Best Standby Generator

Don’t Be Left Feeling Powerless At Your Own Home Next Power Outage

Get Yourself a Standby Generator that Will Keep Your Power Going Even During a Natural Disaster

An automatic standby generator is one that senses when your home electricity goes out and switches on without you doing anything. It is already hooked in to your home electrical circuit via a transfer switch and already plumbed in to your natural gas line to ensure you have electricity until the utility supply goes back on.

Portable vs. Standby Generator For Home Emergency/Backup

Standby generators are more expensive than portable generators, and so, many people are curious if they can just get a portable generator for home backup power. The answer is yes. You can definitely use a portable generator for home backup. And you can even get a transfer switch to hook up your portable generator to your home circuit. But there are some disadvantages (even with the transfer switch) of using a portable generator for this task.

Portable Generators Cons for Providing Home Backup Power

  • Portable generator still needs to be filled with fuel.
  • Portable generator still needs to be started up via electric start or recoil pull.
  • If you do not install a transfer switch then you’ll need to plug your appliances into the generator directly.

With an automatic standby generator you won’t have to do any of the above. Standby generators have an unlimited supply of natural gas because they are plumbed in to your underground line. They start automatically when they sense the utility supply has switched off. And they hook straight in to your home’s electrical circuit so you don’t have to unplug and then plug back in anything. It’s all automatic.

Standby Generator Common Features

Generac has been designing standby generators for over 50 years and have optimized their generator features to best satisfy what you really need. Every Generac standby generator offers you:

  • Has ability to monitor utility supply electricity and switches on when the utility company is not covering your needs and switches off when they are.
  • Can perform weekly “exercise tests” to ensure all components are in working order and ready to go when need be.
  • Is plumbed in to your natural gas line to ensure consistent power indefinitely.
  • Hooked up via a transfer switch to your home electrical circuit so that you do not need to unplug anything.
  • Is contained within a weather proofed enclosure to ensure a long and healthy operating life.

Transfer Switches 101

A standby generator wouldn’t be so awesome if you had to turn it on when the power goes out and if you had to plug in extension cords to reach your appliances that need power. They are awesome because they are designed to work in unison with a transfer switch. The switch that allows one to call the standby generator automatic.

Like its name suggests, a transfer switch, is simply an electrical switch that switches between 2 power sources. So in this case, between the standby generator and the utility supply electricity. However, they are smart enough to do this switch only when the primary supply (utility supply) drops below a certain voltage. Once it does, within seconds, the switch instructs the standby generator to switch on to supply the power. And guess what. When it senses the primary supply is back on, it switches back over. Again, without you doing anything except ponder as to why the lights flickered.

Jump to the Standby Generator Size You Are Interested In

 

Only Essential Home Power (14 kW and Less)

 

1) Generac CorePower 7 kW Natural Gas/Propane Standby Generator

Generac CorePower 5837 Standby Generator

Coming in as the best standby generator for supplying your most essential home power needs when the utility supply turns off – the CorePower Series Generac…

..It is able to supply 7 kW of power when you most need it. That means your lights will stay on, your food will stay cold and you will stay warm when your neighbors are left feeling powerless.

It comes ready for install – no concrete pads required. It comes in a weatherproof enclosure that has the added benefit of making this standby nearly silent. You will most likely never hear your standby generator if you decide to install this one.

 

2) Generac Guardian Series 8kW Natural Gas/Propane Standby Generator

Generac Guardian Series 5870  Standby Generator

And in second place for top small size standby generators is the fully equipped 8 kW Guardian Series Generac. The main difference between the Guardian Series and the CorePower series like the one above is that the Guardian Series has the Generac OHVI engine.

This engine adds significant value to the generator due to the OHVI’s extended life span, increased maintenance interval and higher performance.

Rest easy knowing that you can also plug your sensitive electronics in – worry-free – when your standby is doing the work. This standby generator always provides clean power that is utility quality so that you can plug electronics with microprocessors in.

 

3) Generac Guardian Series 10 kW Natural Gas/Propane Standby Generator

Generac Guardian Series 5871 Standby Generator

The 10 kW Guardian Series standby generator will surely be able to power more than just your most essential home electrical needs. After the essentials like lights, refrigerator and either A/C or heating are taken care of you will still be able to watch TV, check email and power up some cooking appliances. During the next blackout you won’t even feel agitated.

