30A twist lock outlet, and one 120/240V 50A heavy duty outlet. And the generator can be connected to a manual transfer switch. Moreover, the control panel includes a voltmeter and a 12V DC outlet that can be used for charging external batteries.
- Portable. Despite weighing 217 pounds, this whole house generator is portable. You won’t be able to carry it around but you will be able to wheel it. It comes equipped with heavy duty wheels and two handles that fold up whenever you need to transport the unit.
- EPA and CARB certified. This heavy duty generator complies with the emission standards of both EPA and CARB, so you can be sure that the generator has been made as environmentally friendly as possible. It also means that you can buy this generator in all 50 states.
Champion Power Equipment 100111
The Champion Power Equipment 100111 is also a portable unit that can be used as a whole house generator. It delivers even more power than the above mentioned DuroMax model. It produces 15,000 starting watts and 12,000 running watts, which is enough to power multiple home appliances. This makes it perfect for home backup power. So this is a machine anyone in need of a whole house generator should consider buying.
- Powerful engine. The generator features a 717cc V-Twin engine. It produces a high power output that can handle multiple power tools or multiple large appliances at once.
- Easy start. This unit includes a battery and an electric start. You turn it on by just flipping the toggle switch. Moreover, with the built-in Cold Start technology, the generator offers a reliable start even in cold weather.
- Made for long lasting performance. The unit features an open design with the internal components sitting inside a heavy duty steel frame. It also features a built-in surge protector, which shuts down the generator in case of an overload. This helps keep your electrical devices and appliances safe even when there’s a spike in voltage. Moreover, there’s a low oil shutoff, so if the oil falls below a certain level, the system will automatically shut down the engine.
- A good selection of outlets. They include four 120V household outlets, one 120V 30A twist lock, one 120/240V 30A twist lock, and one 120/240V 50A outlet. You can also connect a manual transfer switch, though it’s not included. So there are seven outlets in total and all of them have covers for protection, keeping your equipment safe.
- The capacity of the fuel tank is 10.9 gallons of gasoline. This provides about 9 hours of run time at half load. As for the noise level, it’s 78 dBA. So it’s not the quietest generator. However, this noise level is expected considering the power output it produces.
- The control panel features an Intelligauge display. It allows you to keep track of voltage, frequency, and operating hours.
- Portable design. Even though this is a bulky unit that weighs 329.6 pounds, it still offers portability. It comes with a wheel kit and once installed, it makes it easier to move the generator around. Moreover, the unit features a handle that can fold down when you’re not transporting the generator. On top of that, the generator is designed with a lifting hook on top of the unit. It makes it easier to load and unload the generator, for example, in and out of your car.
- EPA and CARB compliant. This whole house generator is designed with low emissions in mind and it has shown to meet EPA and CARB standards.
WEN DF1100T Whole House Generator
The WEN DF1100T generator offers a slightly lower power output, though it’s still plenty enough to be used as a whole house generator in a smaller home. So if you’re looking for a smaller generator with a maximum output of 11,000 watts, this is one of the top recommendations. Read below a list of its features and benefits.
- Dual fuel capability. What sets this generator apart from other products on this list of best whole house generators is that it comes with dual fuel capability. This means that you can choose whether to use gasoline or propane as the fuel source. The product comes with a 47 inches LPG hose, so it’s ready for an immediate connection to your propane tank. Then you simply switch to the preferred fuel source, turn the key for the electric start, and the generator is ready to power your devices and appliances.
- Powerful engine. This generator is equipped with a 457cc engine that delivers 11,000 starting watts and 8,300 running watts when powered by gasoline and 9,500 starting watts and 7,500 running watts when powered by propane. With this amount of power, you’ll be able to run your lights, refrigerator, air conditioning unit or heater, power tools, and other essentials.
- Long run time. The generator includes a gas tank, but a propane tank you would have to purchase separately. However, the capacity of the included gas tank is 6.6 gallons, the size of which in combination with the efficiency of the engine provides up to 8.5 hours of run time at half load.
- Includes a selection of outlets. There are four 120V household outlets, one 120V 30A twist lock outlet, one 120/240V 50A twist lock outlet, and one 12V DC outlet. Moreover, this generator is perfect for use as a home backup power source since you can simply plug your transfer switch into the 30A twist lock outlet.
