When a power outage strikes, the results can be devastating more many and lethal for some. Power outages that last more than a few hours can be a real problem for people on lifesaving medical equipment such as home dialysis or other machines.
Of course, devastation from a lengthy outage can effect even those who are not on machines. Freezers defrosting, fridge gaining temp and other issues all come into play during lengthy power loss.
For those who can not go without power for long, having a standby generator is protection against the unforeseen. Standby power is ready in seconds and depending on the model can run your entire home with no disruption.
On Standby and Ready
Standby generators, as opposed to portable power generation, are static units connected to the homes internal electrical grid. This is accomplished via the installation of a transfer switch. When a loss of power is detected, the standby generator is activated.
There are many types of standby power generation, by that, there are different fuels and getting the correct one for you depends on your specific requirements. Often, using natural gas or propane fueled units are the optimal as it is uncommon that natural gas flows are damaged during weather events and other situations that cause an outage.
However, there are gasoline and diesel fueled units that provide the same level of power but require more attention, in terms of fuel use and maintenance, than the natural gas ones. The advantage of using a standby generator is that it is always at the ready to provide power.
They can be purchased in any large size from 8K watts to beyond 22K watts, depending on need. The average home is best served by 10,000 watts as this gives enough lee way for large freezers and sump pumps. Still, it depends on your homes requirements as to the size needed.
Five Great Standby Generators
Best Home Standby Generator System under $2000
Running on propane or natural gas, this generator – Briggs & Stratton Model #40445 Generator produces 8000 watts of power. It is small and compact, and can be placed as close as 18 inches to the home. It includes a transfer switch and can be equipped with an optional wireless monitor.
The wattage is sufficient to handle a basic to normal load of a standard size home. It activates in seconds, when an outage is detected and it has a three year warranty on parts and labor, should something go wrong with the unit. Overall, a great, affordable standby generator.
Best Home Generator for Power Outages
Generac is a leading supplier of power generation equipment from small portable units to industrial gensets. This specific model – Generac Model #6237 Generator produces 8000 watts and comes with everything necessary to install the generator and have it in running condition. This includes a 10 circuit transfer switch.
Built to run on propane or natural gas, this generator is fully CARB compliant and the engine is air cooled for less issues to deal with. This generator has a solid, well built and attractive enclosure design that would fit any home.
Top Home Standby Generator
Producing 12,000 watts of electrical energy, gives this generator enough power to handle even a larger home. This generator – Briggs & Stratton Model #40326 Generator runs on propane or natural gas and is designed to maximize fuel efficiency so the unit provides more power on less consumption than other, larger generators.
Designed to be placed up to 20 inches from the home, this generator is also designed to be quiet. It comes with a transfer switch and will activate in seconds, upon a power outage detected. This is a great generator for homes with a large demand.
Best Home Generator for Home Emergencies
Designed to produce 11,000 watts of electricity, this generator – Generac Model #6439 Generator is quiet and well built. Beyond just generating power, this unit comes with the technology to prevent large variation or total harmonic disruptions that can effect sensitive electronics.
This is very important for homes that use medical machines, as they are sensitive to variations in power. While this unit requires a separate transfer switch, it does run on propane or natural gas and can easily be wired in to existing homes.
Best Generator for Home Power Outages
A generator for all seasons, this model – Guardian Model #6551 Generator is designed to run on propane or natural gas, and can easily be switched between fuels. It comes with a 200 amp transfer switch and it activates in seconds. Producing 22,000 watts of power, this generator can easily handle even the largest of homes. The enclosure is an all weather enclosure that resists rust, water and more. It is easy to install, everything needed for installation is included with the generator.
It has technology that reduces and eliminates variations to produces less than 1 percent THD, while still being among the quietest on the market, in the same class. It has a all quiet, test mode to verify the unit is ready and able to provide power, the moment a outage is detected. This is perfect for any size home, even smaller homes with large demands.
While most standby generators can be installed by the homeowner, many locations require a qualified electrician perform the installation. Be sure to check your local building codes before installation.
Since these generator run on propane or natural gas, be sure to have the connections inspected by your natural gas provider or contact them before installation to be sure you are in compliance with all rules and regulations concerning your fuel type.