So, you’ve had enough of the midwestern power outages, and you’ve decided to pull the trigger on a whole house generator. But, with hundreds of brands and generators to choose from, finding one that suits your home’s needs can be tricky. Here are a few things to consider before making a decision, as well as three of our top picks for backup generators.
Power Output – Why It Matters
When shopping for a home generator, you’ll find that there are many exciting features available. However, while mobile control apps and automatic wattage prioritization are useful, power output should be your primary determining factor when choosing a home backup generator.
Modern units come in various wattage sizes, providing you with the ability to power a few simple appliances up to your entire home. Knowing your home’s overall power consumption can prevent you from over or under-sizing your new backup generator.
During a power outage, an average-sized home requires about 6000 watts to power the “essentials,” such as water pumps, refrigerators, heaters, and air conditioners. If your area is only prone to short blackouts, a smaller 7k watt unit may suffice, but you may want to consider a larger unit for prolonged outages.
Here are a few power consumption ratings from Popular Mechanics Magazine that can help you determine your new generator’s needed power output.
- Refrigerator: 1200 watts
- Sump pump: 1000 watts
- Portable heater: 1,500 watts
- 4 ton Central AC: 8500 watts
- Lights: 200-1000 watts
- Desktop Computers: 200 watts
- Laptop Chargers: 45 watts
- TV: 300 watts
The Best Home Backup Generators
Kohler, Generac, and Briggs and Stratton are three of the biggest names in home generators, each offering units that fit your individual needs and budget. Here are three of our top picks from these brands.
Best for Large Homes: Briggs and Stratton 20kW Standby Generator
If you live in a large home or want to ensure that all of your devices and appliances have power during a blackout, you may want to consider a 20kW standby generator by Briggs and Stratton. Thanks to its Amplify Power Management technology, this unit gives you the flexibility to adjust which appliances receive priority via the Briggs and Stratton mobile app.
- Amplify Power Management
- InfoHub™ Wireless Monitoring
- Commercial Vanguard™ Engine
Best Value: Kohler RESV 10 kW Generator
Kohler’s 10 kW RESV home backup generator is a no-nonsense unit that combines functionality with a low profile design and modern convenience. With prices starting at just $2,857.00, this unit is class-leading in terms of value.
- OnCue® Plus remote monitoring System
- 5-year or 2000 hour limited warranty
- Powder-coated steel enclosure for enhanced durability and corrosion resistance
Best for Smaller Homes: Generac PowerPact 7.5kW
With 7.5kW of output, the PowerPact 7.5kw is an excellent option for smaller homes that don’t have enormous power demands. Generac generators have a reputation for reliability and longevity, and the PowerPact line certainly lives up to that reputation. The OHV engine that powers this unit will provide you with emergency power for years to come.
- Can power up to 8 home circuits
- 50-Amp transfer switch
- “Less than 5 percent total harmonic distortion for clean, smooth operation of sensitive electronics and appliances.”
Need Help Deciding?
If you need help narrowing your search or have questions about individual generator units, please contact us today! Our expert technicians at Midwest Generator Solutions can lead you to the perfect generator that will keep your home and family safe and sound during the next blackout.