Home Standby Generators

When the power runs out, it’s useful to have a backup solution that will ensure you will be able to keep using the electrical items at home no matter how long it takes for the power to come back on. In case there is a powerful storm or a malfunction of the electricity grid, it’s best to have a generator that will continue to supply your house with electricity. Standby generators are the quickest way to restore the power after a blackout and they can provide enough energy for the entire house for days. The following models have proven to be the most reliable in crisis situations.

Top 5 Home Standby Generators Comparison

1. Generac 7043 Guardian Series 2. Generac 7037 Guardian Series 3. Kohler 14RESAL-200SELS 4. Briggs & Stratton 40449 5. Champion 100177
BEST MODEL OUR CHOICE
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Design

Size(D x H x L x W) 25” x 29” x 48” x 25” 25” x 29” x 48” x 25” 48” x 29” x 48” x 26.2” 24” x 35” x 28” x 24” 48” x 25” x 48” x 27”
Weight 458 lbs 515 lbs 467 lbs 272 lbs 300 lbs
Enclosure Material Aluminum Aluminum Composite Steel Steel
Color Beige Beige Beige Gray Beige

Specifications

Manufacturer Generac Generac Kohler Briggs & Stratton Champion
Engine Manufacturer OEM Branded OEM Branded Kohler Briggs & Stratton OEM Branded
Amperage 70 100 100/200 41 35.5
Wattage 16000 22000 14000 10000 8500W on propane, 7500W on natural gas
Voltage 120/240 120/240 N/A 240 120/240
Output 120/240 Single Phase 120/240 Single Phase N/A 120/240 Single Phase 120/240 Single Phase
Engine Displacement 999 cc 999 cc 725 cc 570 cc 439 cc
Power Type Natural Gas,Propane Liquid Natural Gas,Propane Liquid Natural Gas,Propane Liquid Natural Gas,Propane Liquid Natural Gas,Propane Liquid
Response Time 10 seconds 10 seconds 10 seconds 20 seconds 1 second
Start Type Electric Switch Electric Switch Electric Switch Electric Switch Electric Switch
Automatic Transfer Switch
Commercial and Residential Use
Operating Noise Volume 66 dB 67 dB 67 dB 71 dB 59.5 dB

Halogen Lights N/A
Lights
Mobile Devices
Large Appliances
Small Appliances
Small Electronics
Power and Bench Tools
Sump Pump N/A
Well Pump N/A
Battery Chargers

Features

Low Oil Shutdown
Overload Protection
Automatic Voltage Regulation
Hour Meter

Other Features

Quiet-Test Self-Test Mode Quiet-Test Self-Test Mode Built-in Remote Monitoring Sub Zero Start
Multilingual LCD Display Multilingual LCD Display

Warranty&Certifications

Warranty 5 years 5 years 5 years 5 years 10 years
CARB Certified N/A
EPA Approved N/A N/A N/A N/A
1-UL Listed N/A
Customer Support

Standby Generators for Home Use Reviews


1. Generac 7043 Guardian Series

Generac is a company that designs the most reliable and resistant products and their 7043 Guardian Series can sustain the entire house without any effort. It’s a powerful 16000-watts machine that can be used on a 120/240 single phase current. Thanks to the True Power technology and the powerful G-Force engine, it delivers top power quality that ensures the safe operating of your precious appliances. It comes equipped with a 200Amp NEMA 3 automatic transfer switch that is compatible with indoor and outdoor operating.

The exterior is made of a very resistant aluminum coated with a weatherproof paint that guarantees problem-free installation, operating and maintenance. Once the power goes off, it takes 10 seconds for the Generac 7043 to take over the electricity supply and it manages to remain as quiet as possible, at 66 dB. There are many features included like the Low Oil Shutdown that monitors the oil level and the Quiet-Test that makes it run in a more silent and fuel-efficient mode.