- Multimeter. Being able to monitor the performance of the generator makes it easier to schedule its maintenance.
- Portable design. This whole house generator comes in a space saving, portable design. It is bulky and weighs 214 pounds. However, since it comes with a wheel kit and handles that fold down for more compact storage, it’s still portable and can be taken camping, tailgating, or to a job site.
- CARB and EPAIII compliant.
Generac 7676 GP8000E Whole House Generator
The Generac GP8000E generator is a powerful and reliable machine that is common in homes and other locations where backup power is needed. With its 10,000 starting watts and 8,000 running watts, this generator is capable keep your family warm or cool and your electronics running all night long. Read the features below to understand more about why this machine could be your perfect companion for the next power outage.
- Durable design. The whole house generator is equipped with a few features that provide long lasting performance. One of them is the 1-1/4 inches steel tube that cradles the internal components. The unit is also equipped with a durable steel fuel tank and heavy duty wheels. Other features that prolong the life of this generator include an engine with splash lubrication and a low oil shutdown.
- Powerful performance. This generator uses Generac’s patented PowerRush technology. Thanks to this advanced technology, the unit can deliver over 30% more power. This means that when there’s demand, it can increase electrical current above the rated output, which is perfect for starting high power demand electric motors.
- Electric start. You can easily start the operation of the generator by simply pressing a button.
- Variety of outlets. The unit includes two 120V 5-20R duplex outlets and one 120/240V L14-30R twist lock outlet. However, the downside of this Generac generator is that does not come with an outlet for a transfer switch.
- Large capacity fuel tank. This high output generator is equipped with a gas tank that has a capacity of 7.9 gallons. With this capacity and the generator’s efficient performance, you can have it running for up to 10 hours at half load. Moreover, you can keep track of the fuel level by looking at the provided fuel gauge.
- Portable. Even though this generator is not lightweight, it’s still portable. It comes with wheels and a foldable handle, so even though it weighs 198 pounds, you can still much effort move it from one place to another.
- machine’s power is safe enough to handle sophisticated electronics from damage.
- Quiet Operation. The generator operates quietly, even when handling your central air system or other big electronics in your home.
- Easy to maintain. To make it easier for the user to schedule maintenance, the generator comes with an hour meter so that you can monitor the unit’s performance.
Generac 7043 Home Standby Generator
If you’re looking for the most powerful whole house generator, then the top recommendation is the Generac 7043 model. This is the best home standby generator that can provide automatic backup power for your home in case of an emergency. Read below however to get a clear picture of why this generator could be a worthwhile investment in your home.
- Durable design. All the internal components of the generator sit inside a durable all-aluminum enclosure that protects it from all weather conditions. The metal also features a powder coated finish, which makes it resistant to corrosion.
- Reliable power. This generator offers 22kW/19.5kW, which is enough to power the entire electrical system of a house. It can provide power for your heating, cooling, lights, and other daily essentials.
- True Power technology. The power produced by the generator has less than 5% total harmonic distortion. This means that it delivers high quality power that is clean and stable, which is ideal for sensitive electronics.
- G-Force engine. The generator is equipped with a pressure-lubricated engine that is designed to handle the rigorous operation. This results in more reliable performance, longer life of the engine with less routine maintenance.
- Includes a transfer switch. The generator comes with a smart 200 amp NMEA 3 transfer switch that is rated for both indoor and outdoor use. This transfer switch provides whole house protection.
- You can choose to run it either on natural gas or propane.
- This whole house generator is backed by a 5 years limited warranty.
Generac offers another great air cooled home standby generator, but with lower power output. This unit can deliver 11kW on liquid propane and 10kW on natural gas. It shares many of the features of the Generac 7043 model, except for the less powerful engine and lower price.
- Strong and durable construction. Similar to the previously mentioned Generac generator, this model also comes in a design with an all-aluminum enclosure. It’s powder coated for corrosion resistance and has good protection against weather elements, such as wind and rain.
