Choosing The Right Generator For Your House

Published On: March 10, 20210 Comments on Choosing The Right Generator For Your HouseTags: Last Updated: February 8, 20245.3 min read

For many, power outages can be a frequent occurrence resulting in several consequential expenses for homeowners. If appliances like the fridge have been left for a lengthy period without power, the food inside will likely become spoiled and inedible. You will also find yourself sitting in the dark as the evening approaches and may even be confronted with flooding if pumps in your home begin to fail due to a lack of power. Depending on the cause of the outage some can last for several days or in the worst-case scenario weeks. 

Choosing The Right Generator For Your House

Choosing the right generator for your needs is crucial ensuring that you are supplied with a reliable source of power in the event of an outage. As there are many models available, understanding which one you need can be challenging, particularly for those who lack knowledge of such appliances. Below, we have created a guide to help you choose the right generator for your house. For in-depth reviews regarding the different types on the market, check out

The Type Of Generator

For domestic use, there are two different types of generators available; a portable generator and a standby generator. A gas-powered generator can be plugged into the appliances or sub panel and can vary in price depending on the power rating. While this type of generator can supply power to several appliances, it will struggle to provide power to the entire house. Depending on the model, they can typically deliver between 1KW to 15KW of power and will power the most critical appliances inside the home. A standby generator, often referred to as a whole house backup generator is powered by natural gas or propane. Unlike portable generators, a standby generator will begin operating automatically once a power outage has been detected. Again, the price of this type of generator can vary depending on the power output. Standby generators provide more KW of power running all appliances inside the home as well as operating the lighting. 

Your Power Requirements 

To determine what generator you require, you must consider your power requirements. The appliances inside your home will have a label stating the individual watts. Some will have starting watts which will need to be added to the total watts. Decide what appliances you will need in the event of a power outage as well as those that you want. Make a list of each item’s wattage and once you have listed all the appliances that you will need add the wattages together and multiply the figure you arrive at by 1.5. This figure will then identify the minimum wattage of the generator that you require. When compiled your list, ensure that all essential items and appliances are accounted for. You will be able to survive without some for several days but others will be more of a necessity. This information is crucial in answering the question “what size whole home generator do I need“.

The Wattage

As you can see, the power output of a generator is rated in watts and this rating can differ between models. Aside from calculating the wattage of the appliances, you must also assess whether they have starting watt requirements as those that do will require a generator with a higher watt rating. Also, give yourself headroom by opting for a generator with 20% more power than the estimated amount. For example, if the total wattage of all of the appliances amounts to 5000 watts, don’t restrict yourself by investing in a unit with this exact rating but one with at least 20% more. Attempting to run too many appliances on the generator than the wattage allows will likely result in an overload and as a result, your appliances and the generator itself will become damaged. You will likely require a generator with at least 7,500 watts to power most appliances, although a unit with around 12,000 watts is going to cope better at powering a whole house. These aren’t exact figures that you should base your selection on but instead the total wattage of your appliances

Choosing The Right Generator For Your House - generator

The Fuel Type 

When browsing through the selection of different units, you are now likely wondering whether a petrol or diesel model is going to be better suited to your needs. There are key differences to identify between each and doing so will likely aid you in making the decision. Although diesel generators tend to have a higher upfront cost, they tend to be a more cost-effective long-term solution and are also more tolerant to regular use. Petrol generators can be used in both domestic and commercial settings and it is often the most commonly sought after fuel source. This type of fuel also offers great value for money. Liquid propane generators are another popular alternative and this fuel source is often used to power standby home and portable generators. Natural gas powered and LPG generators are also considered to be more environmentally friendly and sustainable as they burn cleaner. 

The Length of The Power Outages

The regularity in which the power outages occur and the length of time that they last can help you choose what type of generator you need. If you experience frequent and prolonged outages you will require a larger unit that is going to power your entire household, especially those that are deemed to be essential in these instances. A home standby or a large inverter or portable generator will be best suited to this situation. If you experience occasional outages but not enough to justify the expense of a costly unit you will likely require the use of a large inverter generator or a portable generator. However, if a power outage is an irregular occurrence you may wish to opt for a midsized generator as you are unlikely to require such demanding use of the unit. 

The Durability

Your generator is going to be used outdoors and because of this, it must be constructed to withstand the elements. It is important to choose a model that has been robustly constructed, especially if you live in a location that is subject to a lot of harsh weather, otherwise, the functionality of the unit may be affected. Some will cope better with wet weather than others so it is important to consider this when browsing through the different models. 

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