It’s an all-purpose model that can power anything from lights, even halogen work lights, to all-size appliances, power tools, sump pumps, and well pumps. It can be fueled with natural gas or liquid propane and you also have the option to buy a battery that can be used in case you run out of fuel. The manufacturer offers a generous 5-year warranty so you can be sure that maintenance and troubleshooting will not become an issue.

PROS CONS
  • Very quiet even at high speeds
  • Fast response when the power goes out
  • Suitable for outdoor use all year round
  • Safety features included
  • Battery operating choice
VERDICT

When you run out of power, this is the generator you need to rely on. It’s effective, it restores the power in mere seconds, and it doesn’t make a lot of noise that could disturb your sleep. Also, it’s incredibly sturdy and resistant to bad weather so it will provide worry-free operating throughout the year. Thanks to the safety features it’s packed with, it will prevent self-damage so you can rest assured.

2. Generac 7037 Guardian Series

The second best product is another model from Generac, namely the 7037, that is a more powerful version of 22000 watts. It’s also a bigger size whole-house model that can be used to power anything from lights, excluding halogen, to power tools, small and large appliances, and water pumps. The 999cc engine designed by OEM Branded takes its power from natural gas or liquid propane, making it suitable for any home.

The start is electric so it doesn’t take long for it to turn on when needed, requiring approximately 10 seconds to respond to a blackout. Among the features included, we remind the Low Oil Shutdown that prevents a malfunction in case the oil level drops too low and the Overload Protection that also ensures a smooth operation in safe conditions.

It is also equipped with a Quiet-Test mode that turns the engine to a lower RPM in order to reduce the noise and the fuel consumption. It complies with all safety standards like CARB and EPA and it comes with a 5-year warranty so that you can enjoy a worry-free performance.

PROS CONS
  • It doesn’t make too much noise
  • Turns on on its own
  • Safety features to prevent overexertion
  • Can be used for the entire house
  • Generous warranty period
VERDICT

Similar to the previous model, this one provides power for the entire house whenever there is an outage. This one is actually more powerful and is equipped with the same useful features that not only make it easy to install and use but also very prompt. It responds in seconds and it’s strong enough to sustain the entire house and all the appliances in it. Whether you choose to power it with natural gas or propane, it’s more economical than other competitors.

3. Kohler 14RESAL-200SELS

This non-portable generator is also a very powerful unit that can handle whole-house electricity supplying. It features a smaller 725cc engine and is an air-cooled model so it’s not as reliable as the first two one in sustaining high-voltage devices. Still, it can be used to power the lights, mobile devices, and household appliances. It isn’t suitable for powerful water pumps or power tools.

Made of composite, it is resistant to bad weather and it will work without issues even if it’s raining or snowing. With the majority of portable models, you have to wait until the rain stops to get it started without risking a fire hazard. You can choose between a 100 and a 200-Amp version, both with a 14000 wattage and the option of either natural gas or propane fueling.

For safety reasons, it is equipped with two essential features, namely the Low Oil Shutdown and the Overload Protection. It also features an Hour Meter that counts the hours since the last oil change, thus, making maintenance easier. The standard 5-year warranty is also available for it.

PROS CONS
  • Weather resistant housing
  • Safety features to prevent damage
  • High wattage for maximum efficiency
  • Long warranty
  • Small engine
VERDICT

It is great for whole-house use and it offers great results regardless the weather sue to the solid construction makes it resistant to moisture. You won’t even know it’s on because it’s not noisier than other models we have reviewed. Although the engine is smaller in capacity, it has a generous wattage that ensures it will successfully handle the entire house. All in all, it’s a very reliable and durable choice, especially since it’s covered by a long warranty.

4. Briggs & Stratton 40449

You’ve probably heard about Briggs & Stratton so you are familiar with how popular they are and how qualitative their products are. The generators they offer are varied and we have chosen the 40449 because it’s one of the customers’ favorite. It’s a more compact version that weighs only 272 pounds, which is not much considering it’s made of steel and comparing it to other similar models. It’s a lower wattage model that only boasts 10000 watts but it manages to handle high-demand appliances that require plenty of energy.

