For a regular homeowner, buying a standby or portable generator does not make much sense. Blackouts seem to happen less often in some areas but here are still some zones where the power grid is very unstable. However, blackouts can also be caused by other factors. Over the past decade, we have seen natural disasters have caused multiple areas to be completely isolated for days or weeks. A lot of people were caught unprepared. During these times, generators prove their worth.
Having power during a blackout can save lives especially when temperatures drop. According to some statistics, 2011 has been a record setting year for grid-disabling disasters in the US when 21 million people have been affected. If we were to add the number of households that were affected by regular blackouts, things become even more alarming. It is more and more common to see power shortages during the summer when the energy consumption increases significantly.
What Type Of Generator To Choose?
There are several different types of generator. The smaller ones are usually portable and come with caster wheels. Their main goal is to be used wherever they are needed as they are mobile. They will not be able to power an entire household but they can provide power for a computer and a few other low consumers. Larger models are usually more expensive but they can support more energy consumers.
In order to power an entire house, it is necessary to look for a standby generator. They can be used to power a household or they can be used for commercial purposes. Since they are much bigger but provide much more power, standby generators are usually quite expensive. When choosing which type to get it is important to set a budget and get the most powerful option available. Also, it is important to estimate just how much power would be needed when a blackout occurs.
Best Home Generators in 2016
For our list, we selected several portable and standby generators. This way everyone should be able to find something that suits their needs. With no further ado let’s get right into our list starting with number 10. Here are the top 10 best home generators in 2016 reviews.
10. Briggs & Stratton 40303 15,000 Watt IntelliGen Natural Gas/Liquid Propane Powered Air Cooled Home Standby Generator
The Briggs & Stratton as a brand is a good option for the ones that are looking for something reliable for their home. Their 40303 standby generator offers plenty of power and a good price tag for its size and power output. It has a solid metal enclosure painted in a dark gray and a large access panel.
In terms of utility, the model can generate 15,000 watts. It measures 48.7 by 33.75 and has a height of 31.6 inches. It is fairly compact which is a major plus and comes with proper vents to ensure a smooth operation. Refilling the fuel tank is fairly easy and due to its special exhaust system the model is much quieter than other generators. The manufacturers included a 4-year warranty for this particular model.
- High power output
- There are cheaper alternatives for a regular household
9. Kohler 20RESCL-200SELS 20,000-Watt Air-Cooled Standby Generator
Kohler is one of the most trusted brands when it comes to standby generators. Their solutions have been used successfully for data centers, small businesses, and even regular households. The 200RESCL model is one of the most powerful they offer. It is also quite compact and very well made. Using a corrosion proof enclosure the generator is well protected against bad weather and extreme temperatures.
Looking at the specifications the generator can offer a maximum output of 20,000 watts. This makes it one of the most powerful in our list. Also, it comes with a 5-year warranty or a minimum of 2000 hours of runtime. It includes a 200 amp whole-house and comes with an automatic start system when the power goes out.
- High power output
- Automatic start
- Easy to install
8. Smarter Tools ST-GP7500SDEB, 6500 Running Watts/7500 Starting Watts, Dual Fuel Powered Portable Generator
The Smarter Tools ST-GP7500SDEB is a great pick for the ones that need something portable. It is quite powerful for its size and very well made. The model is good enough to power multiple consumers at the same time and it can switch easily between propane and gasoline with the aid of a simple switch. Refueling it is just as easy.
According to the product specifications, the model is capable of a constant output of 6500 watts. The value drops a bit when running the generator on propane. A full tank of 6.6 gallons of gasoline should be enough for the generator to run for 9 hours at a load of 50 percent. It generates quite a bit of noise which is something that is worth taking into account.
- High power output for its size
- Quite loud
7. Generac 6462 Guardian Series, 16kW Air Cooled Standby Generator
Generac 6462 Guardian Series is an advanced generator that comes with a reliable system and a great power output. It can be used to power an entire home as long as it has fuel to burn. Speaking of fuel the model can run on either natural gas or liquid propane. It is equally efficient on both fuel types.
What makes this particular model a decent purchase is its power output for the price. It is difficult to find generators for the same price that are capable of a 22000 watts output. With the aid of its high-efficiency engine, the generator will be able to provide more than enough power. It comes with a small side mounted controller and an LCD display. Also, the model includes a 5-year manufacturer warranty which is more than what other brands offer.
- Good price per kilowatt
- High power output
- Great price
- Does not have the option to run on petrol
6. Siemens ASGE011RBS 11000-watt Air-Cooled Liquid Propane or Natural Gas Powered Standby Generator
Even if the Siemens ASGE011RBS is a less popular model it should not be disregarded. It is made by a brand with a long history which guarantees high quality and reliability. The model is somewhere in the mid-range as it can generate about 11,000 watts. Also, this also makes it a bit more affordable when compared with other models with a higher output.
