Best Generators for Home Use 2018: Buying Guide and Top 5
- Best Generators for Home Use 2018: Buying Guide and Top 5
- Finding the Right Standby Generator
- Power Rating
- Circuit Coverage
- Essential Circuit Coverage
- Managed Whole-House Coverage
- Complete Coverage
- Cooling System
- Top 5 Generators for Home Use
- 5 SUAOKI G500 Portable Power Station Generator
- 4 Generac 7033 Guardian Series Generator
- 3 Generac 6551 Guardian Series Generator
- 2 Briggs & Stratton 40346 Generator
- 1 Generac 7043 Home Standby Generator Generator
- Final Remarks
If you’re on the hunt for a long-term solution for dependable power when needed, a standby generator is a great option. Standby generators are designed to provide permanent power protection to wherever they’re connected. They’re a stable source of power that sensitive gadgets and electronics can draw power from safely. They’re able to run for long periods of time, given that they’re provided with a constant flow of either natural gas or liquid propane.
During emergency situations that knock out the power in your town, when installed correctly, a standby generator will kick it into high gear and begin delivering power to your home, regardless of whether you’re there or not.
Finding the Right Standby Generator
Finding and purchasing the right standby generator depends on your situation and what you expect from the generator. Let’s take a look at some of the important aspects of choosing the appropriate model.
The wattage of a standby generator determines how many electronics it can supply power to. A larger wattage rating means more power to more devices. It can also mean a standby generator has the capacity to simultaneously provide power to multiple large appliances like refrigerators, electric stoves, air conditioners, TVs, etc. The wattage rating of a generator should be the first spec to consider since you don’t want a device that won’t supply power to your most vital appliances during a blackout, nor do you to pay more for idle capacity.
Generators often come with transfer switches with a predetermined number of circuits based on the machine’s power rating. Generally, there are three types of coverage to choose from.
Essential Circuit Coverage
This is the most cost-efficient type of coverage available. The generator has enough power to cover only a certain amount of circuits during a blackout. Only your most important appliances connected to the circuit will be provided with electricity.
Managed Whole-House Coverage
This type of coverage has the capacity to run all of your most important electrics with leftover power capacity to spare. Large homes with numerous appliances may benefit more from this type of coverage than just than the first type.
As the name suggests, super-beefy generators have the capacity to provide power to your entire home. This means that during emergency situations, you can keep your bathroom lights, basement lights, attic lights, all essential electronics on during the entirety of a blackout. You might even have a little extra to spare. This type is definitely for large homes or small businesses.
There are two types of cooling systems preinstalled in standby generators. The first is air-cooled which uses a fan to blow hot air away from the engine. Most residential-grade standby generators, e.g., smaller-capacity generators, use this type of cooling system.
The second type is liquid-cooled. This cooling system works similarly to that of a car where heat-conducting liquids are shot through an enclosed radiator system to absorb the heat produced for the machine’s engine. This is the better of the two cooling systems, but it’s mainly found in larger models that can supply power to an entire building.
Top 5 Generators for Home Use
Now that we know the basics of what to look for in a generator for our homes let’s check out some of the best generators that can be used to provide a constant flow of electricity to our homes.
5 SUAOKI G500 Portable Power Station Generator
The G500 from SUAOKI is basically a large 500-watt-hour power bank used to charge delicate devices like Smartphones and semi-large electronics such as mini fridges. Portable generators such as this one can be used as to power homes, though users should be aware that the G500’s power rating is somewhat limited.
This unit comes with two wall outlets, three USB ports with quick-charge compatibility, two standard USB ports, and a USB-C port. It also features a DC port similar to a cigarette-lighter port in your car. It’s also extremely lightweight, making it more suitable for traveling rather than as a standby unit for your home. This model doesn’t require gas or propane to turn on, but rather, like a power bank, you simply plug it into a wall outlet and let it charge.
4 Generac 7033 Guardian Series Generator
This 11,000-watt model from Generac’s Guardian Series is a great option to provide power to your home during emergencies automatically. You can connect this unit to your home’s existing liquid propane or gas lines, and it’ll take over electricity-provision functions in your home during a power loss.
It features the company’s True Power Technology which allows users to plug in sensitive electronics like laptops and tablets without the risk of causing damage. With the downloadable app, you can monitor the status and maintenance schedule of this generator from your tablet or Smartphone. The generator’s powder-coated finish makes the aluminum casing resistant to corrosion. It’s the perfect model to be placed outdoors.
3 Generac 6551 Guardian Series Generator
If you’re looking for a standby generator to provide power to your entire home or business, then this Generac model is worth considering. The 6551 in the Guardian Series packs twice as much power as the previous model, such as remote-controllability from anywhere in the world with an internet connection, corrosion-resistant casing for outdoor placement, and super-clean electricity to power up delicate electronics.
This 22,000-watt generator contains the same features as the 7033, but its beefier engine allows it to be plugged into multiple circuits of your home. This unit can be connected to either a liquid propane or natural gas line.
2 Briggs & Stratton 40346 Generator
The 20,000-watt 40346 from Briggs & Stratton comes with a 200-amp auto transfer switch. It manages your whole house’s power system that supplies energy for all of your household electronics and two air conditioners. The transfer switch functions well in both outdoor and indoor placements.
The unit can be installed both in and outside of your home, though we wish that it came with a venting kit to help reduce some of the risks associated with relining flammable fuel to the unit. The generator is encased in a corrosion-resistant steel structure that’s built to last for many years. And it comes with a 4-year warranty which is nice.
1 Generac 7043 Home Standby Generator Generator
The final item on our list is another one of Generac’s models from the Guardian Series: the Generac 7043. Like the 6551, it provides up to 22,000 watts of energy when on, but the newer 7043 has a significant upgrade that we won’t find in the 6551. First of all, the engine runs at 3,600 RPM, considerably slower than the old 6551 model, meaning that it’s quieter (67 decibels) and safe to leave outdoors without disturbing your neighbor.
Because the engine is much more efficient, the unit has fewer maintenance issues. It’s rated to need a checkup every 200 hours of use, translating into, at most, twice a year. In every other regard – remote monitoring, liquid propane, and natural gas compatibility, etc. – the 6551 and the 7043 are identical.
Generators for residential-use are one of the best tools to have. When a lightning storm knocks out the power in your home, you’ll be glad that you have a reliable source of energy to keep the food in your fridge from rotting, to watch the news on your TV, and to stay connected to the Internet.
When purchasing a home-use or standby generator, there are several important aspects to consider. These are the power rating or the maximum wattage that the unit can provide; coverage, meaning how many circuits in your home the unit can connect to in order to supply power; and cooling system – either air-cooled or liquid-cooled.
In this article, we’ve provided our pick of the five best generators to use at home. The first item on our list – the G500 from SUAOKI – isn’t exactly a standby unit since it’s lightweight, portable, and requires electricity to supply power. However, it can be a good unit for emergency situations where you only want to power on the most important appliances in your home.
If you’re looking for a heavy-duty standby generator to supply power to homes of around 4,000-square-feet, then the Generac 7043 is what we highly recommend. The 6331 could also work well, but the 7043’s upgraded engine performance and efficiency is something to behold.