Its compact size makes it more advantageous for people with limited space and it doesn’t sacrifice performance in any way. The automatic transfer switch is a patented 100-Amp Symphony II that offers more power so that it will be able to sustain large appliances while also ensuring enough power for the small ones. The 570cc engine can be powered by natural gas if you have a local supply line or propane liquid that you need to supply yourself. Take note that the response time is a little longer than in previous models, taking it 20 seconds to detect the power outage and start providing electricity.

Although it isn’t equipped with a Low Oil Shutdown feature, it has an hour meter that lets you know when it’s time to change the oil and also an Overload Protection for safe functioning. It also offers the option of remote monitoring thanks to the built-in mechanism. The warranty is the standard 5-year found in most models.

PROS CONS
  • Powerful enough for the entire house
  • Compact size for small spaces
  • Safe operating
  • Comprehensive warranty
  • Longer response time
VERDICT

Coming from such a reputable manufacturer, we couldn’t expect less from this product. It relies on a powerful engine that ensures power for the entire house and it offers two fuel options. It’s equipped with safety features that help you handle its maintenance and avoid damage that could void the warranty. However, keep in mind that it’s a little noisy and it takes almost the double for it to respond to a power outage.

5. Champion 100177

We continue the list with this model from Champion that can deliver great power thanks to the OEM Branded engine. It is suitable for indoor and outdoor electric equipment and it adapts to both 120 and 240V current. Whether you have a natural gas line or you decide to power it with propane, it will be very easy to install and connect to your home’s electric grid. According to the manufacturer’s specifications, it takes only 1 second for it to respond to a power outage, so the result will be practically instant.

It also boasts an electric start that is able to turn the unit on even in below 0 temperature conditions so you can use it all year round, even in the harshest winters. Another advantage of this product is the low operating sound that barely reaches 60 dB, which is the lowest in its class. To end the list of qualities, we mention that the warranty is a generous 10-year period that will ensure extended problem-free use. With features like Automatic Voltage Regulation and Low Oil Shutdown, you can be sure that malfunctions will be a rarity.

PROS CONS
  • Powerful enough for the entire house
  • It has the shortest response time
  • Is very silent
  • Comes with a very long warranty
  • It has a very small engine
  • Not powerful enough for large tools
VERDICT

This one we picked seemed like a very good choice at a very reasonable price. However, it’s not as powerful and reliable as the previous ones and it can’t handle items like tools but it works for lights and home appliances. The small engine is responsible for the lack of power, as well as the low wattage. A good thing about it is the instant response to a power failure, followed by a silent operating.

6. Briggs & Stratton 40355

Power outages will cease being an issue with the 40355, an ideal product for medium to large-sized homes as it meets all the essential power needs of your home. It is one of the more flexible entries on the market, allowing indoor as well as outdoor installation. Due to the fact that it features a weather-resistant transfer switch placement, the installation process will be a cinch. The only downside to it is the fact that it is a costly acquisition, but it is one worth making, so if you have the budget for it, we recommend you buy it.

The quick response it provides in case of a power outage ensures you won’t sit around long for it to restore power to your appliances and electronics, the switch to it taking only a few seconds and being done automatically. Thus, you won’t have to search for it in the dark to make the switch yourself. It features Galvanneal steel enclosures and boasts a rust-resistant design that ensures long-lasting durability even if you place it outdoors and rain and snow fall on it.

It is a 20kW rated model that you can trustfully rely on for years on end. If you want to place it outdoors and benefit from it in your yard as well, you should place it approximately 18 inches close to the house. Additionally, a 5-year warranty is provided on parts and labor for it.