- Powerful performance. Generac G-Force engine is capable of meeting high power needs. It might not be the most powerful generator on the market but it’s powerful enough for small to medium sized homes. The engine also requires minimum maintenance due to its pressure lubricated design.
- True Power technology. This generator is designed to power any of your electronics, sensitive ones included. For this, it comes with True Power technology, which makes the supplied electricity stable and clean. It results in power quality that features less than 5% THD.
- Provides complete home protection. The generator includes a 200 amp, NMEA 3 automatic transfer switch. It’s an outdoor rated transfer switch as it’s made with an aluminum enclosure to protect it against weather elements.
- LCD display. You can monitor the generator’s performance and schedule maintenance by checking the provided LCD display.
- Quiet operation. When the generator is running, it produces about 63 decibels of the noise level. Its quiet operation is definitely a benefit for those who are buying the whole house generator for residential use.
- Comes with a 5-year limited warranty.
Guide to Choosing the Best Whole House Generator
There is nothing as regrettable as buying an important home use machine in a haste. In the case of whole house generators, for instance, you will probably buy an overpriced generator, or buy a generator that won’t serve you accordingly. To avoid such a scenario, therefore, it is important to understand the basics of whole house generators, so that you will, in turn, be prepared to pick the most ideal machine to serve you during power outages.
What matters the most during an outage? Before paying for a generator, list all the electronics or house needs that matter to your family the most. If it is your refrigerator, for instance, list it down together with the wattage it requires to stay on. Once you have a conclusive list of all the things you need a generator for, you can then start thinking of the overall generator’s wattage you might need. However, note that there are certain generators that falter with every increase in power needs, which is why reliability should come to your mind next.
Having a generator you can rely on for all your home’s power needs is important, but then, how do you know what generator will be reliable? Usually, most generators that can supply 8 kilowatts or more could handle the 200Amp most American homes need for power. On the other hand, other aspects of the generator such as its construction and response time are equally important factors. This means therefore that while you look for a reliable machine; check the power, the response time as well as a construction that could withstand tough weather conditions when you need it most.
A good modern generator should have certain features like an electric start or an alternate fuel capacity. In fact, most whole house generators are convenient enough not to require a start-up mechanism of any kind. The best rated whole house generator, for instance, most probably operates on a hands free mechanism. It also features attachments like a pre-wired transfer switch to make your installation work easy. Looking closely at such features is what helps you end with the best machine for your budget.
Finally, the best generators should be safe for all your electronics. It should also be safe to be installed near your house, although this should probably be done by a certified professional. All in all, the end goal while look for a good whole house generator should be to find a machine that will serve all your needs, last for long and a machine that won’t make you spend hundreds of dollars every year on its maintenance.
Whole House Generator Advantages
- Unlike a portable generator, whole house generators don’t need to be rolled out from storage, hooked up to a natural gas line or get started with a manual mechanism. On the contrary, whole house generators provide you all the benefits and convenience you probably wish portable generators offered. Below are some of them.
- Whole house generators provide greater power than most portable generators- The provided power starting from 5 Kilowatts and could go as high as 100 watts. This makes them a far better option during prolonged power outages, or where you need almost every electronic device and light powered.
- Automatic Controlled systems-Most whole house generators don’t need to be powered normal power gets disrupted. Instead, they power automatically and switch off immediately normal power is restored.
- Duel fuel-These generators can be powered by either natural gas or liquid propane to your convenience
- They are permanently installed in place around your house where access to fuel supply is most convenient. This also allows you to place the generator in a place where the risk of exhaust fumes affecting your home will be minimal.
- They are more durable-Compared to the portable models; whole house generators could last for decades. Add that to the fact that they provide more power for longer hours and you will realize why they are such a great investment in any home.
- Today’s whole house generators are quiet and reliable-Some of the best rated whole house generators operate as quietly as your normal central air conditioner.
When looking for the best whole house generator, consider more than just the machine’s wattage level. Most of the modern whole house generators are after all powerful enough to handle your home’s electronics and lighting needs despite their slight differences in wattage levels. Convenience and reliability for instance as you may have seen in the above whole house generator reviews are very important factors. And these factors should also be at the top of your priorities while you plan to buy a generator. Finally, the generator’s value compared to price should further guide you on what machine to select.