The generator itself comes with several interesting features. It has a self-test function that runs automatically on a monthly basis and it is completely safe to operate. The model runs on either liquid propane or natural gas. It can even be connected to the home’s gas supply which ensures a continuous operation.
- Good power output for the price
- Hard wired
- Not as easy to install as some of the other models
5. Sportsman GEN4000LP, 3250 Running Watts/4000 Starting Watts, Propane Powered Portable Generator
Sportsman GEN4000LP is a great pick for the ones that need a small portable generator for their home or garage. It can power several items at the same time but it is not powerful enough to supply an entire home with energy. However, it is still a great purchase for the power it offers and its low price tag.
The model itself is capable of a continuous power output of 3250 watts. It can be connected to the home’s gas supply which means that it can run for as long as it has a fuel supply. On the generator itself, the manufacturers added two 120V AC outlets and one 12V DC outlet that can be used to charge batteries. The model is EPA approved and comes with a 1-year warranty.
- Multiple DC outputs
- Quite loud
4. DuroMax XP10000EH, 8000 Running Watts/10000 Starting Watts, Dual Fuel Powered Portable Generator
DuroMax is a well-known brand due to the quality of their generators. The XP10000EH is a powerful model that comes with a great price tag. It is also portable to a certain degree as it has large wheels and a handle bar that can be used to move it around without much effort. Also, it is easy to start since it uses an electric ignition and comes with low oil protection.
In terms of power, the model uses an 18 HP engine that can push a constant output of 8000 watts which should be enough for a small home. It has several DC outlets that can support multiple energy consumers. The model can run on regular gas or on liquid propane which is a great plus especially when one of the fuel types is scarce.
- High power output
- Runs on gasoline or liquid propane
- Generates a lot of noise
3. Champion Power Equipment 42436 1200 Watt Multi Purpose Portable Generator
Champion Power offers one of the most affordable generators in our list. Their 42436 is a great model with a really low price tag and a decent power output. It is actually much less powerful and it is important to know if it will be enough to power the electronics it is needed for.
According to the model specifications, the generator is capable of a maximum output of 1200 watts. It can run for about 10 hours off a full tank of gas. Powering the machine we have a small 80 cc engine with a cold start that can work without any kind of issues even in cold weather. The model comes with a durable steel frame and features a since 120 volt 20 amps outlet. For safety reasons, the model has been fitted with a voltmeter and plenty of protections to ensure an optimal operation.
- Very cheap
- Easy to use
- Low cost per kilowatt
- Good runtime on a full tank
2. DuroStar DS4000S, 3300 Running Watts/4000 Starting Watts, Gas Powered Portable Generator
The DuroStar DS4000S is yet another great option for the ones that want to get good value for their money. It is a simple generator that offers a rather high output for the price. At the same time, it is very reliable and comes with a solid construction with a steel frame and large wheels. It was designed for heavy duty use and it can serve well a small household or a garage.
The generator has a continuous power output of 3300 watts. Its 7.0 HP engine runs on regular gas. Its gas tank is placed at the top and can supply the generator with fuel for about 8 continuous hours which is quite decent. It needs about 1 gallon of gas every 2 hours.
- Easy to supply with gas
- Powerful engine
- Low price tag
- Good power output
1. Westinghouse WH7500E Gas Powered Portable Generator with Electric Start – 7500 Running Watts and 9000 Starting Watts
Westinghouse is one of the most trusted brands when it comes to portable generators. Their WH7500E model is one of the best-selling ones for several reasons. The model is powerful enough to be used at home or even for commercial purposes. It has a robust construction with a metal frame and large wheels that make it easy to move around.
According to the product specifications, the model is capable of a continuous power output of 7500 watts. Inside the box, the manufacturers included a tool kit and everything that is needed to get it up and ready. The 420 cc engine comes with an electric start and turns on the regular gas. The tank can hold about 6.6 gallons which are enough for 11 hours of run time.
- Four power outlets
- Large capacity fuel tank
- Easy to move around
- Great price tag
Things To Keep In Mind
When looking at various generators it is important to look at their power output. Most manufacturers list the starting watts which is just a marketing strategy. The value that matters the most is the number of watts the generator can push continuously.
The most reliable generators are the standby ones. Portable ones are also great but they are limiting in terms of how many items can be supplied with power. If the budget is a problem, then there is no another option to go for other than portable generators. Standby models are quite expensive and not everyone finds themselves needing such a bit generator. These models are more often used for commercial purposes. A regular household tends to go for a small portable generator.