PROS CONS
  • Recommended for use in medium to large-sized homes
  • Provides power automatically a few seconds after the power outage
  • Can be installed either indoors or outdoors
  • Backed by a 5-year warranty
  • Quite expensive
VERDICT

Its weather and corrosion resistant design makes it suitable for installation either indoors or outdoors, thus versatility in use being one of its strong points. It might be a costly acquisition, but it is one worth making nonetheless as it restores powers to your appliances and electronics in a matter of seconds after a power outage.

What To Know Before You Purchase

Having one of these in your home can be extremely helpful in certain situations. Especially if you live in the states where winter isn’t so pleasing. In other words, this is one of the best protection to have against power lines getting cut off. This is why the majority of them are on the more expensive spectrum due to the companies taking advantage of its usefulness. Thus, there are certain things that you should know before you decide on whatever model you find the most suitable for your home and your needs.

  • Directly connected to the electric box – The reason we strongly recommend this type of generator is that you will never be left without power. If it’s directly connected to a power source, you can rely on it for many days. Kiss goodbye to the days where you had to survive in the dark because if you purchase whatever model, you will never be left without power. This is because, as soon as the power from the power line cuts off, it will start automatically without too much effort on your part. Nonetheless, please remember to connect it to a fuel source. It doesn’t matter if it’s gas, propane or diesel.
  • It varies between the wattage powers – It’s general knowledge that an average unit of 25 kilowatts is more than enough for a small house or an apartment. Don’t worry as you won’t have to turn off other appliances to ensure its functionality. You can use the microwave simultaneously. Whatever the size of your house is, you should know that a generator is enough. You do not have to worry that you have to conserve energy because this isn’t the case. Decide which model is suitable for your home and go ahead purchasing. Your home will have electricity whatever happens to the power lines or grid.
  • It’s noisy – This is the main disadvantage of them. This is because it doesn’t matter how small the unit is, it will still make noise whilst it’s running. The people that have already bought it describe it to be something like a lawn mower in use. Nonetheless, if you choose a more powerful machine you will notice that the sound is isolated and it will sound just the same as a smaller model. This is why you need to take into consideration if you can manage with the sound for numerous days. However, you can solve this problem by placing it somehow far from the areas where you are lounging.
  • Extra costs – If you are not a plumber, it’s inevitable that you will spend additional money for the electrician’s work or other technicians. As well as, you may also need a contractor because the units are all bulky so it will take up a lot of space. In addition to this, you may also be required to have a building permit as well as tax. As well as, you will have some people checking it out because it requires safety inspections. They all cost.

Installation Inconveniences


Although they offer the huge benefit of supplying your home with electricity in case of a power shortage, standby generators also hide some drawbacks when it comes to installation. In order to overcome them, you must first learn more about which are the inconveniences you could experience when trying to set up one at home.

  • High noise level

    In some areas, it could be forbidden to install one because of the noise regulations that specify no household device should be louder than 60 dB. Measuring the noise level of each product is made at a 25-feet distance so the actual noise could be louder right next to it.

  • Space limitations

    Another regulation is related to the distance required between a generator and a building or flammable materials. Therefore, keep in mind to place it at least 5 feet away from the house and 5 feet away from items that could catch on fire. Also, the fuel tank should be carefully placed to avoid a fire hazard.

  • Difficult to install

    When it comes to dealing with a natural gas line, it’s best to hire a professional that is familiar with all the components and installation processes of an electricity generator. The gas pressure is also vital in installing it properly so make sure the person you hire knows which are the specifications of the local gas supply.

  • Costly

    If you consider getting one at home, be prepared for high costs that imply not only the purchase cost but also the additional electrical and plumbing work as well as future maintenance. The highest quality units can cost between $5,000 and $20,000 only for purchase so the investment is not to overlook.

  • Hard to maintain

    Speaking of maintenance, not only the costs are a headache but also the task itself. You will have to change the oil periodically, replace damaged motor components, and be very careful how you use it to prevent irreparable damage.

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