The Guardian Series standby generators are programmed to run weekly “exercise tests” to ensure they are in tip-top shape. So you do not have to do that. You just sit back and relax because with the included transfer switch hooked up you will only experience a light flicker before everything is back on.

 

Home Backup Power (17 – 20 kW)

 

1) Generac Guardian Series 20 kW Natural Gas/Propane Standby Generator

Generac Guardian Series 5875 Standby Generator

This is the #1 choice for more people than any other home automatic standby generator. 20 kilowatts of power seems to be the sweet spot because you could power most things in your house like the sump pump, central A/C or heating, lights, fridge, TV, computers and more. Essentially you will never even know the power went out at your home.

Generac standby generators are stand-alone, self-operating and hands-free to ensure everything is fast-acting and automatic so that you can stay on the couch watching the last episode of your favourite show when the power goes out.

Included is a 200 Amp Nexus Smart Switch Automatic Transfer Switch. Once you get that installed it will instruct the generator to turn on immediately when the utility supply switches off. And, instructs it to switch off when the utility supply is back on. All automatically without you doing anything.

 

2) Generac Guardian Series 17 kW Natural Gas/Propane Standby Generator

Generac Guardian Series 5873 Standby Generator

Coming in as the second best standby generator for home backup power is the 17 kW version Guardian Series. It is pretty much exactly the same generator as the one above except instead of a 200 Amp Transfer Switch you get 100 Amp and instead of aluminum enclosure you get steel…

…A 200 Amp transfer switch allows more of you home circuit to be safely hooked up to your standby generator. An aluminium enclosure will be lighter and better at corrosion resistance than the steel one.

The unit runs weekly on its own to ensure everything is ready to go when the power does goes out. It is nearly silent inside its enclosure and once hooked up to your gas line can provide your home power indefinitely.

 

Large Home/Commercial Backup Power (22 kW – 48 kW)

 

1) Generac QuietSource 27 kW Liquid Cooled Natural Gas/Propane Commercial Standby Generator

Generac QuietSource Series QT02724ANAX Commercial Generator

Once you make the jump to this size of generator you make the jump to a generator with a liquid cooled automobile style engine. These engines are ideal for supplying this amount of power quietly and for a very long time to come.

A downside of jumping to this size of standby generator is that they will require you have (or pour) a 3′ x 6′ concrete slab to accommodate the generator.

FREE shipping to your front door. Almost always this generator is offerred with FREE Super Saver Shipping on Amazon.com. This means it ships to your front door in 5 – 8 days. So if you’re looking for a standby generator this size this is your best option.

 

2) Generac QuietSource 36 kW Liquid Cooled Natural Gas/Propane Commercial Standby Generator

Generac QuietSource 36 kW Commerical Standby Generator

For the ultimate home or commercial building backup power system you can get this 36 kW liquid cooled natural gas powered standby generator with a transfer switch and plumb it in to your gas line and connect it up to your circuit breaker…

…With this style setup your establishment will be fully protected from power outages. It’s up to you if you want that sort of protection for your home or office.

Despite the large amount of power this generator produces it is quite quiet and compact. Because it has a large automobile style engine it can run at lower speeds; reducing noise, increasing fuel efficiency and increasing engine life and time between maintenance.

 

3) Generac QuietSource 48 kW Liquid Cooled Natural Gas/Propane Commercial Standby Generator

Generac QuietSource 48 kW Commercial Standby Generator

This beast can provide your very large home, office or automotive garage enough power to provide you 100% protection from power outages.

It has everything you need to ensure proper maintenance including an hour meter to help you track when your last maintenance task was. It has a program that instructs the generator to run weekly to ensure it is always ready to go when needed.

And, strangely enough, it is supremely quiet to ensure you neighbors are not disturbed.

 

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Sources:

1. Wiki page for standby generator was read for general background information.

2. Top Generator Reviews.com comparison page was used to easily compare a few of the standby  options.

3. General safety message was read with regards to connecting back-ups systems to home electrical.

4. General transfer switch images were looked at to see the different configurations used throughout the US.